Introduction to Ephrata, Pennsylvania

Ephrata, Pennsylvania, in Lancaster county, is 11 miles NE of Lancaster, Pennsylvania (center to center) ) and 56 miles W of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Part of the surrounding Lancaster metro area, the town is not an isolated town. Ephrata is home to some 13,213 residents.

Ephrata History

In the early 18th century, German mystic Johann Conrad Beissel founded the religious community of Cloisters in the region. The community declined in the early 1800s, and the village began to grow becoming the regional commercial center. It was named "Ephrata" after the biblical city. Soon, it had two resort hotels, and was also a stop for the Reading and Columbia Railroads. On August 22, 1891, Ephrata was officially incorporated as a borough.

Ephrata and Nearby Attractions

  • Ephrata Cloister
  • Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
  • North Museum of Natural History & Science
  • Samuel S. Lewis State Park
  • Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park

Things To Do In Ephrata

Ephrata was once the seat of the Mystic Order of the Solitary, a semimonastic order of Seventh-Day Dunkers that was established in 1732. The land on which the Ephrata Cloister stood is now a historic site that is owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Artifacts of historical and cultural importance are displayed in the North Museum of Natural History & Science, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, the Heritage Center of Lancaster County, National Watch and Clock Museum, and the National Toy Train Museum. The Eicher Arts Center, housed in Conrad Beissel's historic Eicher House, now includes a Native American museum. Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park, and Samuel S. Lewis State Park are other two popular destinations in the area. The community of Ephrata also hosts the Ephrata Fair in September every year.

Ephrata Transportation

Harrisburg International Airport is the closest major airport.

Ephrata Higher Education

Colleges near Ephrata are Millersville University, Franklin & Marshall College, Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, and Alvernia College.


Total Population 13,617
Male Share of the Population 51.1%
Female Share of the Population 48.9%
Senior Citizens 13.9%
Employed Population 16+ 7,185
Age of the Population 37


% of people married 55.1%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 20.4%
Median Earnings25+ $31,608
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $22,445
Median Earnings With High School Degree $29,309


Median Family Income $59,387
% Above Poverty Level 89.2%
% Below Poverty Level 10.8%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 22 minutes
% Working from Home 2%
% Walking and Biking to Work 1.4%
% Using Public Transportation 0.4%


People Living Alone 30.6%
Median Gross Rent $780
Median House Value $153,400


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 11.9%
US/American 0.1%
English 5.1%
Irish 11.7%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Ephrata Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 11 miles NE of Lancaster, Pennsylvania (center to center)
Nearest Large City 56 miles W of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
County Lancaster
Metro Area Lancaster
Standard Zip Codes 17522
Phone Area Codes 717
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 40.179
Longitude -76.179

Ephrata Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 10.5 miles
Jan Temp 21 to 38 F
Apr Temp 40 to 62 F
Jul Temp 64 to 85 F
Oct Temp 43 to 65 F
Annual Precip 43.4 inches
Distance 14.1 miles
Jan Temp 21 to 38 F
Apr Temp 39 to 64 F
Jul Temp 62 to 85 F
Oct Temp 41 to 66 F
Annual Precip 43.4 inches
Distance 20.9 miles
Jan Temp 21 to 38 F
Apr Temp 40 to 62 F
Jul Temp 65 to 85 F
Oct Temp 43 to 65 F
Annual Precip 44.8 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Ephrata, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Clay (17522)

Durlach (17522)

Farmersville (17522)

Hahnstown (17522)

Hinkletown (17522)

Murrell (17522)

Napierville (17522)

Voganville (17522)

Weidmanville (17522)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Akron 3,949 $62,736
Brownstown 2,788 $67,380
Denver 3,864 $65,705
Lititz 9,208 $65,413

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Ephrata Public Libraries

Ephrata Public Library
Ephrata, Pennsylvania
(717) 738-9291
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Ephrata Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
(717) 733-0311
Emergency Service: Yes

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Ephrata High Schools

Serves 1,362 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17.5

Study Online in Ephrata

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Info for Ephrata Government Officials

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