Holmes County Trail is popular for its picturesque scenery and quiet sense of isolation. Paved with two separate lanes, Holmes County Trail is labeled the first trail in the nation to accommodate Amish buggies. In fact, Holmes County is home to one of the largest Amish communities in the world, with half the population being Amish. The countryside and towns along Holmes County Trail are beautiful and sparsely populated, with excellent places to eat and plenty of room to enjoy the beauty of the trail in solitude .
Layout of Holmes County Trail
The Holmes County Trail currently has 22 miles of its 29 mile trail open to the public. The trail extends in two segments, with 15 miles from Fredericksburg to Killbuck and the recently paved 7.5 mile trail from Glenmont to Brinkhaven. There are two lanes of the trail: one for horse-drawn vehicles and horseback riding, and the other for biking, roller-blading, walking, running, and wheelchairs. The biking lane is paved with asphalt, while the buggy and equestrial trail is paved with chipseal to make it conducive to horse-drawn vehicles .
Trailside facilities and parking options are located at Hipp Station in Millersburg, which is the approximate midpoint. This is the perfect place for visitors to visit before or after exploring the trail . There currently exists a roughly 7 mile gap from Glenmont to Killbuck, so you can’t yet bike the entire 29 miles of the trail in one go. However, there are plans to complete the trail in the future, giving you a clean 29 miles to travel whether by bike or by buggy .
Biking Holmes County Trail
Biking the 7.5 mile trail section between Brinkhaven and Glenmont is a breeze, as there is a very steady gradient that allows you to keep your pace quite comfortably. The only place where it gets a bit steep is near the summit, close to where the old railroad tunnel has been filled in. Then you’ll descend on the other side, giving you a nice place to coast for the rest of that portion of the trail .
Biking the 15-mile section from Killbuck to Fredericksburg is where you’ll encounter the dual biking/buggy lanes. Picnic tables and benches are located at the Killbuck trailhead, and the path goes through wetlands and long cutoff channels of the creek as you travel north towards Millersburg. Millersburg is a delightful resting place where you can check out the restored historical train depot and the visitor’s center.
Once you head north out of Millersburg, you’ll travel along an easy, even grade through swamplands filled with wildlife. There are plenty of stream crossings and a few restored railroad bridges along the way as you travel through Holmesville and on towards the north end at Fredericksburg .
Whether you bike both segments of the trail or just stick with the Killbuck to Fredericksburg section, you’ll be sure to enjoy all that Holmes County Trail has to offer.