Amish Country Byway
- DesignationNational Scenic Byway (2002)
- Intrinsic QualitiesCultural
- Length76 national 190 state miles
“Wilkum” to Amish Country from the hundreds of hospitality sites along our beckoning byway. Discover the cultural and historic treasures of the Amish and northern Appalachian people around the winding curves and over the hills along our scenic countrysides. Experience simple living, and the interaction of Amish and English community life along our charming country roads, taking you to a bygone era still present. Find peace in our spectacular bucolic and natural vistas in all four seasons of the year.
Holmes County Historical Society
Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center
Holmes County Tourism Bureau
Story of the Byway
The 190-mile Amish Country Byway boasts views of natural vistas along winding curves and over rolling hills. In addition, this charming country byway offers visitors a fine selection of Amish country cooking as well as sites featuring the culture and history of Amish and German people. Bed & Breakfasts, area hotels and inns offer visitors a wide variety of lodging choices because a visit to the Amish country can last two to three days. Celebrate the lifestyle of a place and people who defy modern conveniences while enjoying the simple pleasures of farm life and country living. The Amish Country Byway offers experiences that many visitors enjoy over and over again.
"Simple Living" is the heritage significance of the Amish, visible all along the Amish Country Byway. These plain people thrive here today for the same reasons their Amish ancestors journeyed here – to establish their families, homes, and livelihoods practicing their devout Anabaptist faith free from persecution, drawing from these lush northern Appalachian soils.
The Amish Country circle of multi-cultural community life depends upon and draws from the byway, home to the largest settlement of Amish in the world. Early Amish settlers were among the first white men to forge and design its path in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
One out of every six Amish in the world lives in this settlement (over 40,000). With devout religious convictions whose roots go deep into the soil, their way of life enriches and influences the life of the entire community and the visitors who come here.
The story of the Amish, their opportunity to thrive in the northern foothills of Appalachia, is not complete without the understanding of the interdependence they have woven with the entire community.
The viewshed of the byway reflects the integration of the historically agriculturally based economy of the Amish with the culture of the Appalachian people. Both came to Ohio as immigrants yearning to lay down family roots. These roots grew into a codependent community based on mutual needs, strong work ethic, strong family values, and a deep sense of belonging to these hills and valleys called Amish Country.
Holmes County and the surrounding counties maintain the largest Amish settlement in the world. Families, businesses, and related services exist to support this thriving culture. Economic growth has continued countywide.
The small businesses owned by the Amish and Mennonites have made the Amish Country Byway in Holmes County a national destination. Bulk food stores that serve the local Amish community are now unique boutiques where busses with visitors stop to buy local meats, cheeses and eat hand-dipped ice cream.
The Amish culture continues to prosper along with the economy. When people are working, and products from the farm and home are valued, the Amish and English from rural Ohio can succeed in their spiritual and familial lifestyles. Building businesses and homes, the Amish and English in this community have been investing in their future for the past several decades.
With the continued prosperity and growth of local farms and entrepreneurial businesses such as furniture-making, the Amish population is continuing to rise. With the increased population, there are more opportunities as well as pressures. When local English-owned farms sell, the Amish often purchase this farmland. Many local farms are split into small parcels, supporting the needs of the Amish family, who own horses and small livestock for personal use. Still, there is not enough land to meet the needs of growing Amish families. Since the 1980s, many Amish church families band together and seek new settlements in Montana, Iowa, New York, Kentucky, and Maine, to name a few.
The Sugarcreek 'Budget' newspaper still serves the many Amish communities across the US and Canada by the weekly publication of Amish settlement news and advice columns. One can learn about births, illnesses, and deaths through the correspondence of local community reporters in these Amish settlements, mostly with their familial roots from Holmes County, Ohio.
While fascinating, the Amish people are very friendly and approachable. Visitors are welcomed from all US states, all Canadian provinces, and over 100 countries worldwide each year as recorded at the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center and other museums annually.
The Amish Country Byway forms a spider-web of 13 state and federal routes throughout Holmes County Ohio from border to border. US Route 62 bisects the county from the southwest to northeast corners, traveling through Millersburg, the county seat. Map & directories of the county and the Byway are free and on display at most restaurants, lodging facilities and shopping places.
Points of Interest
Historical Marker – Jonas Stutzman Founder of the Amish Settlement, 1809
Located on SR 39 east of Walnut Creek.
Walnut Creek Covered Bridge
Replica of traditional covered bridge for buggy and wagon traffic. Just off SR 39 on the east side of Walnut Creek.
Behalt! Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center
Shows history of Amish and Mennonite persecution in Europe and role of faith resulting in survival. Contains books about Amish people and culture.
Boyd & Wurthmann Restaurant
Old fashioned diner; servers are Amish, Mennonite and English.
Hershberger Farm and Bakery
Fresh seasonal produce, baked goods, flowers, horse and buggy rides, pony rides, goats on rooftops and more.
Guggisberg Cheese – National Champion Cheese
Famous for unique Baby Swiss cheese. Very tasty.
Victorian House Museum
28 room mansion filled with period furniture and custom features.
Millersburg Glass Museum
Contains finest crystal and carnival (color) glass in any museum.
Agriculture History Exhibit, award winning.
Vintage 1800s bank-barn with Ag-History Exhibit at Harvest Ridge (Holmes County) Fairgrounds
Killbuck Valley Natural History Museum
Contains an extensive taxidermy collection of animals and birds from the region. Geological and natural history artifacts.
Der Dutchman restaurant parking Lot, Walnut Creek
View of valley with farmsteads
Chalet in the Valley Restaurant
View of cheese factory, Swiss architecture and local landscape.
Hershberger Farm and Bakery Parking Lot,
Enjoy view of landscape. Experience market with seasonal produce, fresh fruits and vegetables, other foods and decorative items, flowers in season, goats on rooftop, Holstein cows, horses including large Belgian horse, buggy rides and pony rides.
German Culture Museum
In Walnut Creek, this museum features artifacts and stories of the German people who first settled in this region.
Holmes County Open Air Art Museum
On the grounds of The Inn at Honey Run, the Holmes County Open Air Art Museum is a fusion of nature. The forest and hill landscape showcases original works from local and regional artists of various backgrounds, mediums and disciplines.
Amish Country Bucolic Scenery
Entering the Amish Country Byway along the same path as the earliest Amish settlers in 1808, come from the SouthEast along State Route 39 from Sugarcreek, Ohio. These early settlers came to America at the invite of William Penn for religious freedom. On the left about ¼ mile before turning right onto State Route 515, is the original “Stutzman” farm, marked by an Ohio historical marker. Just past the Stutzman Farm, going through Walnut Creek – a great place to eat, head north along State Route 515 towards the town of Trail, the home of Troyer’s Trail Bologna. Follow SR 515 north till you come to US Route 62; turn right to explore the quaint village of Winesburg 2 miles northeast along SR 62 or turn left to head towards Berlin, then Historic Millersburg, the center of Holmes County and the Byway.
Along the Byway heading west on SR 62 you will find Amish owned farms with roadside stands, furniture shops, bakeries, antique stores, and cheese factories with retail shops. If you can make only one stop, plan to visit the Behalt cyclorama exhibit at the Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center at 5798 County Road 77 northeast of the town of Berlin. From US 62 turn left, south, onto County Road 77. Leaving the Center turn left for 1 mile to meet back up with SR 39. Back on SR 39, drive west through Berlin towards Millersburg.
If you enjoy history, you won’t want to miss the Victorian House & Millersburg Glass Museums in Millersburg, open most afternoons from March to October. Check the website for details. In both Berlin and Millersburg, you will find shops, restaurants, and hotels. Also, in Millersburg there is a local brewery and one of the oldest continuous operating hotels in Ohio.
For the scenic views of both Amish and English dairy farms, drive west of Millersburg along SR 39 and explore the western half of the county before stopping at one of the three local wineries. The Byway on the western side of Holmes County weaves alongside and through the Killbuck Marsh, the second largest body of water in Ohio (second only to Lake Erie), hosting eagles as well as migrating birds.
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