Amish Bird Symposium

The Amish Bird Symposium will be March 2, 2019.  The day's events include talks on all things birds and bird habitats.  There will be vendors with unique artwork and hand-crafted items to make your bird-watching more enjoyable.  Share stories and knowledge with new friends who share a common passion--birds.   Register at

Covered Bridges Near Hopewell Croft


There are several covered bridges near Hopewell Croft.

The Harshaville Bridge, a kingpost and arch type bridge, was built in 1855.  It is on Grace’s Run Road, east of Highway 247, south of Route 32.  This bridge is about 30 minutes from Hopewell Croft on one of the routes to Miller’s Amish Bakery.  Watch for horses and buggies.  The arch truss is impressive.  John Hunt Morgan’s raiding party crossed this bridge during their foray into Union territory in July, 1863. 

The North Pole Road Bridge crosses Eagle Creek, east of Ripley, about 25 minutes from Hopewell Croft.  It is a Smith truss type bridge, built in 1875.  The roads leading to this bridge are especially narrow and winding.  This bridge is downstream from Suck Run Road.

The George Miller Bridge south of Russellville is also a Smith truss type bridge, built in 1879.  It also crosses Eagle Creek, about 20 minutes from Hopewell Croft, between Rte. 125 and Rte. 62.  This bridge is upstream from Suck Run Road.

The Kirker Bridge no longer carries traffic.  It sits next to Highway 136, near Governor Kirker’s Farm and Zane’s Trace Road, only 10 minutes from Hopewell Croft.  A kingpost bridge, it was built in 1858. 

Canoeing Anyone?

The Ohio Brush Creek is a great place to fish or canoe.  These photos were taken at the Creek’s Bend put-in site at the Edge of Appalachia Preserve on Waggoner Riffle Road, in Adams County, Ohio.  There’s another beach up stream, at the SR 125 bridge, between West Union and Lynx, and a landing site seven miles downstream at the Brush Creek Campground and ODNR boat ramp east of Manchester, on US Route 52, where Ohio Brush Creek meets the Ohio River. 

The Edge of Appalachia Preserve is owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy and the Cincinnati Museum Center.  Past cabin guests have enjoyed hiking up to Buzzardroost Rock, in the Preserve.  This rock outcropping towers 300 feet above the valley floor. 

For current local stream conditions, contact the Edge of Appalachia or the Brush Creek Campground, at the ODNR boat ramp.

Washington, Kentucky, A diamond in the rough

Saturday I discovered Washington, Kentucky.  What a treasure. 

The town was laid out in 1785.  It prospered and, as the county seat, it boasted many homes, churches, and businesses, from pioneer cabins to sophisticated, two-story stone homes.  While visiting the Marshall Key family, in Washington, Harriet Beecher Stowe, witnessed a slave auction on the courthouse lawn.  She later drew on that experience when she wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  Although slavers worked their ugly trade, here, some surprisingly prominent town residents secretly supported the “underground railroad” helping slaves to freedom, while others were staunch, open, abolitionists.   

In 1848, the county seat moved to the Maysville riverfront and “Old Washington” was frozen in time.  Washington has the only US Post Office operated in a log cabin.  The National Parks Service includes the entire historic district in its Historic American Buildings Survey. 

Old Washington is south of Maysville, past Kentucky route 9, on Highway 62, 30 minutes from Hopewell Croft.  Guided tours are available on weekends, 11-3.  Arrive before noon for a complete tour. 

Stay Up All Night!

At Hopewell Croft you can see the stars!

The 2015 Perseid meteor shower will peak around August 11. A new moon on August 14, 2015 will create perfect conditions for watching the meteor shower.  If the sky is clear, you can easily see these “shooting stars” with the naked eye.  The best time for viewing is just before dawn, just look up, towards the northeast sky.