A Gnome-Themed Campground in Pennsylvania Amish Country

We gnomes absolutely adore the camping lifestyle. From coast to coast and everywhere in between, we’ve stayed at lots of campgrounds, but perhaps none more special than one in the tiny unincorporated community of Narvon, Pennsylvania.

Lake in Wood Camping Resort is the one and only gnome-themed campground that I have ever encountered. It’s also a convenient place to stay if you want to see the Amish communities and local shops of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, Strasburg, and Hershey, Pennsylvania are easy day trips from here too.

This is a huge RV and cabin resort that’s packed with amenities including a Gnome Café that serves up burgers and fries, a 9-hole mini-golf course with gnomes scattered around the putting greens, and a gift shop with lots of gnomes for sale to decorate your campsite. One of my very favorite things about this campground was that many of the campers decorated their individual sites with friendly and festive gnome scenes. The Gnome Café was also a real treat with all of its plush gnomes waiting to meet you on the walls and along the floors.


Other campground amenities include modern laundry facilities, a boat launch for taking paddle boats on the small lake, and an indoor/outdoor pool with spa. Events are scheduled throughout camping season with activities like chili cook-offs, laser tag, country music, and bingo. Oddly enough, there are even a few resident goats that live at the campground, which you can watch climb on their rock piles and platform behind a fence!

If “roughing it” isn’t really your thing, a fun way to experience this campground with all the comforts of home is to rent a cabin. There are lots of cute, themed cabins available, but my personal favorite was the Gnome Home, which is decorated with gnomes and sleeps up to two adults and four children. To treat your kids to something special, book the Gnome Playhouse and the staff will deliver it when you arrive! Campground rates vary depending on the season and what you stay in, and you can take a virtual tour on Lake in Wood’s website.


But of course, as a campground connoisseur, no campground is perfect…not even ones inhabited by gnomes. The bathrooms were outdated and only moderately clean, golf carts zipping around make roads risky for pedestrians, and the RV sites were very close together. But if you’re as big of a gnome enthusiast as I am, these are all things that you’ll willingly endure to camp among the gnomes.

This all just goes to show that home isn’t just where you park it, home is where your gnome is!


Spending a Day with Rich Humphreys of Gnome Countryside

One of our human companions named Alyssa has been so kind as to share a guest post with us about her tour of Gnome Countryside. But from a human perspective of course. Seems like a pretty rad place. Who else wants to check this out with us?!


One of my favorite things about being part of a community of gnome enthusiasts is getting the opportunity to meet other collectors and swap stories. As a writer with an insatiable spirit of wanderlust, my travels have led me to many amazing people who inspire me to keep collecting and spreading the joy of gnomes.

This summer, I had the opportunity to meet Rich “The Gnomeman” Humphreys at the one and only Gnome Countryside, tucked away in the peaceful rolling hills of Kirkwood Pennsylvania. For 35 years, Rich has been entertaining and educating kids and adults in his “Gnomery” and enchanted forest.

Rich, a long-time diabetic who nearly lost his sight to diabetic retinopathy, created Gnome Countryside after teaching school in Alaska for 12 years. He renovated this beautiful property and interwove the stories of gnomes into his nature tours. Rich first became enchanted by gnomes on a trip to Denmark, and he even dresses like a gnome in a wonderfully eccentric fashion!

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I first learned about Rich’s mission and Gnome Countryside in 2014 under tragic circumstances. Local news sources reported that a fire devastated his 220-year-old log home, destroying his possessions, but never his spirit. He has since rebuilt his home, and it’s just as beautiful as ever.

My tour of Gnome Countryside began in the Gnomery, a cozy room filled with wonderful gnomes where Rich shared stories, environmental facts, and songs with his captive audience. Then we followed The Gnomeman through the wooded trails, using our five senses to appreciate the rugged beauty that surrounded us. Small gnomes and gnome homes could be found along the trails (if you looked closely), and they were surely very happy here. Other highlights of the visit included listening to the waterfall sounds of Gnome Gniagra, participating in a drum circle, and building gnome homes and rock towers in the woods.

Gnomes and nature go hand-in-hand, and this is a place to embrace that relationship and celebrate stewardship of the environment and a sense of community in the outdoors. Through Gnome Countryside, Rich empowers visitors to return home with a renewed love for the environment and a commitment to protect nature. Gnome Countryside celebrates the legends of gnomes, teaches us about gnomes and nature, brings your senses to life. With a creative sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye, Rich’s dedication to nature and all its creatures is contagious.

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You too can visit Gnome Countryside if you only travel to the heart of Pennsylvania Amish country! Rich is an incredibly friendly and kindhearted man who loves to chat, so give him a call at 717-786-4928. Gnome Countryside is a favorite among school group tours, but he also leads individual two-hour tours at a rate of $10 per person. Morning and afternoon tours are typically available Monday through Saturday from April through October, rain or shine.


***A version of this story will be published in the upcoming edition of the International Gnome Club Newsletter!***

Gnome Countryside is Back in Operation!

After a February fire that devastated Gnome Countryside in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, we are happy to share that Gnome Countryside is back in operation!

gc3P.J. Reilly of Lancaster Online reported that Richard Humphreys has reemerged into society as the Gnomeman.

Richard dresses in woodland wear and preaches about the importance of saving the environment for both gnomes and (gag) humans. He captivated a group of Susquehanna Waldorf School students last week with his tales of gnomes, fairies, buttercups, and the woods.

Local gnome fans set up an online fund and raised about $15,000 to help rebuilt Gnome Countryside after the fire. Richard plans to put that money into developing the Gnome Trail that winds through his Pennsylvania property.

gc1Since the fire burned his house down and caused $350,000 worth of damage, the Gnomeman has resided in a barn on the property. He plans to build a new house using wood from trees that were damaged by the fire.

Gnome Countryside enjoyed its first post-fire visit just a couple weeks ago.

gc2The Gnome Trail is open for hiking and more tours are on the schedule. Fortunately, the props that Richard uses for his tours survived the fire. These include a pop-up gnome fact book, a paper-wasp nest and a cradle made from nut shells and an oriole’s nest.

Individual tours cost $10/person and you can reserve your spot by calling (717) 786-4928.

What are you waiting for?

Seriously! That was not a rhetorical question!!!

Kamikaze the Gnome

A Gnomish Tale of Devastation and Resilience: The Gnome Countryside Fire

gnomemanIn gnomish communities, fires do happen, but we never expect them to happen to us. A fire recently broke out at Gnome Countryside in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Richard and Mary Humphreys have a house on the Gnome Countryside property, where they give educational tours about gnomes and nature through the woods.

Richard is affectionately referred to as “Gnomeman.” He used to be an art teacher before he retired, then he devoted himself to Gnome Countryside to teach people about the importance of environmental stewardship.

The Humphreys’ 220-year old log home was essentially destroyed in the fire, which began around 2AM in early February. Fortunately, no one was home at the time and no one was injured in the fire, although crews worked to put it out until 5:30AM. Apparently, someone spotted smoke on the property, which turned out to be coming from heated rocks, a Quarryville Fire Company officer said. The cause of the fire is undetermined, though not suspicious, fire officials said.

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But I’m sure you’re wondering what we’re wondering….HOW ARE THE GNOMES?!

Richard placed gnomes throughout his 14 wooded acres of land to help him tell stories about environmental issues, ecology, and zoology. Details about the well-being of Richard’s gnomes has not yet been released to the public. Hopefully, one of the local reporters writes a follow up report soon about the fire’s effect upon gnome life on the property.

We’re pulling for ya little guys….hang in there, we’re pulling for ya!

richardUndoubtedly, the local community loves Gnome Countryside and has already donated over $13,000 to build it back up. If you’d like to show your support head over to the You Caring Fundraiser site started by 29-year-old Chris Neely, who grew up near Gnome Countryside and spent many childhood days there.

Despite it all, the Humphreys and their gnomes aren’t discouraged. According to Richard, “”We’re going to build it back up and it’s going to better then ever.”