The Oneida County Barn Quilt Trail

The Oneida County Barn Quilt Trail

by Michele DeBella 

JH 1 TrimThe markers along the Oneida County Barn Quilt Trail are made up of colorful quilt-patterned designs, painted onto local farm buildings spread throughout the countryside. Follow this unique, self-driving trail for some of the prettiest scenery in the region. As you drive down long country roads to reach each destination, you’ll see rolling hills, expansive farmlands, cozy neighborhoods, and small towns and villages—in other words, everything that makes Oneida County the great place that it is.

The first Barn Quilt Trail emerged in 2001 in Adams County, OH when a woman named Donna Sue Groves wanted to pay tribute to her mother, a talented and avid quilter. Groves came up with the idea to paint a large quilt block on their family barn.

As soon as word of the very visible artwork spread, Groves realized she had created more than a tribute to her mother—she had made something the community wanted to be a part of. It also became a way to bring tourism and economic growth to the local farming community. 

Barn Quilt Trails soon began popping up around the country and in 2010, the Oneida County Women in Farming came together to organize the Oneida County Barn Quilt Trail. As with the original trail in Ohio, the goal was to create awareness of the importance of local farms and their contribution to the farming industry. 

So, what exactly is the Barn Quilt Trail? Think of it as a country drive with periodic stops to view the artwork at designated farms. Every location listed on the trail has at least one large painting of a traditional quilt pattern hanging from one of its buildings, usually the barn. The paintings are hand-painted onto plywood boards and are about 8x8 in size. The quilt patterns range from traditional stars to family crests to symbols of products that the farm produces.

The effect is dramatic. Picture driving along rural Mallory Road in Sauquoit, surrounded by sprawling farmlands, the Mohawk Valley rising in the distance. The tidy buildings of Smith Homestead Farm come into view and the big blue barn is decorated with a huge, colorful quilt-patterned painting. Seeing the art in such an unexpected location is a big part of the fun.

The best way to see the Barn Quilt Trail is to make a day out of it and map out the trail in an order that works for you. This way, you’ll see the region’s lush landscapes, as well as the historic cities, small towns, and villages that are the cornerstone of life in Oneida County.

The self-driving tour of the Barn Quilt Trail is a wonderful way to see beautiful countryside and public art all at the same time.

There are currently eight stops along the trail:

 

Cornell Cooperative Extension
121 Second Street, Oriskany
cceoneida.com

Dinitto Farms
6585 Benton Road, Marcy

Equinox Farms
9862 Podunk Road, Lee Center

Finndale Farms
9122 Jones Road, Holland Patent 

Link Maple Farm
4045 Macfarland Road, Taberg
http://www.linkmaplefarm.com

Smith Homestead Farm
9940 Mallory Road, Sauquoit

Wheeler’s Roost
9958 Old State Route 12, Remsen

Wightman Farms
6993 Norton Avenue, Clinton