There’s something about watching a horse-drawn buggy plodding down a gravel road framed in the gorgeous whirl of autumn colors makes fall fever reach epic pitch. Here are three drives that will be sure to give you plenty of Amish ambiance along with splashes of brilliant hues.
GRACES RUN/WHEAT RIDGE ROAD – ADAMS COUNTY, OHIO: Graces Run Road is accessible from Ohio 32. I recommend starting on the western terminus of the road (if you are able to get online to read his, I’ll assume you can use a mapping program to find these places) and traveling over the Harshaville covered bridge which crosses Cherry Fork Creek and up through the tiny collection of houses that is Harshaville. Then on through Unity, where Grace’s Run becomes Wheat Ridge Road. This will take you through the heart of the Wheat Ridge Amish settlement where you’ll see one-room school houses, buggies, Amish riding around on scooters, all framed by the beautiful backdrop of the color-cloaked Adams County hills. The above bridge photo is one I took last winter, but imagine it framed in fall colors, not snow:)
HOLMES COUNTY, OHIO – SR 557: Like Adams County, you can’t really go wrong on any road here. In fact, the more rural, the more off the beaten path, the more you’ll be rewarded with serene scenes of Amish life and undisturbed nature. We’ve seen wild turkeys and red-headed woodpeckers in the old-growth forests and patches of meadow that dot these hills. Berlin on US 62 will be car-clogged and crowded. But just to the west of Berlin, take Ohio Route 557 south through Charm and explore the beautiful hills around there. Before beginning your drive, stop in at the Amish-owned Sharp Run Farm Market on US 62 for some fresh end-of-season produce!
PEARISBURG, VIRGINIA: You won’t be disappointed if you drive State Route 42 west from Virginia State Route 100 between Dublin and Pearisburg. This gorgeous drive follows Walkers Creek and eventually leads you to the Walker Mountain Amish settlement. Here is a link to some of the Amish businesses you’ll find off of this road in rural Giles County. Winters come harsh and early to these mountains, so this weekend or next is probably your best bet!
PARKE COUNTY, INDIANA: Indiana doesn’t often come onto a leaf-peeper’s radar, but rural Parke County is home to a large Amish community. This is an enclave of Lancaster County Amish, with their gray buggies and distinctive head-coverings. With over 31 covered bridges, you’ll see gorgeous autumn leaves, plenty of Amish businesses, and lots of beauty. Click here for a covered bridge map.