Traveling to the plains of Africa and woodlands of Australia is difficult these days, but a surprising place close by in Central Pennsylvania will make us feel we are in an exotic locale. More than 400 animals are roaming freely among the safari fields at the Lake Tobias Wildlife Park, and here we’ll have the chance to have a close encounter with all kinds of feathered, furry, and funny animal friends. There’s also a chance to get up close to and feed the red deer of Rolling Hills Farm on a fun, fall hayride and observe the alluring, graceful wolves of Speedwell among their naturally wooded habitat in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country.
Best of all we start and end our daily adventures at none other than The Wilbur Lititz, a spectacular renovation done to the former Wilbur Chocolate Company factory. The Wilbur’s design that is sleek and modern but keeps history alive will leave you pleasantly surprised and you’ll enjoy the short walk to the many restaurants and shops lining the cute streets of downtown Lititz. So, grab some binoculars and your safari hat and join in on the fun!
Day One: Lake Tobias Wildlife Safari
Get ready for a safari! We travel straight to the Lake Tobias Wildlife Park, home to more than 700 animals from six continents. At your leisure, climb aboard the open-air safari cruiser that will traverse hills, pastures, and woodlands across 150 acres of gorgeous land. Be on the lookout for the roaming residents including herds of elk, graceful elands, flightless birds, and Scottish Highlands. Handfeeding these amazing creatures will bring them up close and personal!
As we breathe in the fresh air on our fun safari, friendly, knowledgeable guides will share tidbits about the species that call Lake Tobias home. Enjoy your included lunch when you’re ready and don’t miss the walk-through wildlife habitats of the more exotic animals, like giraffes, tigers and kangaroos.
Day One: The Wilbur
Once our wildlife encounters are finished, we’ll make our way to the lovely Wilbur Lititz for our two extraordinary nights in this former chocolate factory. The evening will be at your leisure to relax and find a great dinner downtown. Sweet dreams!
Day Two: Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine
Our day’s adventure is north in the small town of Ashland, deep in the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania.
Here we’ll travel 1800 feet into Mahanoy Mountain by open mine car through the Pioneer Tunnel where we’ll find ourselves in an authentic coal mine. Our miner-guide will teach us about deep mining methods and will point out numerous coal seams through the passageways.
Day Two: Scenic Train Ride
Now we’ll take a ride outside the mountain on the narrow-gauge steam train pulled by Henry Clay, a steam saddle tank engine of 30 tons used years ago to haul coal cars. Our scenic ride will take us past an area of strip mining and across the valley from Centralia where we’ll see smoke rising from the ground from the ongoing mine fire. Lunch will be included before our next adventure.
Day Two: Eerie Centralia
Our next adventure will take us right through the burning town of Centralia, such an eerie sight to see!
Day Two: Rolling Hills Deer Farm
At the Rolling Hills Deer Farm, home to over 400 red deer, a fun fall hayride will guide us through 200 acres of rolling landscape where we can hand feed deer and get some great photos.
The rest of the evening will be spent at your leisure in lovely Lititz with a great place for dinner on your own.
Day Three: Wolf Sanctuary of PA
This morning there will be time to run back downtown to see anything you might have missed in lovely Lititz before making our way to a quietly secured stretch of natural woodland that is home to the wolves of Speedwell. Originally created as a private rescue for gray wolves and wolf-dogs, the Wolf Sanctuary of PA now hosts tours of their refuge that provided information about wolf biology and conservation. We’ll meet several of the wolf packs, hear their stories, and get a glimpse of the natural world that once existed in this region over a hundred years ago.
Day Three: Farewell PA Dutch Lunch
Now onto a satisfying lunch at a local Pennsylvania Dutch spot that will make our trip back to New Jersey fly by.
Pricing & Departures:
Departs Ridgewood’s Graydon Pool at the corner of Linwood Ave & Northern Parkway at 7:00 AM and returns at approximately 8:15 PM
Departs Madison’s Kings Road Parking Lot, 62 Kings Rd. at 7:45 AM and returns at approximately 7:00 PM
Departs South Plainfield High School at the end of Lane Avenue at 8:30 AM and returns at approximately 6:30 PM
Price per person is $895 Twin & $1,125 Single. No reservations accepted without a deposit of $150 per person. Make checks payable to Group Tours & Travel and mail to the above address. Final payment is due July 20, 2022. Deposits are fully refundable if cancellation occurs on or before July 20, 2022. There are no refunds if cancellation occurs after July 20, 2022. Travel protection/cancellation coverage is available and highly recommended (cost is approximately 10% of the total cost of the tour) but not included. One piece of luggage per person and one small carry-on is permitted. Group Tours is not responsible for any delays, cancellations, injuries or circumstances beyond its control and reserves the right to change this itinerary. All trip components are subject to change in accordance with Government, State and Local guidelines and/or mandates. This tour will run rain or shine.
The Educated Wanderer
Group Tours & Travel
1710 E. Lancaster Ave. #319 Paoli, PA 19301