Blog

Reasons to visit Mifflin County PA

5 Awesome Reasons to Visit Mifflin County, Pennsylvania

Mifflin County was one of the last counties that I visited in Pennsylvania. Truthfully, when I had looked up things to do there in the past, I hadn’t come up with much. So, I assumed this meant that there really wasn’t much to see in the area. However, I was wrong.

While it might not have the acclaimed museums of Philadelphia or the rugged beauty of the Pennsylvania Wilds, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, has a great mix of history, culture, and beauty that make it a perfect destination for a weekend getaway or brief respite on your trip to Harrisburg to State College.

When you do head to Mifflin County, here are my top five picks for things to do in this overlooked county:

See Untouristed Amish Communities

Amish Buggies in MIfflin County PA

Mifflin County’s Big Valley is the only place you can see black, white, and yellow buggies side by side. (Photo by Wally Cheney)

If I’m being perfectly honest, I’m not a huge fan of the tourism that has sprung up around Amish culture. However, in Mifflin County’s Big Valley, home to Pennsylvania’s second largest Amish community, the lack of tourism infrastructure gives you a much better glimpse into the real lives of this unique culture.

Unlike Lancaster County, where you will only see gray and black buggies, Big Valley is home to three distinct groups of Amish people, each with their own colored buggies. In addition to the traditional black buggies, you will also see buggies that are white and brown and buggies that are black and yellow.

These communities, while somewhat separated by their levels of relative liberalism, come together for events such as the Belleville Farmers Market and Auction, held every Wednesday morning, year round. Here, the Amish and locals come together for a farmers market, antique sale, and a very large livestock auction.

However, coming on any day of the year will give you the chance to see some of the most interesting Amish buggies in the country.

Tour the McCoy House

McCoy House Lewistown PA

The McCoy House was the birthplace of Major General Frank McCoy and is now the Mifflin County Historical Society’s museum.

Part of the Mifflin County Historical Society, the McCoy House serves two purposes. The first, is to the tell the story of Major General Frank McCoy who was born in the home. McCoy served in the Spanish American War, World War 1, and even World War 2, and was an aid to President Theodore Roosevelt. Several rooms of the home are set up to resemble what the home would have looked like when McCoy was a child. Another room features many of McCoy’s personal effects.

The second purpose of the home is to tell the history of Mifflin County. Many historical society museums struggle with these competing missions, but the Mifflin County Historical Society does a very good job. Rooms in the home are dedicated to things like the county’s military history, their industrial history, and everyday life in what was once the frontier.

Before leaving, don’t miss the Fort Granville recreation. This French and Indian War-era fort was burned by the French, supposedly in retaliation for Washington’s actions at Jumonville Glen and Fort Necessity.

Tour Asher’s Chocolates

Ashers-Chocolates-Tour-Lewistown PA

Tours of Asher’s Chocolates are a great way to learn how this delicious treat is made. (Photo by Rhonda Moore and used courtesy of the Juniata River Valley Visitor Bureau)

Hershey’s might get all the love in Pennsylvania, but Asher’s Chocolates is definitely a name to remember. While their headquarters and main factory are in the Philadelphia suburbs, the Asher’s factory in Lewistown is where they do all of their handcrafting.

While tours have to be scheduled and can be hard to come by, they provide an excellent way to see the inside of this factory and see how Asher’s crafts chocolates for both their own label and other famous brands (including a rather famous mouse who lives in Florida and California).

Even if you can’t tour the factory, a visit to the Asher’s Chocolates store is a good choice. Here, you can pick up not only some of their great chocolates, but also some of their seconds and even a few Lewistown-area souvenirs.

See the Lincoln Stone

The Lincoln Stone in Lewistown's Monument Square.

The Lincoln Stone in Lewistown’s Monument Square.

When the Civil War began, President Abraham Lincoln put out a call for soldiers. The first to answer his call was the Logan Guard from Lewistown, the seat of Mifflin County.

Traveling in PA soon? Book your trip now!


  • Hotels: Compare hotel prices | Research hotels | Book a hotel
  • Rent a car
  • Get a PA guidebook

  • *The above contains affiliate links. Booking through these links helps keep the lights on here at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting UncoveringPA.

    Years later, to honor their service, the community was given a marble stone from Lincoln’s original tomb in Springfield, Illinois. That stone, the only one given away, now sits at the base of the town’s Civil War memorial in the center of Monument Square.

    Monument Square Lewistown PA

    The Lincoln Stone sits at the bottom of Lewistown’s Civil War Memorial.

    Viewing this single stone requires visitors to walk right up to the base of the monument, but it’s definitely a focal point worth seeing. Also note the mural behind you (as you face the stone) that honors the formation of the Logan Guard.

    Enjoy the Beautiful Views

    View-from-Jacks-Mountain-of-Big-Valley PA

    The view of Big Valley from the top of Jack’s Mountain. (Photo by Rhonda Moore and used courtesy of the Juniata River Valley Visitor Bureau)

    Situated along several parallel ridges, Mifflin County has a unique beauty that can only be experienced by driving along the county’s many back roads. The narrows, mountains, and valleys that make up the county provide many quiet places to get out and enjoy this beautiful nature.

    One great choice is to make the trip to the top of Jack’s Mountain. From here, you can see two large valleys on either side of this very narrow mountain top. To your north is Big Valley, home to several Amish communities. To your south is Ferguson Valley and McVeytown.

    The top of Jack’s Mountain is a very popular spot for bird watchers, and offers a great view that can be enjoyed by everyone.

    Note: My visit to Mifflin County was hosted by the Juniata River Valley Visitor Bureau. However, the opinions expressed are my own.

    See map below for other area attractions.

    AUTHOR - Jim Cheney

    Jim Cheney is the creator of UncoveringPA.com. Based in the state capital of Harrisburg, Jim frequently travels around Pennsylvania and has visited all 67 counties in the state. Jim has also traveled to more than 30 different countries around the world.

    21 Comments

    • Michele Kauffnan

      You missed the Stone Arch Bridge, which is one of the few lacking a keystone and the Pennsylvania Canal, of which a part has been restored to working conditions at the Waterside Campground in Lewistown.

      • Jim Cheney

        I actually did have a chance to visit the bridge and thought it was quite beautiful. I definitely could have made this list longer because there are more great things to do in Mifflin County, PA.

    • Mark Hopkins

      Eat Hartley’s chips, made in Lewistown.

      Best chips in PA for my money…

    • Tina Miller

      Great article …

    • Brian C Gregg

      Mifflin County Cemetery in Lewistown
      It’s an Actual Cemetery Owned by the County.

      There are a Few Homes in Mifflin County that were a Part of the Underground Railroad during the United States Civil War.

      • Rhonda

        I didn’t know that and I grew up there.

    • Connie ickes reese

      I was born and raised in Lewistown. I am a member of the Lewistown community band. I know live in Manheim with my daughter who is a varsity cheerleader and member of the Manheim Central marching barons but we do go home regularly because of our family lives there. It is beautiful country.

    • Tanks knapp Lee

      The Wednesday Belleville Sale and Livestock auction. The best antiquing and yard sale all in one spot with local Amish goods and produce. That’s worth a trip up the valley.

    • Marcus Schneck

      Don’t forget Goose Day in Lewistown.

    • Karen G.

      Very nice article about Mifflin County. I just wanted to clarify that the Amish in Lancaster County drive gray and black buggies. The Old Order Mennonites drive back buggies here.

      • Claudia Myers

        The black buggies in Mifflin County are known here as the Renno Amish (not old order Mennonites). The yellow topped buggies are Byler Amish and the White topped buggies are known as the Nebraska Amish. Some Mennonite groups might drive black cars, but I’ve never heard of the black topped buggies referred to as Mennonites and I’ve lived here all of my 66 years.

    • Peggy K

      Mifflintown County is very special to me. Love going home and visiting Bellville, Lewistown, although I must say it is very different than the Lewistown I knew. Beautiful place!

    • Bertha Mast

      This is a really nice article about the area where I grew up! I’ve lived in the scenic Pacific Northwest for over 10 years now, but I still love the unique beauty of Big Valley. Last summer I took my daughters to visit my old stomping grounds and they can’t wait to go back! Thanks for a great read.

    • Bob Lenning

      This site has disabled pinch to zoom so I am not 100% sure, but I believe your last picture is actually of Ferguson Valley, it has been a few years, but I have sat in that spot many times, on a few occasions contemplating a major change.

      • Jim Cheney

        I’m fairly certain that it’s Big Valley. I’ve been there, but my photos didn’t come out well, so I got that from the local visitor bureau, which labeled it as such.

      • Richard Smeltz

        That photo is of Ferguson Valley. Used to drive it every day when I lived in Ferguson Valley and worked at New Holland in Belleville. This spot was frequented by hang gliding enthusiasts when I lived there. “Good Thermals”. If you walk across the road and look North, that would be Big Valley and it does not have that wooded ridge in the foreground. The best in Mifflin County from a paved road. I have lived in Mifflin County since I was 11 years old and love the area. 30 minutes to PSU, 50 minutes to Harrisburg. Yet no traffic jams, simple living and a stream, river or mountain within a few minutes no matter where you live. Who could ask for more!

    • RD

      Last pic shown is not “Big Valley” but it is “Ferguson Valley” from Jack’s Mountain look-out. In-laws farm photo second from the left. We think that’s the best place to visit! Thanks for sharing.

    • CMD

      I grew up in Barrville, PA, about six miles from Belleville and about 10 miles from Lewistown. I am now, due to life circumstances, in the state of Missouri and have been for almost two years. My wife and I, just yesterday, had another cry session because of how badly we miss Mifflin County (and also Centre County). It is the most wonderful place and we will return as soon as we are able.

    • Ken Poorman

      Enjoyed working in Mifflin, 1973-1977. Liked visiting a friens home in Huntington, a Bell Tel foreman, and his goats; and have an old Navy friend in Lewistown. I used to stop in the Elks in Lewistown occasionally. Bought some wrought iron fencing in Mt. Union once when I lived in Altoona. Nice County.

    • Ethel Carter

      I was born and raised in Burnham, Pa. A lot of the things that were said I didn’t know about. I’m amazed of all the places of interest.

    Post A Comment

    3.2K Shares
    Share3.1K
    Pin36
    Tweet6
    Stumble
    Flip