In a past post I wrote about the Moonville Tunnel—a supposedly haunted abandoned railroad train tunnel deep in Zaleski State Forest. Even if the spooky lore associated with this place doesn’t intrigue you, the tunnel in itself is a very interesting place to visit.
Years ago when the railroad was abandoned and the rails removed, the trestle across Raccoon Creek near the west end of tunnel was dismantled. The removal of the trestle restricted tunnel access to an often muddy unofficial trail along the banks of the creek, or to crossing the creek itself, which is difficult.
For years the Moonville Rail Trail Association has been working hard to convert many miles of the abandoned rail line to a multi-use trail. Part of this effort includes raising funds to install bridges where railroad trestles were removed, including the one at the west end of the tunnel.
Just recently, the Association learned of a grant they were awarded that will now cover the cost of constructing a new bridge over the creek at the tunnel. This is big news not only because it opens another stretch of the rail trail but also because hikers, bikers and horseback riders will have easy access to the tunnel—a key to promoting tourism in an area where every tourist dollar counts.
Here is the full story on the web site of the Vinton Courier.