Walking trail eyed as alternate route for Amish


    commish 3-16

    News-Herald Staff Writer

    SCIO – A portion of one walking path in Scio is being eyed as a potential alternative route for Amish buggies as increased truck traffic stirs concerns about safety.

    Harry Horstman, chairman of the Conotton Creek Trail Committee, spoke with Harrison County Commissioners Wednesday about a proposal to utilize a portion of the trail in Scio for Amish buggies in light of increased oil and gas truck traffic. Horstman said a $36,000 local match was needed for ODOT funds to make necessary upgrades and both Amish residents and officials with the Utica East Ohio Buckeye plant showed interest in raising the funds.

    Horstman said progress had been made to pave more than a mile of trail in the village to accommodate Amish buggies, but it would take money to make it happen. That section includes 0.9 miles of path to the west and 0.7 miles east of Scio that would be shared with the horse-drawn wagons.

    “I think we can make it work, but we need to come up with the cash before we can put it together,” said Horstman.

    Officials said it could also open up a can of worms for people who want to ride their horses along the path.

    “Using the trail for pleasure riding is one thing; using the trail for safety purposes is another,” said Commissioner Don Bethel.

    More of the Trail discussion and further meeting details can be found in the March 16, 2013 print edition of the Harrison News-Herald.



    1. Here in the largest Amish population in the world, the Holmes Co. Trail is used by horse and buggies, horses, bikers, birders and walkers alike. Buggies are required to keep to the chip and seal side of the trail and not run on the blacktop side. For the most part, that has worked well.

    2. The Trail is a former railroad line, or so I believe, and with all that truck traffic on those narrow roads which were never meant to carry that volume nor the weight of those heavy vehicles; providing a safe route for bicycles or any other forms of transportation which have to compete with trucks and heavy equipment–it is a matter of safety not for the support of a specific relgious group.
      I suspect that all the deferred maintenance on some of those less traveled county roads which now see a lot of traffic from all kinds of vehicles, especially those who are just inside the legal limits for weight; those counties which are in the midst of this shale gas boom are going to be spending money out of pocket and very soon to repair or upgrade some of those existing roads. It might take another hot summer and a cold winter but sooner than later, road surfaces will begin to buckle and some of those smaller bridges–look out.

    3. What will happen when they are drag racing the buggies and run over some one on the trail. They do this now on the roads in town. So who will the people have to file the law suit with the county or the individual? So the next question is do these buggies have insurance on them ? Also do buggies pay a road tax our will the tax payers pay for the up keep of this county road. While I do think that they do need something I don’t think this is the answer to the problem at hand. So with that all said maybe we should ask the tax payer on the next ballet.

    4. I have come up on these buggies on the road with a large truck coming the other way. It is dangerous for us all. I would not want to be in the buggy. Whatever their religion. I look at it like this. Keeping everyone safe by upgrading a trail to be used by the Amish is a good idea, if it even saves one life the cost of $36,000 is minimal. Although I do think the upgrade should allow everyone else ride a horse on said upgraded trail as well.

    5. You are not permitted to use government spending for religious gain, its a no-no. If it is a safety concern I suggest you police and monitor the road more closely. And if the Amish are concerned for their safety and are in need of a road to use I’m sure they would all be more than willing to pitch in for the cost and maintenance of said road. Its only fair, give them the right of way and the property for a road and have them build it and maintain it.

    6. So if they are allowed to use the trail, are they going yo be required to put bags on the back of the horses? They don’t now and frankly it upsets me that they don’t have to clean up after their animals. If I walk my dog through town or on the trail, I have to clean up the mess. I don’t want to be walking the trail and have to worry about where I step. Why are they being treated differently then us? Does religion give them the right to crap where ever they want and not have to clean it up?!


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