By Kimber Caito, Media Coordinator, Fairfield County Park District
Three of the six bridges on our Historical Bridges Road Trip are in Arney Run and Two Glaciers Parks. The journey takes you through scenic parts of the County to charming settings. For those who enjoy history and bridges, it is a special treat – they are fine examples of five different types of bridge construction!
Pack the car – your trip begins at:
ARNEY RUN PARK
THEN (Before 2017) Arney Run Park was acquired by donation in 1992. In it is the picturesque Mink Hollow Covered Bridge. Although the bridge was in fairly good shape, the abutments on which it sat needed restoration. A countywide levy passed in 2011 that provides funding for the District. The following year a complete restoration of the abutments was done, saving the bridge from danger of collapse.
NOW (2017-Present) Other than a small sign near the bridge, there was nothing to show passersby that the location is one of the County Parks, so a new entrance sign was installed. The bridge received some sorely needed TLC and a new coat of paint. With her new name plaque in place like a necklace, she is ready for visitors.
TOMORROW Mink Hollow Covered Bridge needs a new roof! Arney Run Park’s To Do List includes parking lot improvements and installation of bollards to prevent damage to the bridge caused by non-pedestrian traffic. Those enhancements and a new roof will really make her shine!
Ok, back in the car – let’s go to:
TWO GLACIERS PARK
Although the rest of the park is not yet fully developed, the Johnson and Hannaway bridges can be enjoyed here.
THEN (Before 2017) Two Glaciers Park was acquired in three parcels at different times using Clean Ohio grant funds and landowners’ matches. Johnson Covered Bridge needed repairs to the canopy. Not long after that, a
complete renovation saved it for future generations to enjoy! A parking lot was constructed, benches were installed next to Clear Creek, and a couple picnic tables were added. It is a peaceful getaway just minutes from downtown Lancaster!
NOW (2017-Present) The heavy spring rains of 2017 created an emergency situation! Clear Creek flood waters carried a large tree downstream that smashed into Hannaway Covered Bridge and knocked her off the abutments! A complete restoration was necessary. In 2020, a master plan for Two Glaciers Park was developed. Park neighbors and County residents were invited to an open house to view and discuss the plan.
TOMORROW A wetland mitigation project with Nature Conversancy is in its first stage and will continue about three years. With the help of US Fish & Wildlife Service, 120 acres of diverse prairie mix grasses and 46 acres of diverse floodplain mix will be seeded at the park. Although that is exciting, the real excitement will begin when, if funding is available, trails are established throughout the gorgeous 316-acre property! A picnic shelter, restrooms, another parking lot, natural play areas, and bridge maintenance are also on this park’s To Do List.
Ready? Next are the WPA, Hartman No 2, and Rock Mill bridges! We hope you are inspired to take this trip on your own! Find the Historical Bridges Road Trip map on the Covered Bridges page of our website.
These improvements and more were achieved with funds provided by the levy. That levy expires this year, but a renewal will appear on the May ballot. Continued funding will allow additional progress to be made to existing locations and the development of other parklands for public use.
Get outside, beat pandemic fatigue at Fairfield County Parks. We’re here for you – then, now, tomorrow!
Find these and all locations at fairfieldcountyparks.org.