Enjoying Ohio's Amish Country's Sunday Gems

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Doyle Yoder

With a strong faith at the core of their lives, the Amish and Mennonite people believe that Sunday is the day designed as a day of rest and communing with God, and thus, many of the shops, cheese houses, restaurants and businesses that are usually hustling and bustling with activity are closed.

However, Amish Country can still be a source of fun and activity on Sunday.

Driving through Amish Country in the autumn when the leaves change to hues of rich gold, vibrant yellow and blazing orange has always been a highly publicized way to enjoy nature at its finest. The country roads are filled with glorious color as rolling farmland sets the stage for an endless array of photo opportunities.

However, visitors to Amish Country shouldn’t limit themselves to the mesmerizing colors of fall.

Wintertime can also present a plethora of stunning scenery. Watching a thick snowfall slowly blanketing the hills and valleys of Amish Country, with the trees covered in layers of white fluff, can be just as breathtaking as any fall day.

Plus, for a truly inspiring opportunity, visitors can choose any one of the many rural byways that are truly the roads less traveled, take a leisurely drive out to where the sounds of industry are no more and experience something special.

With snowfall pelting the ground, find a spot out in the middle of nowhere, turn off the car and step outside into a realm of complete peace and solitude. With the snow muffling almost all sounds, a person can practically hear their own heartbeat, enjoy the bleating of a lamb or the neighing of a horse or simply bask in the silence.

These are opportunities that come along far less often than they should, but those who take the time to visit Amish Countryin winter experience the tranquility that accompanies such treks.

While enjoying God’s gift of nature in Ohio's Amish Country and escaping the everyday grind is one of the main reasons many people visit, there are other places to enjoy, even on a Sunday when many businesses are taking the day off.

With a GPS, a little planning and the help of OACountry.com, you can make the most of your visit and that includes visiting Amish Country on Sunday.

If unique items are your thing, check out the world’s largest cuckoo clock that stands on the square in downtown Sugar- creek. It is newly repainted and features dancing Swiss couples, an oom-pah band and plenty of activity at the top of each hour.

The Dennison Railroad Depot is a fantastic way to while away the day, taking a leisurely trek on the train and enjoying the mesmerizing clickity-clack while riding the rails. The Depot is fully restored and now houses a museum, restaurant, Panhandle Theater and Whistle Stop Railway Gift Shop.

If you’re looking for some activity, take a walk, jog or even bike on Holmes County Rails to Trail, where a trip from one end of Holmes County to the other offers plenty of great scenery and a chance for couples to reconnect. Bird watchers may want to experience the wildlife of the Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area, more than 5,700 acres of nature at its best.

Just down the road in Tuscarawas County resides the Norma Johnson Center, a preservation and conservation area with trails leading visitors to some majestic scenery.

Dundee Falls is the highlight of the 1,912-acre Beach City Wildlife Area. It glows during the fall’s changing leaves, but it shines brightest during the winter when its cascading water creates a wall of ice that gleams in the bright sun and provides a beautiful backdrop for photos.

Historic Downtown Millersburg presents neighboring highlights in the Victorian House and Millersburg Glass Museum. The Victorian House takes folks back to days gone by and even features some haunting pleasures. The Glass Museum features some of the rarest and most expensive radium glass pieces ever created by John Fenton, owner of Millersburg Glass Company, which operated between 1908 and 1911. In addition, Millersburg also presents plenty of dining opportunities.

Warther Museum in Dover features the amazing carving gift of Warther Mooney, who has crafted loads of stunning hand- carved trains plus much more. The National Football Hall of Fame in Canton is a national treasure showcasing the all-time greats of the game, with plenty of interactive games, highlight reels, and of course, the incredible hall of busts featuring each inductee. Historic Roscoe Village takes guests back in time to the late 1700s and presents a huge host of shops and beautiful buildings to visit.

In Mohican Country, thrill seekers will fall in love with the newly opened zipline that provides some high-flying adventure, while canoeing and water sports beckon to the adventure seekers.

Traveling can build hunger, so drop by Chalet in the Valley on state Route 557 near the village of Charm to satisfy your appetite with plenty of Swiss and German cuisine or dine at the Inn at Honey Run near Millersburg, where the restaurant is out in the middle of nowhere and the food is out of this world.

Those wishing to make more than a day of it can choose to stay at one of the many quaint bed and breakfasts, Airbnbs or hotels that make everyone feel right at home.

These are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to planning a Sunday trip through Amish Country and its surrounding area. Despite much of the community shut- ting down to observe the Sabbath, Sundays in Amish Country can still be a joy-filled trip that is sure to entertain and create plenty of great memories.