Rails-to-Trails Auction aids Holmes County’s effort to maintain a top-notch trail

Rails-to-Trails Auction aids Holmes County’s effort to maintain a top-notch trail

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The 16-foot-wide Holmes County Rails-to-Trails path that extends through the majority of Holmes County plays a critical role in travel, safety and recreation, and over the past two decades, the trail has become a highly used and appreciated part of the county.

However, having that type of benefit for travelers comes with a price tag, that being the annual upkeep and beautification of the trail, which is why the upcoming Rails-to-Trails Auction is so important.

The Holmes County Rails-to-Trails Auction will take place Saturday, June 11 at Harvest Ridge on the west side of Millersburg. The 17th annual auction helps raise funds for the ongoing maintenance of the trail.

“This is a very significant and important fundraiser for us,” said Jen Halverson, director of the Holmes County Park District, the organization that heads up the care for the trail. “This is our one big thing we do every year to help fund the maintenance and development of the trail.”

That development includes the ongoing development of the Holmes County Trail between Glenmont and Killbuck and the current focal point, the Rails-to-Trails section from state Route 520 to Glenmont. Halverson said the goal is to complete those two projects as soon as possible because it will complete the trail through Holmes County, from Fredericksburg through Holmesville and Millersburg down to Killbuck and on into Knox County through Brinkhaven.

Some of the funds from this year’s auction will go toward the late summer repair project on the trail between Hipp Station and Holmesville.

“We have a beautiful trail, and it has been used by everyone from Amish buggies and bikers to recreational walkers, joggers and bicyclists,” Halverson said. “We are fortunate to have the kind of support from our community that allows us to build and maintain something this important to our county.”

After taking 2020 off for COVID, the auction went back to Harvest Ridge last year and will return there this year after being held at Hipp Station for many years. Halverson said to support the Amish community, the Rails-to-Trails Auction has teamed up with Pomerene Hospital and will provide van shuttle service from Hipp Station to the fairgrounds and back for those who don’t want to travel along state Route 39 from Millersburg to the fairgrounds via buggy or bicycle. The service will begin at 7 a.m. Halverson said for those traveling to Harvest Ridge via buggy or bike, there will be plenty of parking designated there for hitching horses.

The all-day auction will begin with breakfast at 7 a.m. The breakfast will feature breakfast sandwiches, cream sticks, doughnuts and coffee.

Lunch also will be available and will feature a barbecue chicken dinner including take-out, pulled pork sandwiches, a salad bar, ice cream and more. In addition, there will be a bake sale that will begin in the morning and go until everything is sold.

The list of items on the auction block are incredible, thanks in large part to the support of the community.

Halverson said it begins with her auction committee and their commitment to taking on various roles that require them to get out among the community to wrangle up donations or funds to purchase items.

“Our committee is made up of probably 20 couples from the Amish community who divide up different areas of the auction and also tackle different areas of the map, where they go promote the auction and get support, whether it is monetary or donated items,” Halverson said. “We are extremely grateful to the Amish community for taking on such a big and critical role in the auction.”

Halverson said the trail has created a much safer haven of travel for the Amish community over the years, and they have developed a tremendous relationship because of that value.

The auction itself will be led by RES Auction Services, and the lineup of auction items should provide ample opportunity for every bidder to get involved.

The highlights will once again be a log cabin that will be sold at noon. The 12-by-24-foot cabin features a 6-foot porch, a loft inside and free delivery within 40 miles of Millersburg. At 11:30 a.m. there will be a 12-by-16-foot white oak timber frame pavilion that will be delivered free to anyone within a 20-mile radius of Millersburg.

General items will hit the auction block starting at 9:30 a.m., with crafts, tools and other donated items. There will be a silent auction from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and mid-afternoon will see some high-quality furniture including bedroom suits, hutches, desks, tables, chairs, a cedar chest and many other wood products up for sale.

At 10:30 a.m. the popular outdoor sale will kick off, with a Play-Mor swing set, a Hustler walk-behind mower with a 48-inch deck, a Toro walk-behind mower with a 48-inch deck, an open buggy, open surrey, jog cart, a BCS Honda 18-inch tiller, a PEP horse treadmill, plenty of outdoor lawn furniture, a Big Green Egg, a pony and more.

The public is invited to participate in this important auction that continues to serve the community in many ways.

“We see this as a celebration of community,” Halverson said. “We are so grateful to the many people in our community and our auction committee that has helped this auction be a success and helps keep the trail growing, vital and beautiful.”

For more information on everything available at the auction, visit www.holmestrail.com.