Summer Activities guide

Covered Bridges Provide A Scenic Journey Through Vinton County

By
Tyler Buchanan - Athens Messenger staff reporter

Dateline
Updated Wed, Jun 25, 2014 2:48 pm

The Cox Covered Bridge, located just off Route 93 north of Creola in Vinton County (photo: Tyler Buchanan)

Go Ohio Valley is a free app produced by Adams Publishing Group of Ohio and presents an avenue to explore numerous categories and activities in the region.

This week’s feature listing is the Vinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau, which provides travel information on covered bridges, quilt barns and the various tourist spots throughout the county.

Driving toward the Mt. Olive Covered Bridge in Vinton County, it is amazing how expansive an open countryside can feel after being surrounded by the forest.

The best way to start a journey back in time begins here on Mt. Olive Road north of Allensville, where sparse traffic gets rerouted to the bridge's accompanying road and visitors are free to explore in solitude.

Judging by the amount of names and hearts spray-painted inside, it seems modern visitors are more than putting the "kissing bridge" nickname to good use.

Graffiti lines the wooden boards inside the Mt. Olive Covered Bridge (photo: Tyler Buchanan)

From here, head toward Route 93 where there are two more bridges within several miles of each other.

The first is Cox Bridge on Woodgeard Road next to the highway north of Creola. The bridge, this year celebrating its 130th birthday, sits above Brushy Fork less than 200 feet from cars barreling down the highway at a million miles an hour.

Near where lives are lived so quickly, these artifacts refuse to disappear. What a difference a century makes.

A few miles southbound on Route 93 brings travelers to the Bay Bridge on the Vinton County Fairgrounds. The best time to view this bridge will be July 21-26, as the Vinton County Jr. Fair's entry point takes visitors through it on foot.

When traveling through the area, it is worth seeing Vinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau in downtown McArthur. The Bureau features tourism information on the county's covered bridges and many quilt barns popular in southeast Ohio.

The final bridge is the only one visitors can still drive through. The Arbaugh Bridge is just off Route 32 on Mound Hill Road. Nearby residents are quick to greet passersby with a welcoming smile and wave. Communities in Vinton County and nationwide celebrate shared histories and bring together what is old and new, the familiar and unfamiliar.

After all, is connecting things not what bridges are for?

Mount Olive Covered Bridge (photo: Tyler Buchanan)

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