Nestled in the beautiful Pennsylvania Dutch Country about 50 miles west of Philadelphia, Gap is an attractive town that has a rich industrial history, with its first house erected in 1747. It was once a hub for the surrounding copper and nickel mines and home to “The Gap Gang”, a notorious 19th-century gang who would raid and rob people traveling the Lancaster Philadelphia Turnpike.
Today, Gap is a much safer place to visit and a picturesque destination to rent an RV. In addition to its scattering of historic sites, it’s home to a sprawling industrial museum and outstanding birdwatching in its surrounding reserves.
The Great Outdoors
Pick up your RV rental in Gap and head west to explore the hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails of the Lancaster County Central Park. This 544-acre preserve is also home to a skate park and swimming pool, as well as an Environmental Center where you can discover more about the region’s native fauna and flora. Don’t miss a visit to the Garden of Five Senses where you can stimulate all of your five senses on a journey through this walk-through landscaped space.
Just to the south of Gap is the Wolf's Hollow County Park, which lies along the upper reaches of the Octoraro Creek in the Great Chester Valley. It’s home to around 10 miles of hiking trails that range from moderate to challenging, as well as a mature woodland that attracts a myriad of birds. Keep your eyes peeled for brown thrashers, scarlet tanagers, and Baltimore orioles, then visit the historic Mercer’s Mill Covered Bridge near the park’s northern entrance. Built in 1880, this local landmark is constructed using oak planks and painted red (the traditional color of Lancaster Country covered bridges), with white trimmings on both approaches.
Another popular birdwatching destination in the area is the Natural Lands' Sadsbury Woods Preserve, which is part of the largest remaining un-fragmented woodland in Chester County. It provides important habitat for rose-breasted grosbeak and ovenbirds, as well as neotropical migrant songbirds. After wintering in South America, they return to North America to breed during the spring and summer in these forests at the headwaters of Buck Run.
Pick up your motorhome rental in Gap and head north to the Lake In Wood RV Resort - a family-friendly RV campground in Narvon. It features an entertainment hall with a beautifully restored pipe organ and the Gnome Cafe, as well as a swimming pool complex that’s complete with a full-size pool and kiddie pool.
Closer to Gap is the Country Acres Campground, which offers a selection of shaded and open RV sites with 30 or 50-amp electrical hookups. There’s a laundry facility where you can catch up on your washing and an on-site store, as well as an outdoor pool and a host of recreational facilities.
Exploring the City
Park your RV rental near Gap and head out to explore the town on foot, stopping to admire the Gap Clock Tower. Built in 1882, this whitewashed landmark dominates the town’s southern entrance, with visitors welcome to climb the interior to see the clock’s inner workings.
If you’re interested in America’s agricultural and industrial history, head to the Rough & Tumble Engineers Museum, which sprawls across 33 acres on the western outskirts of Gap. It’s home to one of the oldest running steam traction engines in the country, as well as an impressive collection of vintage gas engines and one of the oldest running diesel engines. In addition to admiring their restored John Deere and Rumely tractors, you can watch their blacksmiths forging items and hand building in the model shops.
Continue driving west and you’ll arrive at the Amish Farm and House, which encompasses an authentic 18th-century farmhouse where the Amish culture is showcased. Bus tours through the surrounding countryside offer an insight into Amish industries, with stops at local businesses along the way, before ending at a 15-acre farm where you can feed their friendly farm animals.
If you want to get your adrenalin pumping, plan a visit to the nearby amusement park of Dutch Wonderland, which is packed with roller coasters and family-friendly rides. Visiting during the summer months? Why not cool off at Dutch Wonderland’s tropical-themed water play area, which is known as “Duke’s Lagoon”.
Gap is home to a few grocery stores where you can stock up on supplies, as well as gas stations if you need to fill up your travel trailer rental in Gap. It’s around a 30-minute drive to Lancaster where you’ll find an excellent selection of restaurants and fast food eateries.
Whether you’re visiting Lancaster County to discover its industrial heritage or to scope out its birdwatching destinations, book an RV in Gap and start exploring.