If traveling through Ohio's Amish country and sharing space with bicycles, buggies, and abundant wildlife sounds like an idyllic day to you, then you will enjoy the 15-mile Holmes County Trail. A good place to start is the trail's Hipp Station trailhead in Millersburg, which features the beautifully restored Millersburg train depot. The historic depot, which serves as the trail's headquarters, offers a visitors center with wildlife displays, trail information, restrooms, vending machines, a covered picnic area and a playground.
Millersburg is in the heart of Ohio's Amish country; it is just as common to pass a horse-drawn buggy as it is to pass a cyclist or walker. The trail surface has adjacent paths, one paved and the other of chip and seal , which is a bit rougher for bicycles but accommodates horses. Be sure to review the etiquette rules posted at the trailhead so you can share the trail safely with its myriad of users.
The trail meanders north out of Millersburg at a very easy, even grade. The corridor passes picturesque swamplands for long stretches. Wildlife abounds among the water and trees. You will likely see turtles, snakes, and birds, including cardinals, doves, and hawks. Given the trail's wet terrain, there are numerous stream crossings, a couple over well-restored railroad bridges.
A well-designed square tunnel takes you underneath County Road 83 at mile 6 just before the small town Holmesville. When you enter Holmesville, near mile 6.5, you follow quiet community streets for about 1 mile until the rail corridor picks up again. The bypass is very well-marked, and the streets are extremely quiet, little used, and easy to navigate. Once through Holmesville, the trail continues for another 4 miles along a wonderful mixture of farm fields and tree-lined streams to the Fredericksburg trailhead and the trail's north end.
The newest section of trail leads south from Hipp Station. This route will take you out of Millersburg and through more great country. Much of this section allows you to ride alongside the banks of Killbuck Creek while passing through wonderful wetlands and long cut-off channels of the creek itself. Six miles after leaving Hipp Station you will arrive at the current southern terminus in the town of Killbuck.
The Holmes County Trail began its life as a spur of one of Ohio's earliest railroads, the Cleveland and Pittsburgh, and the tracks reached Millersburg in 1854. A catastrophic flood in 1969 washed out sections of railbed and killed 22 passengers and crew members, leading to the line's abandonment. Fortunately with the conversion of the railway to a rail-trail in 2003-2004 a new generation of users-bicyclists, walkers, inline skaters and horse and buggy riders-can now roll along this picturesque corridor.
To reach the Millersburg trailhead at Hipp Station, begin on State Route 39. Turn on North Grant Street and follow it north for 0.1 mile and then head west on West Clinton Street which dead-ends into Hipp Station Trailhead.
To reach the Fredericksburg trailhead, take State Route 83 to Harrisson Road east and go 4 miles. Turn right onto West Water Street; the trailhead is immediately on the right.
This is an excellent trail! While Ohio is blessed with a great rails to trails program, My top two have always been Mount Vernon to Danville (Kokosing Trail), Corwin to Morrow (Little Miami Trail). Riding the Holmes trail from Killbuck to Fredricksburg ...
I rode this trail from Fredericksburg to Killbuck. The trail was exceptionally smooth, pleasant to ride, and worth a visit. It's in an Amish area, and most of the trail is divided with one half for buggies and one half for bikes/pedestrians. Care is always ...
This is a terrific rural trail- paved and well maintained. I rode this section in early May and was delighted by the trilliums in bloom along the way. This section is delightfully rural- peaceful farmlands, woods, streams and the small towns along the ...