Quality of Life

highwayLive, Grow, Invest – where the crossroads of heritage and hospitality meet in Bedford County, Pennsylvania

  • Lush limestone valleys dotted with working dairy farms.
  • Historic towns with National Historic Register districts.
  • Winding country roads leading through quaint covered bridges.
  • Pristine mountain lakes.
  • Snow skiing.
  • State parks.
  • Meandering trout streams.
  • Low crime rate.
  • Excellent public education systems.
  • Expanding post-secondary education.

What more could any family want?

Bedford County, with its historic, beautiful countryside has the best of all worlds. Just 2 hours from the Baltimore-Washington or Pittsburgh suburbs, it is a step back in time where family values grow from its rural heritage.

History

downtownBedford, Pennsylvania, was settled in the mid-1700s and became an important frontier fort during the French and Indian War. Then, as is true today, it was known as a transportation hub with Forbes Road, the major route into the wilderness, forged through its virgin forests.

Through the years Bedford County has made history. George Washington commanded the troops in Bedford during the Whiskey Rebellion — the only time a President has commanded troops in the field. Several structures — including the Espy House in the downtown Bedford’s 22-block National Historic Register District — boast signs indicating that “Washington slept here.”

The Bedford Springs Hotel, a National Historic Landmark awaiting a long anticipated restoration, was one of the country’s first mineral springs hotels, opening in 1804. A favorite summer retreat for Eastern industrialists and refugees from Washington, D.C.’s sweltering summers, Bedford Springs played host to congressmen, senators and other leaders from the Capital. The Supreme Court held session at the Bedford Springs — the only time it has met outside of Washington. And the historic hotel was a favorite spot for President James Buchanan, who received the first trans-Atlantic cable — from Great Britain’s Queen Victoria — while vacationing at the Springs.

Old Bedford Village is home to more than 40 original structures from America’s past, including log buildings and an eight-sided Quaker schoolhouse. Costumed guides and working crafts people lead visitors through tours of the Village.

And with 14 19th century covered bridges, the county remains one of the best places to enjoy these “kissin’ bridges” — many have been carefully restored and are open to traffic. For a list of historical-related sites in Bedford County, visit National Register of Historical Places in Bedford County.

 Recreation

biker_guyBedford County has a myriad of outdoor activities — from canoeing down the Juniata River, to waterskiing in 27-mile Lake Raystown, to hiking through State Forests and Game lands, to snow skiing at Pennsylvania’s highest ski-resort, Blue Knob. If you like the outdoors, you’ll find lots to do in Bedford County.

A favorite pastime for visitors is poking through the county’s more than 30 antique shops — many located in historic Schellsburg — or through the many specialty shops in downtown Bedford. The county is famous as a bastion of Pennsylvania country furniture and primitives and is attracting a vigorous group of craftsmen who find the both markets and an attractive working environment in the county.

The Bedford Fall Foliage Festival, held the first two weekends in October, attracts more than 30,000 visitors annually who come for the 300 craftsmen, entertainment, great food and striking fall colors.

For more information about what to see and do in Bedford County, visit

For more general information about traveling in Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Travel and Tourism site.

Political Representation

Bedford County is fortunate to be represented in the United States Congress, Pennsylvania State Senate and Pennsylvania House or Representatives by a group of hardworking, dedicated legislators.

Congressman Bill Shuster, a Bedford County native who skillfully represents the Pennsylvania 9th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

State Senator Wayne Langerholc, represents Pennsylvania’s 35th Senatorial District. Wayne is a graduate of Richland High School, Juniata College, and Widener School of Law. In the 2017-2018 session, he serves as the vice-chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, as well as a member of the Appropriations, Judiciary, Game and Fisheries, Local Government, and Aging and Youth Committees.

State Representative Carl Walker Metzgar, represents the interests of all of the citizens of the 69th Legislative District, and to protect the hard-working taxpayers by advocating for legislation designed to foster less government control, lower taxes and a strong economy.

Representative Jesse Topper, represents Bedford County in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 78th District. Topper won a special election on January 28, 2014, to succeed Dick Hess, who died during his term.

Libraries

The county is served by four public libraries through the Bedford County Federated Library System. The Bedford County Library is in Bedford, and independent libraries are also in Everett, Saxton and Hyndman. All libraries are part of Access Pennsylvania, which allows library patrons to receive books from throughout the state library system.

Health Care

Healthcare in the Bedford County region is among the best in Pennsylvania.  World class facilities are within easy reach and the local medical community is among the most qualified and highly-trained groups to be found anywhere on the east coast.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, UPMC Bedford Memorial is a 59-bed acute care general hospital with units for medical, surgical, obstetrical, intensive care, coronary care, telemetry, and palliative care services and offers a variety of diagnostic capabilities, including cat scan, MRI, and lithotripsy. The hospital also operates a cardiac-pulmonary rehabilitation program, an outpatient procedure unit, and an ambulatory surgical unit. The emergency facilities include 24-hour, in house coverage by emergency medicine physicians, a licensed heliport for emergency transport, and trauma center affiliation.

Rural Life

Throughout Bedford County, many residents continue to work close to the soil – selling produce, meat and other products, keeping alive a centuries-old tradition.