We love the quiet and serenity of our neighborhood, and there are many ways to enjoy its beauty — scenic drives, buggy rides, by bicycle, and on foot. Walking and hiking in Ohio Amish Country is a slow-paced way to enjoy the flora and fauna, and the best way to just relax. For a quick ramble, the trails at The Inn at Honey Run are right outside your door; for a longer adventure, try one of the walking trails in and around Holmes County.
Winding its way from north to south through the middle of the county, the Holmes County Trail is a 15-mile paved greenway trail following the former Penn Central railway corridor. Walkers, cyclists, runners and even those in wheelchairs can travel through rolling fields, woodlands and protected swamp areas. Observation decks along this Ohio hiking trail are a good place to rest and take in the scenery — keep an eye out for the local birds and wildlife! You may even encounter a horse-drawn buggy on the trail, since it was the first recreational trail in the nation to accommodate Amish buggies. Horses and buggies travel on a second lane, but walkers and bikers should remember to yield to horses and give them a wide buffer zone when passing.
There are a few places to access the Holmes County Trail along its length — the closest to The Inn at Honey Run is the Millersburg Depot, a historic building that was recently moved to the Hipp Station Trailhead at the end of W. Clinton Street. The Depot has parking, restrooms, trail information and a railroad museum, making it a great place to start hiking in Ohio on the Holmes County Trail.
The Mohican Valley Trail continues to the west along the same Penn Central railroad bed, and once the Holmes County Trail is completed, the two will connect at the county line. Also a multi-use rail-to-trail, it winds through the Mohican River valley where visitors can look and listen for the songs of all types of birds, like indigo buntings, orioles, rose-breasted grosbeaks and even bald eagles. In Brinkhaven, at Holmes County end of the trail, the beautiful Bridge of Dreams crosses the Mohican River. Built on a structure that was originally a railroad bridge, the Bridge of Dreams is now the longest covered bridge in Ohio and offers beautiful views of the river valley below. The trail also connects to the paved Kokosing Gap trail, offering a long and uninterrupted path for hiking in Ohio.
Nature-lovers wanting to go hiking in Ohio should visit The Wilderness Center in Wilmot, OH. The Center’s headquarters in Wlmot protects 619 acres of forest, prairie, and wetland, with 10 miles of walking trails meandering through it. Along the way, hikers can stop at the Wilderness Lake, climb an observation tower or walk along the banks of a small creek, and visitors can download audio “trailcasts” to listen to as they walk. Most trails are short loops, so if you can’t decide what to see, you can explore a couple of them in a few hours. There’s more than hiking, too — an interpretive center and an astronomy education building with a planetarium and observatory are also on-site. On select evenings, the Center even hosts concerts, too.
Happy trails to you!