Arney Run Park - Drive-by Bonus
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." ~ George Santayana
Mink Hollow Covered Bridge
"The Mink Hollow Covered Bridge" is a shortened version of its true name. The bridge actually has the longest name of any covered bridge in the USA. Its name is: The Mink Hollow Covered Bridge in Oil Mill Hollow Over Arney Run Near Borcher's Mill.
The bridge in located at Arney Run Park. It still sits in its original location on its original sandstone abutments. It spans Arney Run, a tributary of Clear Creek. Mink Hollow Covered Bridge was built sometime around 1887 by Jacob Brandt. It spans 51 feet.
The name is long and hard to remember. But this is where the name was derived.
It sits in Oil Mill Hollow. The hollow was named after an old flaxseed oil mill that sat in the vicinity.
Arney Run is the tributary/creek that the bridge crosses.
Borcher’s Mill was a grist meal that sat nearby.
Christmas Rocks State Nature Preserve
Charles R. Goslin Nature Sanctuary
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
The Christmas Rocks State Nature Preserve parking lot sits next to the Arney Run Park lot. The Nature Preserve consists of 553 acres and has 2 trails that merge off of the main trail at approx. the 1-mile mark.
Jacob’s Ladder Loop Trail
Approx. 1 mile in length once you enter it off of the main trail.
Moderate to Difficult
Christmas Rocks Loop Trail
Approx. 2 miles in length once you enter it off of the main trail.
Fairfield County Ohio Covered Bridge Trail
Ohio is known for its covered bridges. At one point in time, Fairfield County had 279 timber truss bridges. This was more than any other county. Sadly, most of these no longer exist.
It is estimated that there are still 125 wooded covered bridges left in the state. Many of them have been relocated to private properties. Others are cared for by local parks departments. Out of the 125, 17 of these are in Fairfield County.
The 17 bridges are:
Charles Holliday Bridge
George Hutchins Bridge
Hartman #2 Bridge
John Bright #2 Bridge
Jon Raab Bridge
Mae Hummel Bridge
Mink Hollow Bridge
R.F. Baker Bridge
Rock Mill Bridge
A map to these bridges can be found HERE.
If you are interested in visiting all the covered bridges in Fairfield County keep an eye on the Visit Fairfield County website. Covered Bridge tours are very popular. There is usually a guided bus tour every year. We have also heard people talk about motorcycle tours and cyclist tours.
The Fairfield County Park District
The Fairfield County Park District currently has eight original bridges. Of those, 5 are open to the public.
The bridges operated by the Fairfield County Park District are:
Hannaway Covered Bridge (Open to the Public)
Hartman No. 2 Covered Bridge (Open to the Public)
Hummel Covered Bridge (Park is still under development as of 04/19/20)
Mink Hollow Covered Bridge (Open to the Public)
Rock Mill Covered Bridge (Open to the Public)
Roley School Covered Bridge (Currently in Storage)
Shade Covered Bridge (Park is still under development as of April 2020)
Why Were Bridges Covered?
Covered bridges were designed with roofs for practical and structural purposes. Having a roof kept the elements off the deck and trusses. Snow, rain, sun and wind can cause damage to the wood. Having a protective covering allowed these bridges to last longer.
Another reason why bridges were covered was for strength. Adding a covering to the trusses makes the bridge stronger. This allowed for the designers and builders to erect longer bridges.
What You Can Expect at Arney Run Park / Mink Hollow Covered Bridge
Please note that trail rules and regulations can change at any time. The following information was in effect for Arney Run Park as of June 2020.
There are no trails for bicycles.
Arney Run Park along with Christmas Rocks State Nature Preserve are good birding spots.
The historical covered bridge.
Concealed carry is permitted.
Pets are permitted if they have a valid registration tag and are under physical control of the owner. Leash cannot be more than six feet long.
Blacktop parking lot with 6 parking spaces.
There is one picnic table.
There is no playground.
There is one bench.
Sun and shade.
No shelter house.
There was no trashcan available.
The parking lot is located along Arney Run.
One ADA parking spot.
We have never seen the water deep enough to fish.