Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens pumpkin hut

Fall Road Trip on U.S. Route 62

The 81-mile portion between downtown Columbus and Millersburg offers a stroll through beautiful gardens and a drive through Amish Country.

Beginning near El Paso, Texas, and stretching to Niagara Falls, New York, U.S. Route 62 runs almost 295 miles through Ohio (from the Brown County village of Aberdeen to the Trumbull County city of Hubbard). The 81-mile portion between downtown Columbus and the Holmes County community of Millersburg provides a range of opportunities to explore, whether you want to stroll beautiful gardens at the height of the fall season, eat delicious ice cream at a 19th-century grist mill or drive through the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country. 

Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
This capital city spot promises seasonal color throughout its outdoor gardens and more than 400 plant species within its indoor tropical biomes. The John F. Wolfe Palm House, a Victorian-style glass greenhouse built in 1895, today houses more than 40 species of palms from around the globe, while The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden connects kids to the natural world. 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus 43203, 614/715-8000,

New Albany
The city of New Albany has more than 55 miles of leisure trails and 2,000 acres of parkland, but the suburban community located 15 miles northeast of the state capital also offers an upscale food-and-drink stop for those passing through the area. Hudson 29 Kitchen + Drink focuses on redefined American cuisine ranging from flatbreads to prime steaks to hearty sandwiches, while the Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern’s menu spans burgers, sandwiches, bowls, artisan pizzas and more.

Ye Olde Mill exterior (photo by Kristin Miller)
Ye Olde Mill
Velvet Ice Cream was founded in Utica in 1914, and in 1960, an old grist mill just outside town became the company’s home. A turn-of-the-century styled ice cream parlor opened there a decade later. The historic 1817 mill is still the company’s headquarters and welcomes travelers from May through October to explore the property’s 20 acres and enjoy flavors like Buckeye Classic or Pumpkin Pie that go well with the season of falling leaves. 11324 Mount Vernon Rd., Utica 43080, 800/589-5000,
Bridge of Dreams
Completed at the end of 1998, the Bridge of Dreams spans 370 feet. It is the second-longest covered bridge in the state of Ohio (behind Ashtabula County’s Smolen-Gulf Bridge) and the third-longest in the United States. Once used for railroad traffic, the bridge is part of the Mohican Valley Trail, which runs from Danville to the Holmes County line. It is used by hikers and bicyclists, but is also open to horses and Amish buggies.

Horses in fall in Millersburg (photo courtesy of Holmes County)
The county seat of Holmes County offers a charming downtown to explore while traveling through the heart of our state’s Amish Country. Travelers will find great shops like Cottonwood Shanty just a short walk from Millersburg Brewing Co. About 5 miles east of Millersburg, head south on state Route 577 less than a mile to check out Hershberger Farm and Bakery’s incredible petting zoo.