I've been to Amish settlements all over Canada and the United States and, frankly, I enjoy almost every community I visit. Each has its own beauty and personality. But when it comes to sheer beauty? It's tough to rank them but I'll give it a shot here.
Caption: Young people head to church for a Sunday evening singing in St. Ignatius.
St. Ignatius, Montana: Sorry, Lancaster County. It's just really tough to compete with the backdrop of the mighty Mission Mountains thrusting 14,000 feet into a crisp, blue Montana sky. The Amish settlement here is up against the base of the mountains providing an absolutely stunning panorama when church is held or wash is hung out to dry. It's just gorgeous. Interestingly, Rexford, Montana does not make my list. The settlement is so tucked away down in a valley that's tough to get a good view of much of anything. The bishop's house is higher up on a mountain and the views are better up there.
Pearisburg, Virginia: While it isn't St. Ignatius in terms of its mountain majesty, the hulking shape of Walker Mountain and the surrounding Appalachians give this Amish settlement a stark, rustic beauty.
CAPTION: Pearisburg, Virginia has a distinct Southern charm and mountain beauty.
Adams County, Ohio: Regular readers of this blog know I'm biased towards the barren, hardscrabble hills of this remote Ohio outpost. You have to get in a position to have the right view, but when you do, you'll be rewarded with stunning vistas of what are known as the "Little Smokies."
Holmes County, Ohio: Get off the main roads and explore and you'll be rewarded with rolling emerald-colored hills that seem to rise and fall like ocean swells.
And speaking of ocean swells....
Caption: Sunset over the Gulf on Siesta Key, Florida
Pinecraft, Florida: Okay, this may not be a traditional Amish settlement in the conventional sense, but where else can you watch a gorgeous Gulf sunset with a welcoming crowd of Amish and Mennonites?
So are there any Amish communities that didn't make the list that should have? If so, which ones?
And by the way, I would give an "honorable mention" to the Old Order Mennonite community in Dayton, Virginia. Gorgeous area!
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