During our trip to Hocking Hills, we had finished up our hiking so we decided to go check out a couple sights in the Zaleski State Forest. The forest is Ohio’s second largest forest and was once the heart of Ohio’s iron producing activities. The first site we checked out was the historic Hope Furnace located in Lake Hope State Park. The historic blast furnace was used to smelt iron ore in the mid 1800’s.
Next stop was the historic Moonville Tunnel. We went right out of the Hope Furnace parking lot and made a left on Wheelabout Road which turned into Shea Road. Shea Road makes a couple twists and turns and there is a small pull off on the left before you reach the bridge that goes over the creek.
There is a trail that follows the creek which leads you to the old rail bed. If you go over the bridge and park to the left, this is the old rail bed, but the bridge that once crossed the creek has been removed. I think in low water there are stones to cross the creek, but the water was too high when we were there so we had to take the long way around.
You can see the historic Moonville Tunnel from here. Rumor has it that the tunnel is haunted….
There was a lot of graffiti on the tunnel, but this piece stood out to me. That is quite an impressive train.
There was also this old power line running along side the old railroad bed.
Our last stop in the Zaleski Forest was Lookout Rock which is just south of the Moonville Tunnel. A gravel road follows a ridgeline and on the side of the road is a large rock.
The view from on top was nothing too spectacular, but it was neat to check out.
Be sure to check out the brochure from Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources. It has a map and other helpful information.
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