Take a driving tour of the backroads in Ohio

One question we’re often asked is “where can I take a nice drive to see the real Amish country?” While there’s plenty of opportunity to shop and do the “tourist thing” along the main roads, to really see what country life is about, get off the beaten path.

There’s plenty to see from the seat of your car. And, it costs you nothing but the gas in your tank. Some people call this “road farming” and for good reason. You’ll probably encounter a tractor or possibly a draft horse hitch towing a farm implement. Be patient – they may or may not be able to see you (horses don’t have rear view mirrors!)

While the best places to see unique things are on county and township roads, be aware – these roads are normally much narrower than your typical city streets. Depending on where you are, they may not be paved. So, it’s best to leave the big RV or travel trailer at your camping spot and travel by car, van, motorcycle or bike.

 

If you’re planning to visit in the upcoming fall leaf season, any of the following drives would be a nice short trip. And, you’ll depart and arrive in some interesting spots with easy access to find your way back to “civilization”.

Amish Country – The Sugarcreek By-pass

View Map

What you’ll see: Willandale Golf Course, Amish farms, views of Sugarcreek village and farms, the old Gerber Valley Schoolhouse, the “Gensa Bottom” translated “Goose Valley”

1. Begin at Dutch Valley Restaurant (1343 Old Rt. 39, Sugarcreek), turn RIGHT onto Dutch Valley Drive.
2. Go straight through the stoplight on Rt. 39. Turn LEFT onto Spooky Hollow Rd.
3. Turn LEFT onto Golf Course Rd.
4. At State Route 93, take Golf Course Road straight across. Continue into Holmes County (Road is now called County Rd 144).
5. At the Gerber Valley Schoolhouse, turn RIGHT onto Township Road 444.
6. Turn RIGHT onto Township Rd. 406/419. Follow road to State Route 515.
7. Turn LEFT onto State Route 515 and travel to Walnut Creek village.

Amish Country – “The Back Way to Charm”

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What you’ll see: valley and ridge views, organic Amish dairy farms, windmills, sawmills

1. Begin at Der Dutchman Restaurant (4967 Walnut St., Walnut Creek)
2. From Parking lot, turn RIGHT onto State Rt. 515. At the stop light at State Rt 39, travel straight ahead onto Township Road 403.
3. Follow Twp. Rd. 403 to County Road 135 and turn LEFT. Immediately after, turn RIGHT onto County Road 114.
4. Follow Cty Rd. 144 to a “Y”. Bear to the RIGHT onto County Rd. 70.
5. You’ll end up in Charm village and State Route 557.

Amish Country – “The back way to Berlin”

View Map

What you’ll see: the Gensa Bottom Valley, Amish farms, shady lanes (Note – this is narrow road and not suitable for RV’s and other large vehicles).

1. Begin at Der Dutchman Restaurant (4967 Walnut St., Walnut Creek)
2. Turn LEFT onto State Route 515 and follow it for approximately a mile. Turn LEFT onto Township Road 406.
3. Follow Township Road 406 until it ends at a “T”. Turn LEFT (briefly) onto Township Road 401 them immediately turn RIGHT onto Township Road 366.
4. Follow Township Road 366 until it joins into Country Road 77.
5. From Country Road 77, you’ll have several options:

  • Turn RIGHT  to reach State Route 62
  • Turn LEFT to reach State Route 39
  • Go straight ahead on Township Road 366 to reach Berlin (and State Route 62).

 

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