Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Moonville Tunnel

My husband and I spent Labor Day weekend with friends in a cabin near Hocking Hills. We headed out Sunday to hand-feed hummingbirds at Lake Hope State Park, where I happened to pick up a historical tour brochure and discovered that the Moonville Tunnel was on park property. On one of my many visits to the Forgotten Ohio site, this story caught my eye and I made a mental note to visit one day. Because I have planned many trips to weird spots, it was funny to happen upon this local gem by accident.

I always assumed the Moonville Tunnel was something you weren't encouraged to visit and thought it was on private property. Much to the contrary, the park maintains a road and trail and a forest ranger keeps an eye on things since copperheads abound and there are plenty of places for people to get hurt if they aren't careful.

The most awesome park ranger I've ever met acted as a gatekeeper, giving us the choice between a creek crossing and a poison ivy-riddled path that would surely end in days of itching. We chose wet feet.

The remaining trestles:

The creek crossing:

While the tunnel is supposed to be haunted by a drunkard who fell on the tracks one night and was killed, we saw no signs of ghosts. We did, however, see plenty of messages left by visitors past. This one says "Stabby the hobo".

One of the more sinister pieces:

All in all, this was a pretty cool side trip. It would be great to go back at night, but judging from some of the art, I'm not sure how many of these folks I'd like to run into. The frightful effect would be heightened by the fact that this is in the middle of nowhere. If you're ever in the area, stop by. Just be sure to watch out for copperheads!

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