The Moonville Tunnel

As a kid growing up, I remember very cool day trips we had with my mother. From the Serpent Mound to the Loveland Castle to the park with the curvy slide in Wilmington, it seemed like Mom never missed a chance to make a new, lasting memory on my siblings and I. As a Dad, I want my boys to experience the same things. So we take them on these small adventures, hoping that they will turn into lifelong memories as well.

Saturday we got up and packed the car for the latest in these fun excursions. We headed towards the Hocking Hills area of our state, on a mission to find a haunted tunnel near Hope Lake. We drove down miles and miles of windy roads, turned off onto a one lane path that turned into a gravel trail before it stopped just short of an old rusty bridge. According to the information we had, the tunnel was back in the woods off the broken trails near this creek. We started out, with me leading the way and Tiffany and her walking stick following the boys through mud holes, narrow turns, under cliff overhangs and fallen trees, and up a steep hill that we all nearly lost our footing on. When we reached the top, we saw our destination for the first time.

Slightly curved, the brick tunnel was built in 1856 and repaired in 1904. The tunnel has not been used since 1988. The town itself had all but disappeared by the 60's, and this structure, now almost completely covered in graffiti, is nearly all that is left. Though it is only 150 yards long, the middle of the tunnel seemed surprisingly dark, especially since the opening are large on each end. The name Moonville is traced in brick above each entrance, and the repair plaque is built into the wall close to the far side. You could not help having an eery feeling as you walked through, and the constant breeze made it all the more spooky. The boys imaginations were going crazy as they swore they heard train whistles and people talking. It was a cool place, one that we will re-visit several times I am sure. We stopped at Hope Lake for a picnic lunch and got rained on, so we headed home in the early afternoon.

I spent Sunday having a spur of the moment yard sale. I made 2 bucks in four hours. I guess that is why you have to plan. After I packed that up, I headed to Cincinnati to pick up DJ equipment from my cousin for a Friday night gig. Made the trip in record time, thanks to the new 70 mph speed limit in Ohio, and was in bed by 10.

As we continue to watch them grow and help them become men, I am sure we will have many other one day vacations come our way. There is a lot to do here in our own backyard, and we want to explore as much as possible. But for this weekend, a broken trail leading to an abandoned tunnel and a rained out picnic lunch make a day of memories none of us will ever forget.

Day # 155. How did we miss that there is a haunted cemetery right near the tunnel? Definitely have to go back. It is good to be me.


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