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The Bridge of Dreams - Brinkhaven, OH
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member BluegrassCache
N 40° 27.958 W 082° 11.535
17T E 398923 N 4480159
Quick Description: This is Ohio's longest covered bridge, located over the Mohican River in Knox County Ohio. The 370-foot covered bridge is located on the Mohican Valley Trail, connecting the villages of Brinkhaven and Danville.
Location: Ohio, United States
Date Posted: 1/22/2008 12:12:55 AM
Waymark Code: WM30WY
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 138

Long Description:
This is a former railroad bridge originally built in the 1920's and converted to a covered bridge in 1998. The coordinates are from a viewing area directly below the bridge in a semicircle pull-off.

The Mohican Valley Trail is a nature trail built on an abandoned rail bed of the old Penn Central railroad. The bridge is closed to vehicular traffic but you will often see Amish buggies crossing the bridge.

The following information comes directly from the Knox County Visitor's Bureau website (visit link)

The Bridge of Dreams was completed December 18, 1998 and dedicated April 17, 1999. The trail officially opened on June 15, 2001. The trail goes from East Street in Danville to the Holmes County Line, connecting the Kokosing Gap and the Holmes County Trails. The outhouse at the covered bridge resembles the bridge. Future plans are to build a park area at the covered bridge and drill a water well, install benches, hitching posts, more fencing, and improve parking areas along the trail and create a rest area at the Danville end of the trail.

The following information comes from the Knox County Park system's webpage on the bridge (visit link)

The Bridge of Dreams and the Mohican Valley Trail are the work of a dedicated group of people composed of local horsemen, neighbors of the area, members of the Amish community, local businesses and elected officials. This group had a vision - converting the vacated Penn Central railroad line into a multi-use trail that would extend from the Holmes County line to Danville. This trail could be used by bikers, hikers and, unlike the Kokosing Valley Trail, would be open to equestrians and horse-drawn vehicles.

A project of this magnitude has to be approached on several major and interrelated fronts. Planning what the final project will look like, arranging for the financing of the project and finally, the actual construction. Members of the Knox County Chapter of the Ohio Horsemen’s Council (KCOHC) involved in this process included Bill Crawford of Danville, Wanda Dible of Howard, Linda Mazza of Mount Vernon and Mary Ridgway of Howard. Bill Crawford was instrumental in negotiating with the railroad to procure the land for $50,000 - much less than the initial asking price - and writing a grant to submit to the Nature Works program of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to finance the purchase. Richard Mavis, then president of the Knox County Commissioners, worked with the group and advised them that twenty five per cent (25%) of the money for the land needed to be raised locally before the grant could be submitted to the state. He also advised the group to hold public meetings stating there intentions. Mr. Crawford solicited businesses and industries in Knox County and managed to raise the required $12,500 in pledges. In about nine months after submitting the grant, the funds for the land became available.

After the money for land acquisition for the trail was approved, the KCOHC members who were involved in this project met to figure out “where we go from here.” One major obstacle on the trail was the Mohican River. There was only a defunct railroad bridge with girders and piers over the river that was not passable, so the big question was “How do we get across the river?” Bill Crawford suggested building a covered bridge on the existing structure. Others in the group said, “You are dreaming…” and other remarks. Amy Stewart of Mount Vernon, said “Yes, that’s it, we will call it ‘The Bridge of Dreams.” Immediately, everyone at the meeting was on board with The Bridge of Dreams.

The group knew that they would have to submit another grant request and raise more money. Bill Crawford traveled down to the ODNR offices at Fountain Square on Morse Road in Columbus and spoke with Michael Cook of the ODNR Nature Works Program about the plan. Michael indicated that the group would have to fill out all the necessary paper work, including justification and preliminary drawings showing exactly what they want to do, and submit preliminary quotes. The group worked closely with Knox County Commissioner Allen Stockberger. Bill Crawford’s colleagues at HPM in Mount Gilead worked on their own time to help prepare the grant request. Chuck Treisch made the preliminary drawings, and Jeanne Cherrington helped with paper work and helped produce the first flyer. Meanwhile, Bob Niederhouser, Mary Ridgway, Linda Mazza, Jeremy Ridgway, Duane Mickley, Cindy Rhodes and Wanda Dible were busy with fund raising activities, square dances, setting up booths at horse extravaganzas, coordinating horse shows within the Ohio Horsemen’s Council, and several other activities to raise funds. Cindy Rhodes (now Cindy Higgs) enlisted the help of local attorney Garrett Ressing to take care of legalities, secure titles and copyrights so names like “Mohican Valley Trail” and “The Bridge of Dreams” were protected. There were many contributors who helped wherever they that could that are too numerous to mention to help make the project go. Michael Cook was very positive and supportive about the project but reminded the group that others in Knox County were competing for the same funds. The cost estimate for the bridge was $86,996.00. The ODNR grant request was for the maximum amount $61,233.25, leaving $25,763.75 to be raised by contributions, fundraisers, and corporate donations. The grant request was submitted and approved. After approval, Allen Stockberger, Bob Durbin and Tom McLarnan, Knox County Commissioners, enlisted the aid of Richland Engineering. Don Timmer, P.E. at Richland Engineering, studied the project and came back with recommendations and finally submitted approval drawings to get quotes. Of the three quotes submitted, Mel Troyer of Mohican Valley Construction, who lived along the trail, was the low bidder.

“The Bridge of Dreams” became a reality. From its conception in the early 1990s to its dedication in April 17, 1999, an inspired group worked tirelessly to plan, finance and bring into reality a dream so that the people of Knox County and many others would have this beautiful trail to enjoy. The Bridge of Dreams has become a legitimate tourist attraction, serves as Ohio’s longest covered bridge and remains the focal point of the Mohican Valley Trail.

— Submitted by Bill & Carolyn Crawford

Current Condition of Bridge: Excellent Condition

Web Address: [Web Link]

Description of Covered Bridge:
361' foot former railroad bridge built in the 1920's, converted to a covered bridge in 1998. Spans the Mohican River. Part of the Mohican Valley Trail.

Year Built: 1998

Parking (If not at the bridge)::

Location (Road - City - State - Country): Knox County, Ohio

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Team G-Man visited The Bridge of Dreams - Brinkhaven, OH 4/15/2012 Team G-Man visited it
Mr. 0 visited The Bridge of Dreams - Brinkhaven, OH 7/26/2008 Mr. 0 visited it

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