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Amish Country Byway

Basics
Length:
76.2 miles (122 km)
Time:
Allow 4-6 hours to visit the entire Byway or 1.5 hours to drive it.
Fees:
Several attractions charge fees.

Description

Take a break from the fast-paced world of cell phones, computers, fast cars, and demanding schedules, and enjoy the "simple life" found on the Amish Country Byway in Ohio. At first, you may feel as if time is standing still, but you'll soon discover that the Amish folk are highly enterprising and productive. They have simply chosen to maintain their traditional beliefs and customs, continuing a lifestyle uncomplicated by the ways of the modern-day world. As you travel the Amish Country Byway, sharing the road with horses and buggies, you will experience first-hand the Amish way of life. You will also take in plenty of beautiful scenery and have a wide variety of recreational opportunities to pursue.

Begin your tour of the Byway by visiting the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center. Learn about the community and see Behalt, a dramatic 10' by 265' mural-in-the-round that depicts Amish/Mennonite history, painted by the late international artist, Heinz Gaugel. Then, visit Yoder's Amish Home and witness for yourself early traditional farming ways. Also, go for a buggy ride, and tour two homes completely furnished in traditional Amish decor.

If you travel the Byway during growing and harvest season, typically from April to November, you'll definitely want to stop by the Farmer's Produce Auction. Here you will find everything from bedding plants and dried flowers to asparagus, zucchini, pumpkins, and Indian corn. Both the Amish and English people in the area maintain a strong tradition of agriculture and produce wonderful crops, cheese, and specialty meat products.

Nature along the Byway only adds to the peaceful setting of the countryside. Enjoy an early morning picnic or fishing trip at the Killbuck Marsh. You can also hunt, trap, fish, and hike. Or you can simply enjoy watching the abundant wildlife in the area. If you love water sports, you'll find exciting places to go canoeing, kayaking, rafting, and tubing on the Byway as well.

The Byway's past is as intriguing as its present. Visit Killbuck Museum or Victorian House Museum for a taste of Civil War, archaeological, Victorian, and Amish history. Also, spend some time in the well-preserved, turn-of-the-century Winesburg Village, where you can buy handmade carts, buggies, and wagons. You can even purchase your very own horse or pony if you're in the market for such a souvenir.

You'll leave the Amish Country Byway feeling much the same as the traveler who said, "Traveling to Amish Country is a great getaway from our day-to-day routines. It's quiet, clean and refreshes the soul. When you get away from the telephone ringing, from the traffic on the roads, it's a gift, a refuge from the everyday noise of your life" (Muriel Hetrick, reader, Ohio Magazine, Dec/Jan 2000).

Points of Interest

Points of Interest Along The Way

Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center (OH)

A visit to the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center allows visitors to see Behalt, a dramatic 10' by 265' mural-in-the-round depicting Amish and Mennonite history. It was painted by the late international artist, Heinz Gaugel. The Behalt has been called the "Sistine Chapel of the Amish and Mennonites," and the striking colors and figures tell the story of the beginnings of the Anabaptist movement, which began in Zurich, Switzerland, and continues today. Visitors may also see a 15-minute video about the community. A bookstore stocks a wide selection of both German and English texts; a gallery and gift shop are also located at this site.

Amish Country Antique Stores and Markets (OH)

If you're interested in rare finds -- from furniture, sportinggoods, or glassware to textiles, books, or toys -- the AmishCountry Byway has something for you. Scattered throughout HolmesCounty, antique stores and markets offer unique delights totravelers young and old. More than selling their wares, some shopowners also buy and trade items. And don't miss the annual HolmesCounty Antique Festival, held every year in October in Millersburg.Here you can find dozens of local and out-of-town dealersdisplaying their goods, or watch artisans perfecting their craft insuch arts as quilting and woodworking.

Amish Country Dairy Farms and Agricultural Enterprises (OH)

One expression of the Amish people's religious beliefs isself-sufficiency, manifested daily in the way they live theirlives. You can observe the same in the Amish's farm and dairyenterprises. Many farms are small-scale and run by more traditionalmeans. For instance, as you drive the Byway you may noticehorse-drawn machinery or people gathering crops by hand. The milkfrom various dairies is processed into excellent dairy products.You can see the process unfold at one of several Holmes Countycheese factories. Here you can see cheese being made and even tryfree samples of cheese or ice cream.

Amish Country Furniture and Other Woodcrafts (OH)

Carpentry in Amish Country is a long-held tradition supported bythe towering hardwoods harvested from the nearby hills. Because oftheir work ethic and insistence on quality, the Amish produce fine,elaborate products of the highest handmade quality. As you drivethe Byway you'll pass elaborate showrooms, rustic roadside stands,and every size shop in between, featuring decorative baskets,intricate toys, gazebos of every size, moldings from simple toornate, and of course, finely crafted furniture. And if you can'tfind what you're looking for, you can often hire a craftsman tobuild your dream.

Amish Country Gift Shops and Country Stores (OH)

The typical gift shop is far outdone along the Amish CountryByway where you'll find special handmade or homemade treats totantalize all five senses. At different stores and shops you canpurchase locally made arts and crafts such as jewelry, stitchery,and pottery, as well as homemade foods from jam to bologna tocheese. Take the tastes home with you in a locally written andpublished Amish or Mennonite cookbook.

Amish Country Handicrafts (OH)

The Amish are known for their expertise in making handicrafts.From picture frame design to glass blowing to quilting, the Amishform a self-sufficient community that flourishes independent ofmany of the conveniences enjoyed by mainstream America. Craftsmenof various trades live and work in every Amish community, providingimportant goods and services to the Amish people. Learn about andenjoy different arts through various museums and shops along theAmish Country Byway. Among other towns, stop in Berlin, Winesburg,or Holmesville if you're looking for beautiful and well-madehandcrafts in Holmes Country.

Amish Country Quilts and Textiles (OH)

Few things are more heartwarming than a homemade quilt, an artistic tradition that thrives in Amish communities in Holmes County. You will find custom quilts, as well as other hand-stitched items -- such as wall hangings, pillows, tablecloths, and dolls --in shops along the Amish Country Byway. From designs such as Log Cabin and Wedding Ring, if you can't find a quilt that suits your tastes, some shops will let you choose the color, pattern, and size of your own design. Or, for a weekend away, spend a some time at aquilter's retreat, where quilters can go to take a break from their regular lives and quilt. Truly, the Amish Country Byway houses much history that has lasted and is manifest in the everyday lives of the Amish.

Amish One-Room Schools (OH)

Holmes County has over 80 one-room Amish parochial schools. They are currently in use and not open to visitors. Please drive carefully: children walk to and from school.

Baltic Mills (OH)

This is a historic, restored mill, which is still used to grind wheat into flour. Tours are offered for the curious, and there is a gift shop featuring bulk foods, Amish crafts, bird houses, and feeders.

Directions

At the southeast end of the Byway, a few miles before Sugarcreek, go south on Highway 93 to Baltic. Baltic Mills is at 111 Main Street.

Berlin (OH)

At the heart of the Byway, in Berlin you can visit the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center and the Schrock Amish Farm and Home to learn about the Amish and Mennonite cultures and lifeways. Then take to the streets and various shops to have a "live" tour.

Details

Length:
76.2 miles (122 km)
Time:
Allow 4-6 hours to visit the entire Byway or 1.5 hours to drive it.
Main Roads:
US-62 E
Fees:
Several attractions charge fees.

Map + Directions

Customizable Directions


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