Tarlton Cross Mound Park
“A generation which ignores history has no past and no future.” ― Robert Heinlein
Cross Mound Park aka Tarlton Cross Mound
Tarlton Cross Mound Park is a 28-acre park. It has one short trail that measures approximately 1 mile in length. The park is maintained by the Fairfield County Parks District. It was acquired from the Ohio History Connection in 1994. The site was closed for many years but was reopened in 2017.
The Suspension Bridge
The original suspension bridge was built in 1936. It was part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) program that was founded by President Roosevelt. The president started to program to help get the country out of the Great Depression. The program lasted for 8 years and put approximately 8.5 million people to work.
The bridge is a suspension-type bridge with steel cables. It sits across Salt Creek. It is often referred to as the Salt Creek Bridge. The restoration was completed in 2017, and the bridge was reopened to foot traffic. It is believed to be the only WPA project left in Fairfield County.
Cross Mound Earthwork
The history of the Cross Mound earthwork is unknown. The mound was registered with the National Register of Historic Places in November 1970. Little research has been done at the site. There have been a couple of small excavations, but due to budget constraints, little information has been discovered.
The mound is in the shape of a plus sign. It is 3 feet high. Each arm measures approximately 12-feet wide and 45-feet long. There is a depression in the center of the mound. There is a small stone mound located near the cross that is believed to have been an altar.
Cross Mound is separated from the path by a wooden split rail fence. If you do not know what you are looking for, it is easily missed.
Cross Mound Trail
It does not take long to walk the trail. After crossing the suspension bridge, the trail heads to the left. It then crosses a small footbridge. After that, the trail starts to have a noticeable incline. At the top, the Cross Mound is on your right. The trail continues to curve around the ridge in a loop. It connects back into the main trail where it descends back to the entrance.
The trail is kept natural. It is often covered in leaves. During rainy periods it gets muddy and can be tricky to walk.
This is a nice spot to visit if you are in the area. It is a quick walk that can get you outside for a few minutes.
There is also a large shelter house with four exceptionally large picnic tables. It would be a nice place to have a birthday party.
There are dog waste bags located on the side of the billboard. However, there was dog poop everywhere around the billboard.
The parking lot and shelter house areas were not as quiet as they could be. Cross Mound Park sits next to quite a few houses. A teenager flying through the parking lot on a Briggs and Stratton go-kart. Not paying a bit of attention to the small child that was there playing ball with his dad. By the way the teenager acted this was a regular occurrence. Someone could have been hurt, or a vehicle damaged.
What You Can Expect at Cross Mound Park
Please note that park rules and regulations can change at any time. The following information was in effect for Tarlton Cross Mound Park as of April 2020.
There were no bathrooms.
Bicycles are prohibited.
This may be a decent area for birding since Salt Creek runs through the property. However, we only hear a hawk.
There is one small footbridge and the large suspension bridge.
Concealed carry is permitted.
Dogs are permitted if kept on a leash. Bags are provided so you can pick up after your pet.
Moderate elevation change.
Blacktop parking area. Parking lot has approximately 30 spots.
There are 4 picnic tables located in the shelter house and one in the open field.
There is no playground.
A couple of benches near the creek.
There is plenty of shade.
A large shelter house is located next to the main parking area.
There is one trail that is easy to see.
Trail is natural and can be slippery and muddy.
There was one trashcan next to the shelter house.
Salt Creek runs through the park.
We did not see any ADA specified parking spaces.
There is no boating.
We didn't see anything about fishing. However, this is a very shallow creek.
Special Features - Cross Mound.