Amish Country Byway

Details

  • DesignationState Byway (1998)
  • LocationOH
  • Length190 miles
Dedicated Byway Visitor Information
Holmes County Tourism Bureau - Chamber of Commerce
Statewide Byway Partners
Ohio Department of Transportation
Downloadable Byways Map
Amish Country Byway
Wade Wilcox Photo

Overview

In addition to the Amish Country National Scenic Byway designation there are more miles of scenery, culture and history to explore. US Route 62 from Utica in Knox County through the rolling hills of Holmes County, enjoy the pastoral beauty of working Amish and English farms. Local restaurants, museums, greenhouses, farm markets and furniture stores are just a few of the surprises waiting for you to explore.

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.

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. 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 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.

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.

MUSEUMS ALONG THE AMISH COUNTRY BYWAY:

BEHALT! AT THE AMISH & MENNONITE HERITAGE CENTER -
Behalt is a 10 foot by 265 foot circular mural called a cyclorama. One artist, over more than a decade, painted oil-on-canvas to illustrate multiple stories of Christianity within a vast timeline. These stories are depicted on the cyclorama, focusing on the Amish, Mennonites and other anabaptist religious cultures.
A unique experience awaits you at Behalt – one of only four cycloramas in North America. The name Behalt, means “to keep, hold, remember. The Center was established in 1981 as the Mennonite Information Center. In 1989 the current facility was built on County Road 77 to adequately present the Behalt Cyclorama and provide the adequate support space for the Bookstore and Gift Shop.
In 2002, the center officially adopted the present name to more accurately reflect our community and mission.
Now in operation for more than 28 years, the Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center annually receives visitors from all 50 states, most Canadian provinces, and from about 60 countries – from Australia to Zimbabwe.

VICTORIAN HOUSE & MILLERSBURG GLASS MUSEUMS -
The grandest home in town, the Victorian House is a national tourist attraction as it has appeared on HGTV, featured in national home magazines, and filmed for Hollywood movie productions. The 28 room mansion is filled with period furniture and custom features. Come see it for yourself! Explore the only public collection in the world of Millersburg Glass, which was only produced from 1909-1912—making the glass pieces very rare. In this historical museum, you’ll find 400 masterpieces cherished by collectors worldwide.

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.

KILLBUCK VALLEY NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM -
The Killbuck Valley Natural History Museum tells the natural and cultural history of the Killbuck Valley region. The unique collection of mastodon bones, arrowheads, rocks, and minerals tell stories of a nearly forgotten time. The taxidermy collection is a special treat for young visitors featuring birds of many species, their eggs and mammals who once roamed the swamps and fields of the Valley. The museum also has special and rotating displays that feature local historical stories. Open May through October and available for group visits upon request.

HARVEST RIDGE EVENT CENTER & AGRICULTURE HISTORY EXHIBIT -
Built in the 1800’s, the Shreiner Barn is the oldest building on the property and the centerpiece of the fairgrounds. With the original foundation, walls, posts, and beams, this building was restored in 2013 — yet retains much of its original, rustic charm.
The barn is also home to the Holmes County Historical Society Agriculture History display, which shows the history of local barns and agriculture throughout Holmes County. This award-winning exhibit features an 1861 map of Holmes County, the oldest one still in existence. A timeline spanning several centuries runs the length of the map and shows national, Ohio and local agriculture related events. Old ads of agriculture equipment and events from the 1800s were used, and the exhibit also recognizes all four of Holmes County’s Ohio Historical Markers.

Read more about the Amish Country National Scenic Byway at travelbyways.com under the Ohio America's Byways listing.

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