Amish Country

Frosty morning

Saturday morning was cold and frosty here in the Bogs.  The overnight temperature had dipped down into the 20s, and the flowers drooped and dipped with it.  Fortunately, the day was sunny and warmed up quickly.  The flowers bounced back, and M and I had great weather for a bike ride and a visit to Holmes County, also known as Amish Country, Ohio.

On the road, somewhere in Holmes County.

Our destination was a parking area in Killbuck near mile 15 of the Holmes County Trail.  That’s where we had agreed to meet our friend (the one training for the long bike ride from Columbus to Cincinnati).  The Holmes County Trail is a rail trail that accommodates Amish buggies as well as the usual hikers, bikers, roller-bladers, etc.

It was easy to tell when we entered Amish Country.  M thinks there must have been some kind of meeting that day as there was a lot of horse and buggy traffic out on the roads.  It could be it was just a Saturday and everyone was out running errands, doing their shopping, etc.  The Wal-Mart in Millersburg has a special stall for horse and buggy parking, and a lot of the other businesses have hitching posts, at the very least, to accommodate the Amish and their horses.  Millersburg, by the way, was our biking destination.  Our friend continued on from there to get in her training ride.

The meeting spot was a half-way point for us.  It is 67 miles from Columbus and 66 miles from Hudson (which is not too far from the Bogs).

Meeting spot in Killbuck.

Because it was such a beautiful day, and a Saturday to boot, I was expecting the trail to be crowded with walkers and bikers.  The section we rode was relatively quiet and we didn’t see too many people on our 6+ mile ride to Millersburg.  There were a few more people out and about on our return trip to the car later in the day, including quite a few Amish either on bicycles or buggies.

At the start of our bike ride.

There was plenty of evidence, some of it fresh, that the Amish had been using the trail that day.  Don’t worry.  I didn’t take photos to prove it.  You do want to be careful where you ride or step.  Country horses, unlike their city cousins, do not wear diapers.

Wetlands

The low lying area alongside the trail is part of the largest wetland system remaining in Ohio (the Lower Killbuck Creek wetlands).  Ninety percent of Ohio’s original wetlands have been destroyed.  The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has been acquiring and preserving land in the Killbuck Creek Valley, and it is now a 161-acre wildlife area.

Spatterdock and blue-sky reflection.

Some of the swamps are known as buttonbush swamps because there are woody shrubs growing in the water that have button-like knobs on the tips of their branches.  They are, obviously, buttonbushes, and can eventually grow into small trees of up to 7 feet in height and 15 feet in width.

Wetlands filter water to keep it clean, hold water when there has been an excess of rain or snow, and help to recharge ground water resources, all without monetary charge or assistance from us humans.  Mother Nature is a marvelous engineer.  The Killbuck Creek area supports a wide variety of wildlife including beaver, river otters, trumpeter swans, bald eagles, wood ducks, muskrats, and the usual raccoons, muskrats, frogs, and turtles.

Off the trail.

I think that’s enough for today.  Thank you so much for stopping by to have a look at the Holmes County Trail and some of our bicycle adventures.  I’ll be back tomorrow with a few more sights from the trail and from Millersburg where we wandered around for a little while, and had dinner later that evening.

Mrs. & Mr. Cardinal hanging out on the clothesline this afternoon. I've been wanting to capture them together, and they gave me about two seconds to snap this picture. Thank goodness I already had the camera turned on and focused in that direction (because of a woodpecker) when they showed up and did a quick pose.

It is chilly and cloudy here in the Bogs today.  We had snow showers this morning and there’s a possibility of more snow tonight.  That’s April for ya.  Warm one day, snowing the next.  Don’t get your hopes up for sledding or skiing.  It’s unlikely the snow will stick.

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40 Comments on “Amish Country”

  1. sdobbie46 says:

    Beautiful pictures. I have been to Amish Country many times but have always done the “touristy” things. I have not seen some of this area and did not know the naturalist info. Thanks for opening my eyes and enriching my mind.

    • Robin says:

      You’re welcome, Sheila. And thank you. :)

      I’ve only been down that way once before, to visit (and shop at) Lehman’s. That’s an adventure in and of itself.

  2. The Pal Guy says:

    The sun effect in the image, “Meeting Spot in Killbuck” is very fascinating. Good job

  3. judithhb says:

    Thank you for taking us off the beaten track once again. I love to see your stunning photographs. Of course, we have all heard of Amish but what I know of them has been gleaned from books and movies.

  4. How funny that the local Walmart has special parking for horse and buggies. Fascinating that the Amish shop there. I somehow, perhaps irrationally, thought that they might have considered something wrong with shopping there. Probably just ignorance on my part. Love the photos, Robin!
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • Dana says:

      ^^ I thought the same thing, Kathy! Just goes to show that we learn something new all the time. :)

      • Robin says:

        Kathy & Dana: I’m not sure how the shopping works with the Amish, but there were plenty of horses and buggies parked at the Wal-Mart when we stopped (to use the loo), and lots of Amish inside the store. I was working for Wal-Mart when they started building the stalls for the horses and buggies so they would have some shelter from the sun, rain, cold, etc.

        Thanks. :)

  5. Enchanting trip – once again. Favorites today? # 3, #5,#6 and #7…of course the birds!

  6. Chloe says:

    awesome sunflare in the killbuck photo!

  7. Joanne says:

    Aren’t Mr and Mrs Cardinal a charming couple, and it sounds like they can’t be accused of outstaying their welcome either!

    I don’t know a lot about the Amish people, but what I do know fascinates me. The idea of trotting around in a horse and buggy really appeals to me, and leading such a simple life as they do. I wonder if it would become boring though? If it’s all you have ever known of life, I suppose you would be quite content.

    • Robin says:

      It doesn’t seem to me like it would be a boring life, Joanne. The Amish spend a lot of time with each other, within their community. I would love to attend an Amish barn building. It must be amazing. :)

  8. bearyweather says:

    Looks like a wonderful day. I wish I could attract some cardinals to my yard … love that picture of the happy couple.

  9. I would love to see these locations, buggies with horses and all! Is that white building a home near the Wetland? Very charming!

  10. Sallyann says:

    I like the picture of the Amish buggy in the sepia photo, they really look as if you’ve stepped back in time to take them. :-)

  11. Kel says:

    wow, i think i could get into bike riding more if the trails were that good

    • Robin says:

      The rail trails are my favorites, Kel. No car traffic to contend with, and they’re usually fairly level so there’s not a lot of up and down hill. You don’t get to coast, but you don’t have to struggle either. :)

  12. Frank says:

    It’s been some time since I was last in that area – then again, it’s a bit out of the way for me. Cool pic of the cardinals … and I like the “on the road” image.

  13. Gracie says:

    Beautiful photos as always, Robin. I’ve always wanted to visit an Amish country, sometimes I envy their sense of community.

  14. Pat Bean says:

    Thanks for the trip through Amish country, and for the wonderful colors of the flowers

  15. niasunset says:

    Beautiful photographs… I watched Amish county on films or television and always interesting for me, and with your photographs I loved much more now. Thank you, with my love, nia

  16. Meredith says:

    Oh man, that sounds like it was really fun! Maybe once it gets a little warmer we can rent bikes and try it?

  17. cidnlars says:

    Great photo journey! Sepia suits Amish very well!!

  18. Amish country is a wonderful place to visit :)

  19. R C Norman says:

    Robin, your images are incredible! I was going to comment on my favorite, but then realized I couldn’t pick just one — I will continue exploring your blog and look forward to seeing more of your posts. – Rob


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