The Amish began settling in New York during the early 1800s. Coming in search of farmland and freedom, many of them wound up in the Conewango Valley in Cattaraugus County. Today, Cattaraugus County is home to the largest and the oldest group of Amish settlers.

The Amish who have settled in this area are considered conservative; many live simple, slow-paced lives and run home-based businesses, earning only enough to pay their bills.  

Turning their talents into a trade, many Amish have focused on tourism, selling their wares to tourists who visit the region. In Conewango, the Amish have established the Amish Trail - a trail running through the county where you will find handmade goods and other products that have been produced locally. Cheese, milk, baskets, hand-sewn quilts, furniture, toys, candy and more can all be found along the trail.

Slow down along the Amish Trail to find unique handiworks and learn about the culture of these people, who live separate from the modern world.
Valley View Cheese Co. is the center hub of the local Amish community.  They feature many varieties of cheese, Amish furniture, quilts and various Amish-made gifts. Purchase your cheese, ice cream, snacks, and handcrafted Amish Goods here. 

 

Hand-painted signs will point you in the right direction, but be aware - you’ll need to slow down on these unblemished backroads. The Amish do not drive cars but rather get from place to place by horse-drawn buggy. The average speed of most horse-drawn buggies is approximately 10 mph, and it is not uncommon to see many of these buggies out and about as you travel along the trail. So prepare to slow down and enjoy the ride as you take in the scenery of your surroundings.

The Raber Family Toy Shop  features a wide-array of Amish-made wooden toys

A note to travelers - as you make your way along the Amish Trail, be mindful of their culture and beliefs. It is not courteous to photograph the Amish as being photographed is against their beliefs.

While there are many shops worth visiting along the trail, Raber Toy Shop and Malinda’s Candy are two you can’t miss. The owner of Raber Toy Shop has a twinkle in his eye and is undoubtedly passionate about his business. The store boasts beautiful wooden toys, puzzles and household items all making for perfect, one-of-a-kind gifts! At Malinda’s, stop in to satisfy your sweet tooth. Here you’ll find goat-milk fudge, jam, jellies and more. Try the peach jam or the pecan turtle candy - both delicious!

Amish dolls are a type of rag doll and a popular form of American folk art, which originated as children's toys among the Old Order Amish people. While some Amish dolls have faces, the best-known ones do not, to emphasize the fact that all are alike in the eyes of God.
Malinda's Candy Shop is a small place that sells Amish made jellies, jams, and candy. ... This place is way out in the country in a town called Conewango Valley.

 

A trip though the Amish Trail is a truly unique experience. To find out more or to snag an informational brochure, visit amishtrail.com.

Cynthia Calvert
Author: Cynthia CalvertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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A trained journalist with a masters degree from Lamar University, a masters from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, as well as extensive coursework toward a masters of science in psychology from the University of New Orleans, Calvert founded the Tribune Newspapers in 2007. Her experiences as an investigative, award winning reporter (She won Journalist of the Year from the Houston Press Club among many other awards for reporting and writing), professor and chair of the journalism department for Lone Star College-Kingwood and vice president of editorial for a large group of community weeklies provides her with a triple dose of bankable skills that cover every aspect of the journalism field. Solid reporting. Careful interviews. Respect and curiosity for people and places.

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