Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Camp Tuscozoar and Area

I decided to take a little drive and check out the Zoar Valley Trail and Camp Tuscozoar area.

I had a little problem finding the parking at the Schoenbrunn side, but I think the ZVT at the southern end is all road.

Camp Tuscozoar is an old Boy Scout camp outside of Bolivar, Ohio.  I was going to write a little historical blurb about it, but it's kind of long! But interesting, read here!

I made my way north and arrived at Camp Tuscozoar.  I made my way through the Camp, and hopped on a trail to go north just a little bit to the Zoarville Bridge.  The Zoarville Station Bridge at is the only Fink Through-Truss bridge known to exist in the United States.  Of course, I've already blogged about this on my last trip to the area.

I then turned around to run south. I managed to see the trail sign for Pioneer Point, which promised a view.  It was a little bit of a climb, surprising in this area, but I was rewarded with quite a nice view.

Pioneer Point, an authentic Indian lookout, offers a panoramic view of the northern Tuscarawas River valley, where the river flows south from Zoar past the camp. Here, since 1925, first-time campers have placed stones upon a stone cairn. Former Camp Director I.W. Delp started the pile as a memorial to Revolutionary War soldiers who built and defended nearby Ft. Laurens in 1778-1779. Through the years, the stone cairn has also come to symbolize the spirit of Tuscazoar. In 1930 a group of boys led by Ralph Reichenbach spelled "Camp Tuscazoar" in white stones on the face. The letters can still be seen more than a mile away.

There is a huge cairn of rocks here, I didn't take a picture of it!  That's very cool.
The letters are still here, also, but I didn't get a picture, since I was right on top of them.

The "trail" on the southern end of the Zoar Valley Trail is an old abandoned rail road bed, which pretty much translates as "old jeep road".  It was very pretty today, with the autumn leaves changing.

I didn't run but a mile or so past the Dover Dam, as I remembered  I was pretty close to the only sushi restaurant in 80 miles and I was hungry.

Dover Dam

Tuscarawas River

Dover Dam
There is nothing real special about the Dover Dam, it was built just for flood control on the Tuscarawas River.

The Dam caused quite a  bit of problems for the Boy Scout Camp: "Authorities announced a new WPA project for the area, a huge cement dam and reservoir to be constructed just below the camp under the authority of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District. Plans called for water contained in the reservoir to be backed up into the camp's central area. In addition, the Cleveland & Pittsburg Railroad, which ran between the camp and the river, would have to be relocated to a higher, newly-built, right-of-way. In order to construct this new right-of-way the hillsides along the river, on which many of the camp buildings sat, would have to be blasted away."

But a compromise was reached: "Also, the Conservancy District agreed to construct an access culvert under both the old and new railroad rights-of-way to allow the scouts continued access to the river, and announced that the Dover Reservoir would be a dry reservoir, to contain water only when necessary to control flooding downstream. The old camp buildings were then demolished, the railroad relocated, and central camp rebuilt where it is today."

Shucks, when I saw the path that led to this tunnel, I thought I had found the super secret access.  It turns out this is the right of way under the rail road beds.

Speaking of railroad beds, since there is no longer a track here (that's what the ZVT is on) I was curious to find out when the line was abandoned or closed down.  Passenger service from Cleveland to Columbus (and consequently Akron to Hudson) ceased in 1951.

Once through, it was just a climb back up to the trail:

I only covered a few miles of the southern end of the Zoar Valley Trail.  While it was nice, it was pretty (very) flat and a bit boring. It might be good for a long training run,if you are looking for something off the roads. The northern end of the ZVT, from the Zoarville Bridge,is on the old towpath, which is right along the river, and a bit prettier, from what I remember.

I got in about 8 miles of nice outside jogging and hiking around Camp Tuscozoar.  Too nice of a day to waste it inside (as I sit on the porch typing this post)!!

1 comment:

  1. You surely have prettier places to run! And yes, I shall comment more than once a month too:) I commend you on re-joining WW and hope it works out - that "aha" moment is one I keep having over and over. the goal is to actually listen to it! And I missed any info on whether or not you had those fears confirmed on your health...


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