Before this past summer, it was safe to say Ryan Marshall and his wife, Michelle, enjoyed ice cream just as much as the next person.
But countless hours of hot summer days on the road and 12 stops around Eastern Pennsylvania later, their passion for ice cream officially reached a whole new level.
Ryan and Michelle traveled the last several months with their family to all the locations on Pennsylvania’s new state-sanctioned ice cream trail.
“We saw the ad on Facebook at the beginning of the summer, and it really piqued our interest,” Ryan explained.
“We really enjoy ice cream and we could eat it all the time. So, we decided to do the trail. It was fun. It was a nice change of pace and something different to bring the family along to. We’re happy we did it.”
The ice cream trail was set up to promote and support the state’s dairy farmers, who work tirelessly to produce wholesome and delicious dairy products for consumers to enjoy.
The trail included stops across Eastern Pennsylvania, from the Philadelphia suburbs of Pottstown and Lansdale to the outskirts of Allentown and as far west as York. Each stop was unique with amusements and attractions for the family to enjoy.
“That’s what we really liked about it,” Ryan said. “They all had their own niche and there were different things to do at all of them. There were perks to all of them. For example, Freddy Hill Farm in Lansdale had mini golf and the kids liked that.
“And, of course, all the ice cream was made right there on site at all of them. It’s good to know your ice cream is made fresh right there. And it tasted great!”
The Marshalls hail from the Ephrata, Pennsylvania area (about 40 miles southeast of Harrisburg in Lancaster County). Some of the spots on the trail weren’t all that close to home, but that didn’t stop Ryan, Michelle and crew.
“Crystal Spring Farm in Schnecksville was about a 1 hour, 35 minute drive for us,” Ryan said. “It was far, but it was definitely worth it. And we’d do it again.
“We’d do the whole trail again. We ran into others who also said they were doing it. We’re going to try and head back to some of the spots in the fall when there are seasonal activities like hayrides and mazes to do.”
As for the ice cream itself, Ryan said all the spots on the trail offered great treats the family couldn’t get enough of. But one spot stood out to him.
“Milky Way Farm in Chester Springs had very unique flavors,” Ryan said. “They had a lime sherbet and lemon ice cream that were both fantastic!
“But every spot along the trail was great and everyone at every spot was as friendly as can be!
For more information on Pennsylvania's ice cream trail and a full list of the creameries involved, click here.
American Dairy Association North East is one of 19 state and regional promotion organizations working under the umbrella of the United Dairy Industry Association. It is the local affiliate of the National Dairy Council®, which has been conducting nutrition education and nutrition research programs since 1915. For more information, visit www.americandairy.com.