Zaleski State Forest–Moonville Tunnel
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Ohio Birding Day Hike
Zaleski State Forest Trails
Tips for birding Moonville Tunnel
Athens area birders maintain the Moonville Tunnel Prothonotary Trail along the Moonville Tunnel Trail. The purpose of the Prothonotary Trail is to provide nesting boxes along the Moonville Trail in the excellent nesting habitat close to Raccoon Creek for this warbler species who will use nest boxes if provided.
The easiest ways to access the Moonville Tunnel Trail is to park at the Hope School House parking lot, and walk back to the Trail. If you walk to the Trail and turn to the right, (towards the Moonville Tunnel), there are 14 nest boxes in that direction. If you walk back to the Trail from the Hope School lot, and turn to the left and start walking towards Zaleski, there are 31 nest boxes in that direction. The boxes are numbered .
There are good birding opportunities in all directions, including the active Bald Eagle nest, and a large Blue Heron rookery within in sight from the Trail.
From Athens Area Birders
About Moonville Tunnel
Moonville was a small, isolated, nineteenth-century mining town in sparsely populated Vinton County. The town is no more; only a cemetery and abandoned rail tunnel remain. Moonville Tunnel can be found today deep in a lonely section of Zaleski State Forest. The area around Moonville Tunnel is considered by some to be one of the haunted places in Ohio.
About Zaleski State Forest
The Zaleski State Forest is the second largest forest in the system. The Zaleski State Forest Backpack Trail was established on the forest to provide backpacking opportunities as well as to introduce some scenic and historic aspects of the forest. The main trail is a loop of 23.5 miles. There is also a 10-mile day loop trail.
From Zaleski State Forest webpage
Restrooms at locations identified on Zaleski State Forest map and Lake Hope State Park.