11 Can’t Miss Sights Along the BIH Half Marathon Course

For many runners, a half marathon is about more than simply finishing a race. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that comes from running as a community. In Bird-in-Hand, community is at the center of everything we do. It’s what inspires our race weekend festivities – sharing a meal together, exchanging stories, and gathering in fellowship – and it’s what shapes the memories we cherish year after year. 

It’s not easy asking a group of runners to slow down. But it seems to be a sentiment that’s easily embraced after spending some time here in Lancaster County. “If you open your mind and your heart, and just for a few hours, let yourself be a part of the community you are running through, it becomes so much more [than just a race],” recalled one of our race friends and we couldn’t have said it any better ourselves. 

Special Sights Around the Course

Miles 1-4

As we approach autumn in Lancaster County, you can often see rows of mums speckling the fields around Weavertown Flowers. Further down, you may catch a glimpse of miniature ponies in the pastures of the Zook Family Farm. The Zook children raise these ponies, and even sell some during the local fire company auction. And, if you’ve ever attempted our rural race challenge, completing both the BIH Half and Garden Spot Half, you may have a special connection to these ponies. If you have a Road Apple Award with smaller “apples,” it was likely harvested from this farm.  


Miles six to eight provide a special respite as you travel along the course. This area is often referred to as the “Valley of No Wires.” It’s at this point that many runners feel like they’re in the middle of nowhere, disconnected from the hustle of modern life and surrounded by the slowness of simpler times. Wide open fertile farmland stretches as far as the eyes can see and you may get a peek of a local farmer at work. This is an area where many runners pause to catch their breath and appreciate the view while they take in a moment of stillness. 

Aerial View of BIH Half Marathon

Miles 9-10

As you round mile nine, Riehl’s Quilts and Crafts sits at the side of the road. For over 30 years, Riehl’s has specialized in providing traditional quilts from patterns that have been passed down through generations, as well as a few modern touches. 

Miles 11-12

Passing mile 10, runners are greeted by a unique gathering of spectators. A tribe of goats can often be seen frolicking in the fields at Misty Creek Goat Dairy while camels can be found grazing around the Miller Family Farm. And although life in the country often offers a very distinct smell, you may even catch a whiff of something sweet from the prized Bird-in-Hand Bake Shop located on Gibbons Road.

Mile 13

The final mile of the BIH Half takes us down a partially paved farm lane that cuts between two fields leading up to Smucker’s Farm. At the final clip, we wind through the Fisher Family Farm weaving between the homestead and barn before reaching the finish line. Soon after, you’ll return to the event grounds; and that’s where you’ll find us: local folks, repeat runners, and new friends gathered together with a shared sense of accomplishment and appreciation. 

If you haven’t yet registered for the Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon or our other race weekend events, we invite you to join us! We kick-off the festivities on Friday with a race expo featuring local makers and artisans from around Lancaster County, a fun run for the kids, and a 5K. The evening ends with a pizza and pasta supper and s’mores around the bonfire. The half marathon starts Saturday morning followed by a community picnic – all are invited so bring your family and friends, too! We can’t wait to see you soon! Or as we like to say, “auf viedersehen!