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Ohio’s Amish Country…beautiful and fascinating!

Posted by on May 21, 2015

MAY 21, 2015


Believe it or not, this is a pretty typical sight in these parts!

OHIO’S AMISH COUNTRY. Amish Country is a unique place, located in the rolling hills of east-central Ohio. It’s a three county area, far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. We’ve found country roads, well tended family farmsteads, beautiful scenery, a slow, quiet pace and about 40,000 honest, friendly, hard-working Amish folks who live and work here. It’s the largest Amish settlement in the world and a place we’ve been looking forward to visiting for a very long time. We’re staying outside the little town of Wooster,  at a spacious, beautifully landscaped RV park called Meadow Lake. It will serve as our home base while we take day trips to the surrounding Amish towns, restaurants and other points of interest.

We’re going to learn what the Amish people do and why they do it. We’re going to sample their “made from scratch” food and baked goods, visit their one-of-a-kind shops and examine the heirloom-quality furniture they make.  One way or another, we’ll get a ride in a horse-drawn buggy, learn about quilting as a way of life and find out why there are more horses here than people. This is going to be a fascinating stop on our journey across America.


Countryside view en route here.

GETTING HERE. We spent two full days driving here from our last stop in historic Bardstown, Kentucky. Although the drive was only about 400 miles, most of it was through such beautiful country that we simply didn’t want to rush. So we took our time. The rolling hills of the Kentucky countryside are covered with bluegrass and dotted with quaint little picture-postcard-looking farms. Red barns surrounded by white fences, geese honking overhead and  flying in formation and handsome horses out to pasture. My cameras got a workout. Vantage points for taking great photos appeared at every turn in the road. A great drive! At least ’til we began our “final approach” to Meadow Lake RV park. But I’m getting ahead of myself. You’ll read about that in just a minute.

THE AMISH PEOPLE. Often misunderstood and romanticized for their culture of peace and simplicity, the amish2Amish people are the most conservative of the Anabaptists. It is astonishing to learn that the history of these folks – known as “the gentle people” and “the quiet in the land” – is laced with persecution and martyrdom. Struggling to live out their beliefs in a peaceful manner, they were forced to migrate across Europe, some into Russia, and across the Atlantic to North America.

Settling here in the 18th century, the Amish are known for simple living, plain dress and their reluctance to accept most conveniences of modern day technology. They avoid the ways of “outsiders” whom they call “the English.” Amish country is a rolling pastoral landscape of thriving family farms, one-room school houses and black, horse-drawn buggies. It is is breathtaking and beautiful.

MEADOW LAKE RV PARK IN WOOSTER, OHIO. This beautiful RV park is so far off the beaten path I was sure we didn’t have good directions to get here…or that our Rand McNally GPS Navigator was on the blink. When we found ourselves creeping along a one lane winding road through picturesque but isolated countryside, with only an occasional hand-lettered “20 mile per hour” road sign for guidance, I stopped in the middle of the road to call Ron, at the park office. I wasn’t worried about blocking traffic…we hadn’t seen another car on the road for the last half hour!


I was sure happy when I finally saw this sign!

ARE WE LOST? “Nope, sounds like you’re on the right course,” Ron reassured me. But just to make sure, he gave me very explicit directions. Something like this. “Just continue on that road ’til you see the large old oak tree on your right. You can’t miss it. About 500 yards beyond that point, turn left at the little unmarked road and drive for another mile or so ’til you see the farmhouse on the right. There’s no sign announcing our park, but don’t worry…just turn right at the farmhouse and continue for about another mile and a half. I’ll be lookin’ for you.”

NOPE. JUST KEEP DRIVING. “Alrighty then, Ron. We’ll keep forging ahead,” I told him.  I don’t know why the literature describes the park as “big rig friendly” when just approaching it on the country roads driving anything larger than a Kabota tractor requires nerves of steel and professional driving skills! But what the heck, at least I knew that somehow we’d get there. And we did. And it’s worth the harrowing drive. The place is absolutely gorgeous. Take a look.



We couldn’t ask for a site much nicer than this one! 


View from our campsite.


Access road. Big rig friendly? Not!













We haven’t had an all-grass site since we were in Washington state last year.


Just a few steps from our site is this catch and release fishin’ hole.


It’s Memorial Day Weekend, yet we have the park to ourselves!


Day’s end.

THE PLAN FOR TOMORROW. In the morning, we’ll drive to the nearby town of Berlin, where the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center is located. Visiting it will be a good way for us to begin our exploration of Amish country and learn about the interesting people who live here.  I’ll have lots of photos posted soon.


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