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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    Holmes County Trail -- Ohio

    Anyone from that area? I have a trip planned for this spring, and it seems like I'm going to have two opportunities to use the Holmes County Trail, and I'm hoping to get some info. Things I'm wondering about:
    Is there any camping within spitting distance of the trail? My first chance to ride the trail will likely be late in the day. My final destination will be Brinkhaven, but I would like the option of finishing the day earlier and continuing on the next day.

    I see the trail "closes" at sundown (or at 10pm for horse and buggy traffic). Is that at all enforced? All of our local trails officially close at dusk, but I have yet to hear of anyone being told off by law enforcement or otherwise bothered for venturing on to the trail after dark.

    In a similar vein, what's the deal with Killbuck to Brinkhaven? I originally thought it was under construction, but some of my searches indicate that it used to be open, but is no longer. Accessible? Passable? Assuming that I don't hit Killbuck before sundown, I don't see myself tackling an unpaved, unopened, unfamiliar trail in the dark, but it might be nice to try on the return trip, which should be in the full daylight.

    Anyhow, hopefully someone from Holmes County will read this. I know a significant portion of the county doesn't actually have electricity (I'm from Amish country myself), but maybe a Holmes County Yankee will show up.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Milice's Avatar
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    Never really looked at camping in the area, If Im riding Holmes county I doing it from my back door. There is camping in the area yes also a lot of B and B type places. The Trail gets a lot of use round the clock. I wouldnt worry about it.

    Killbuck to Brinkhaven, No not open yet nor will it be offically open for soem time. Is it rideable? Well I quess that depends on what you are riding.
    If it looks like the $3000 bikes but costs less than a decent helmet, it probably isn't a wise investment.


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  3. #3
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    Good to know about the trail. I hoped that local law would have something better to do than kick people off of the trail after hours, but you never know. I used to live in a similar town, and I'm not sure our police did have much else to do. At any rate, 62 between Millersburg and Brinkhaven is kind of fast moving with lots of blind curves if I remember correctly. Especially after dark, I'd rather be on the trail then on the road as long as no one will make a fuss.

    Killbuck to Brinkhaven. I'll be on my touring bike. 700 x 35 or 38. I read somewhere that the trail used to be open, so I was kind of assuming that it was rideable, but that the had closed it for construction purposes. Perhaps whether it's rideable or not will depend on how much rain we've had in the days and weeks prior.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Milice's Avatar
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    sections of the trail are open, i've never done much of them from Killbuck on south. Never have had the need. I do how ever hunt deer on some land that the trail is going to pass through and they are kept pretty cear. I do know that a couple of the rail road bridges in that area were removed a while back.
    If it looks like the $3000 bikes but costs less than a decent helmet, it probably isn't a wise investment.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member dadof7's Avatar
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    Yeah, your problem will be the missing bridges. Roads from Killbuck to Brinkhaven aren't so bad , if i remember correctly. Not much traffic later in the day. As far as camping spitting distance, you'd have to be a pretty good spitter. There is on by Berlin and Shreve(Whispering hills) You could use my yard, but it's close to Shreve also, about 7 miles west of Holmesville.

  6. #6
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    I'd scrap the Killbuck to Brinkhaven leg and instead find you one of the many cottages for rent in the Millersburg - Loudonville area. There's one we like to ride down to each year that's just east of Loudonville....nice places, outdoor hot tub, fairly secluded...lots of great riding in the area.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  7. #7
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dadof7 View Post
    Yeah, your problem will be the missing bridges. Roads from Killbuck to Brinkhaven aren't so bad , if i remember correctly. Not much traffic later in the day. As far as camping spitting distance, you'd have to be a pretty good spitter. There is on by Berlin and Shreve(Whispering hills) You could use my yard, but it's close to Shreve also, about 7 miles west of Holmesville.
    Thanks for the offer and the info. I wasn't too worried about traffic between Brinkhaven and Killbuck. I think I have a back road route mapped out that hopefully won't be too rough, or maybe be lazy and take 62. I was mostly thinking that trail would just be a more fun route if it was manageable, but only on the return trip, in the daylight.

    I actually have a campsite in Brinkhaven, it's just a question of whether I'm willing to ride all that way on unfamiliar roads after dark. The Shreve campground looks like it'd be pretty good if I were coming from that direction, but you're right, it's a good ways off my route, and I'm better off pushing on to Brinkhaven or stopping before I get on the trail in Millersburg. I was just hoping that there was an option where I could get closer to the campground without having to commit to the whole trip. I've got about 45 miles to do that day and won't hit the road until probably 5pm at the earliest (and possibly much later). Just trying to get my options figured out along the route given that there will be a few unknowns in terms of my start time, my energy levels, the weather, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    I'd scrap the Killbuck to Brinkhaven leg and instead find you one of the many cottages for rent in the Millersburg - Loudonville area. There's one we like to ride down to each year that's just east of Loudonville....nice places, outdoor hot tub, fairly secluded...lots of great riding in the area.
    Nice thought, but this is a destination trip. I will end up in Brinkhaven at the end of it. It's just a question of whether or not I will bike into the night to get there or whether I will find a place to hole up and finish the trip in the morning. I suppose there's also the possibility of just stepping off the trail and hanging up my hammock for the night, but I always sleep better when there's no chance that someone's going to wake me up and send me packing in the middle of the night.

  8. #8
    Senior Member dadof7's Avatar
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    where will you be getting on the trai? That will give me more ideas for overnight locations.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dadof7 View Post
    where will you be getting on the trai? That will give me more ideas for overnight locations.
    Yeah, I guess I forgot about that part. I'll only be on the most southern part, probably catching it in Millersburg. Although I'm still ironing out the route, and I think one option had me catching that trail a little further north. Plan is to head out from somewhere along 77 (I'm riding up with family. They'll kick me and the bike out on their way to north east Ohio), Dover looks like a promising starting point. So far the only thing that Google finds me that seems to be on the way is Scenic Hills RV Park, which may be where I end up if I don't want to ride the whole way. It's just a little closer to my starting point than I had hoped, and it looks like it caters exclusively to RVs. I'll have to check on that. I was just figure Google can't know everything (or can it?), and maybe there were other campsites that Google hadn't found yet. Not looking promising, though. I may have to examine the cottage idea or get a hotel room if I want to get further down the road.

  10. #10
    Senior Member dadof7's Avatar
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    I will check around some more

  11. #11
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    There are good campgrounds a bit west of Holmes County at the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District's Pleasant Hill Lake Park and Mohican State Park. Also great road riding around those two parks as well.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    I've been to Mohican State Park, and would go there again. Haven't been to the other. For the purpose of my trip, neither was appropriate. I was looking for a campground that was close enough to the Holmes County Trail that would give me an overnight stop on the way from Dover to Brinkhaven. Dover to Loudenville would not exactly be on the way, but I would definitely consider it as part of a different trip.

    I ended up being dropped off in Millersburg rather than Dover, so making it to Brinkhaven was a breeze. A sweaty, uphill breeze, but at least not overly long. I did decide that if it came to that, Holmes County Trail seemed to have plenty of stealth camping potential, but I always prefer a real campground, so fortunately it didn't come to that.

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    Holmes County Trail Brinkhaven to Glenmont is fine

    I rode the Ohio-to-Erie Trail from Xenia (I actually started north of Dayton) to Cleveland in June 2012. I travelled the Holmes County Trail on the fourth day. (a journal of my trip is on crazyguyonabike.com) The trail from Brinkhaven to Glenmont is fine. It's a dual-track packed cinder trail that is easily rideable on a hybrid bicyle, and would be doable on a road bike unless the tires are really skinny. The west end of this section of the Holmes County Trail is easily accessible across US 62 from the Mail Pouch barn at the east end of the Mohican Valley Trail by taking a farm lane past a pair of red oil tanks. The Holmes County Trail from Brinkhaven to Glenmont is scenic, not well-used, and a pleasure to ride. From Glenmont to Killbuck you have to take local roads, since that section of the trail is not completed. (For more information on this section, and the theft of railroad bridges by trail opponent Kenneth Taylor, see newspaper articles). However, travel from Glenmont to Killbuck on SR 520 was not a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TopShelf View Post
    I rode the Ohio-to-Erie Trail from Xenia (I actually started north of Dayton) to Cleveland in June 2012. I travelled the Holmes County Trail on the fourth day. (a journal of my trip is on crazyguyonabike.com) The trail from Brinkhaven to Glenmont is fine. It's a dual-track packed cinder trail that is easily rideable on a hybrid bicyle, and would be doable on a road bike unless the tires are really skinny. The west end of this section of the Holmes County Trail is easily accessible across US 62 from the Mail Pouch barn at the east end of the Mohican Valley Trail by taking a farm lane past a pair of red oil tanks. The Holmes County Trail from Brinkhaven to Glenmont is scenic, not well-used, and a pleasure to ride. From Glenmont to Killbuck you have to take local roads, since that section of the trail is not completed. (For more information on this section, and the theft of railroad bridges by trail opponent Kenneth Taylor, see newspaper articles). However, travel from Glenmont to Killbuck on SR 520 was not a problem.
    Link?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    I did get to ride the trail between Brinkhaven and Danville. I was nice, but a little soft in places. I was on a grocery run and so was not carrying my camping gear. Otherwise I think I might have been persuaded to hop off the trail and on to some real roads. But maybe not. My Trucker has wide enough tires, and being separated from traffic is often reward enough to put up with a less than ideal riding surface. The trail from Killbuck northeast was perfect. I believe I rode the whole length of the Holmes County section, from Killbuck to Fredericksburg, and it was all paved, smooth, and pleasant. It was, however, a little more heavily traveled than the unpaved Mohican trail between Brinkhaven and Danville, especially between Millersburg and Fredericksburg. The whole things seems to be an Amish super-highway, with both buggies and bicycling Amish getting too and from Millersburg. Very pleasant overall, and I'd like to someday do the whole Cincinnati to Cleveland route.

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    There is no need to skip the Holmes County Trail between Brinkhaven (the east end of the Mohican Valley Trail) and Glenmont. When I rode through there in June 2012 on a six-day trip across Ohio, this trail section was one of the most memorable of my trip. While it may or may not be "officially" open, it is a packed cinder trail that is definitely cleared, maintained, and easily rideable. I have a 1995 Schwinn Searcher Express with 700 x 35 mm tires, and it was no problem at all. Indeed, the trail was markedly better than the muddy, rutted, overgrown Mohican Valley Trail. From the east end of the Mohican Valley Trail in Brinkhaven (at a Mail Pouch Barn), just go across US 62 on a lane past a pair of red oil tanks to pick up the Holmes County Trail. From Glenmont to Killbuck the trail is not completed, has missing bridges, and is closed, but SR 520 is not a bad road between those towns.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    Good to know. I was under the impression that it was the Glenmont to Brinkhaven section that had missing bridges. I was there in May 2012, and might have been tempted to try the trail, but since my destination was a couple of miles due north of Brinkhaven, pretty much due west of Killbuck, it wouldn't have made much sense to go farther north to Glenmont just to take the trail farther south of my destination. Especially since I barely made it before dark. But if I were traveling through Brinkhaven and beyond, I'd be willing to try the "unopened" section.

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    The trail from Glenmont to Killbuck is the only section that is not rideable. In July 2012, trail opponent Kenneth Taylor was convicted of aggravated theft for stealing and scapping two railroad bridges the trail had planned to use.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    Someday, perhaps, I'll get to try that stretch. Knowing that it was open probably would not have changed my plans last spring. I was anxious to get to the campground before dark, and taking the trail would have added 3 to 4 miles on to my trip. A drop in the bucket when compared to a whole day of touring, but a little more important when you're racing daylight down unfamiliar roads. Also, loaded down as I was, I appreciated being able to stick to pavement for as long as I could. Of course in rural Holmes and Knox counties, it seems like the pavement eventually gives way to gravel along many routes. I know it did on mine.

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    I've been on the HCT after dark. I don't know how strictly they enforce the closed at dark rule, but it gets very dark. Bring good lights in case it gets dark on you.
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're probably right

  21. #21
    Can't Re Member Nerdanel's Avatar
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    FWIW, there is a very nice, inexpensive restaurant in Killbuck a few hundred feet from the trail called the Creekside Coffeehouse and Cafe. Worth a stop.
    Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

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