On a drizzling Saturday morning my friend Dan and I set off on the Holmes County Trail, heading out from the trailhead in Fredericksburg. We pulled up to a parking lot next to a baseball diamond, and watched as the grounds crew used leaf blowers to try to dry the grass for the game. “Buckeyes love sports” I thought as I set up my bike.
The trail is paved for about 15.5 miles, largely flat, and double wide. The reason for the double width is that Holmes County is to Ohio what Lancaster County is to Pennsylvania – it’s the Amish region. The trail is used by horse-drawn buggies, and we saw several of them during the ride. And local business, Amish or “English”, often have a connecting path to allow buggies through. We followed one such short side trip to Wal-mart and noted the special buggy parking shed. Glad I’m not working for that store. I’d hate to have to retrieve carts from there!
The trail continues through farm country and a couple of small towns. It ends at the edge of Killbuck, but the road into town is low traffic and flat enough you can continue your trip easily. We did just that, since we were both hungry. The only place open was a pizza shop, which made meatball subs that had Dan raving and had a mural of Ohio State coach Woody Hayes that reminded me how much Buckeyes love sports.
When we came out, the clouds had parted and we rode back in sunlight. We stopped again at the train station/bike shop/museum in Millersburg, the midpoint of the trail. On the outbound leg we’d stopped and ridden into the historic downtown. Or rather Dan rode into the downtown. I spent much of the time walking, since Millersburg is located on a hillside and I couldn’t climb. I have to say in my own defense that I’d ridden a fast ride the day before and bonked hard, so I was probably still suffering. Fortunately the slower pace of this ride didn’t tax my strength.
We finished with 33 miles, covering the entire trail, a short ride uphill to Millersburg, and the ride into Killbuck for lunch. And I finished with the desire to come back and ride this trail again.