By Eva Potter
If you’re tired of the hustle and bustle of summer festivals, a perfect way to slow down life for a little while is a leisurely, self-guided drive through Amish country located along the western border of Cattaraugus County.
As you meander along winding country roads, be sure to visit the businesses participating in the Amish Trail Fall Open House on October 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Debbie Opferbeck, tourism specialist for the Cattaraugus County Department of Economic Development, Planning and Tourism, said there will be a variety of goods sold with hand-on activities at some locations.
“At Beauty View, you can make a blue bird house. Hand Dyed by Lori is a beautiful new facility where they sell the products that they produce on site. This place is awesome especially if you like sewing,” said Opferbeck.
“Randolph Peaches and Cream will have fall items and produce, and Randolph Retail has an eclectic collection of unique gifts, women’s clothing, jewelry, accessories and home decor at affordable prices.”
She said there are products available for purchase at the Salamanca and Leon Museums, and the Mansfield Museum will be open to visitors as well. Museums are free and open to the public.
Amish Trail Fall Open House participating businesses are:
Beauty View Farm, 7356 Snyder Hill Rd., Cattaraugus
Hand Dyed by Lori, 9868 Leon Rd., Cattaraugus
Leon Historical Museum, 6580 Route 62, Conewango Valley
Mansfield Historical Museum, 7691 Toad Hollow Rd., Little Valley
Randolph Peaches N Cream, 19 Main St., Randolph
Randolph Retail, 127 Main St., Randolph
Salamanca Historical Museum, 125 Main St., Salamanca
As you follow the trail, visit each participating member location and be sure to sign up to enter the drawing for the big prize (a grouping of local items shown on the event poster). The drawing is open to everyone with no purchase necessary and will take place Dec. 15. Winners will be notified and you do not need to be present to win.
While Amish-run businesses are not participating formally in the open house, they will be open to shoppers. Start your holiday shopping early and surprise your friends and family with quality Amish home-produced products like rugs, solid-wood furniture, fresh baked goods, toys, jams, quilts and more.
There are over 100 Amish locations to visit! Look for “open” signs in front of businesses as well as a listing their specialty products.
The Fall Open House takes place on a Saturday, so most Amish shops will be open. Note that shops are closed on Sundays, some Wednesdays, certain holidays, and for barn raisings, weddings and funerals. Many participating businesses on the Amish Trail Open House may accept credit cards and checks, but Amish-run businesses only accept cash.
Please use extra caution as you enjoy your self-guided tour and watch for the signature black buggies. The Amish do not wish to be photographed as it goes against their beliefs, so please respect their privacy as well as their personal property.
Ready to hit the trail? Just plug the addresses into your GPS and off you go. No GPS? Download a free Amish Trail map at www.NYAmishTrail.com.
You can also find more information at www.enchantedmountains.com or by calling 1-800-331-0543. Free brochures and maps are also available at Amish shops, New York’s Amish Trail partners, tour companies, the Gowanda Area Chamber of Commerce and the Amish Trail Welcome Center in Randolph.