Follow the rules when traversing Holmes County trail

Follow the rules when traversing Holmes County trail
Dave Mast

Holmes County Rails to Trails created a path for travelers to safely navigate through the county, whether on foot or wheels. Adhering to the rules of the board means safer travel for everyone.


Holmes County Rails to Trails has provided a safe way for buggies, bikers, joggers and walkers to get from one destination to another by avoiding the risks of traveling on high-volume byways.

The trail also has presented a place for those seeking exercise, where they know they won’t be challenged by heavy automobile traffic.

The Rails to Trails board has long said this addition to Holmes County has been a blessing, and they hope people will continue to treat both it and the other people traveling on it with the respect that is deserved.

“We’ve been very fortunate to see this trail grow and develop over the past years into something special that is useful for not just our own people in the county, but for those traveling to Holmes County,” said Jen Halverson, director of Holmes County Parks & Recreation and a board member of Holmes County Rails to Trails. “This trail has become a destination for many and has grown into something that has been heavily used by our Amish community members and by people using it for exercise.”

Halverson said there are two pieces that factor in to maintaining a special feeling with the trail.

The first is keeping the trail safe for all travelers, which means obeying certain rules of etiquette that should be followed, whether traveling by buggy, bike or foot.

“It’s just a matter of respecting everyone on the trail,” Halverson said. “We have a lot of traffic, and people need to be aware that they are not alone. Not only do people need to be aware of the other people utilizing the trail, but they need to be respectful of every user because this isn’t any one person’s trail but our community trail and a trail that is utilized by many visitors, so it’s important to always keep all our posted signs in mind when using it.”

Halverson said most of the rules on the trail are commonsense issues, like following speed limit rules and being cautious when entering highly traveled portions and crossings on the trail.

She also said slowing down when approaching bikers, walkers and others, especially when approaching from behind, is always encouraged as a safety courtesy.

With many walkers and runners observing nature and wearing earbuds, Halverson said the more precarious moments on the trail usually occur when someone is passing another from behind.

“Just let people know you’re there and you’re going to pass them on the right or left,” Halverson said, “especially when you’re on a bike because people may not know you’re coming up on them. The more people can be aware of where they are and the surroundings, the more we can avoid collisions.”

She said they have received reports of people moving too fast, especially on today’s e-bikes, where high speeds can be attained with ease, and she said another issue has been bikers and walkers in groups who are spread out across the entire path, which makes it tough for others to navigate around them.

“I know people like to talk when they are riding the trail. I get that. And when people are aware of their surroundings, they can do that, but when experiencing others utilizing the trail, from behind or in front, it’s proper etiquette to get into single file so we can all enjoy the trail without incident,” Halverson said.

There are many signs signifying speed limits in more well-traveled intersections along the trail, and there also are rules concerning e-bikes that need to be adhered to.

Halverson said the trail follows the Ohio Revised Code for e-bikes, where Class I and Class II e-bikes can travel on the trail. Class III or altered e-bikes are illegal on the trail because of the speed they can obtain.

The second piece of the equation is keeping the trail beautiful. Some of that comes from the maintenance crews that clean up nature’s debris, whether that is fallen trees and branches, leaves, mud or snow.

That is their department.

Keeping the trail free of man-made debris is the onus of those who utilize the trail.

“Our trail is beautiful, and we want to keep it that way,” Halverson said. “That comes back to those who use it respecting it by placing littler in the proper place and keeping it off the sides of our trail. Nobody wants to see trash lying around because it takes away from the beauty of nature that the trail presents to those who use it.”

Halverson said the Holmes County Trail is known for its serene setting, and the beauty it presents makes travel inviting for those who use it.

“These aren’t ridiculous laws that are set in place. Everything we’ve posted and all of the safety signs we have put in place are so everyone can benefit from the trail,” Halverson said.

A clean, safe Holmes County Trail is a boon for the county, and Halverson said the overriding goal is to keep it both clean and safe so it can continue to be a fruitful part of the county’s landscape.

Loading next article...

End of content

No more pages to load