Exploring Cross Mound Park in Stoutsville, Ohio

Even the smallest locations can sometimes offer so much to learn about and explore!  Today, we are heading to Cross Mound Park--a little park in the Fairfield County Ohio Park District--that has a cool, historical claim to fame.  The Cross Mound Park is home to the Cross Mound, a cross shaped, ancient earthwork near Salt Creek--with its points nearly aligning with the Cardinal directions.  While the builders of the ancient mound are unknown--and the mound's purpose as well--it is an important reminder of the Native American tribes inhabiting the area so long ago.  In addition to the Cross Mound, the Cross Mound Park also houses the WPA Pedestrian Bridge that crosses Salt Creek.

Cross Mound Park Sign at Entrance

Visiting Cross Mound Park in Stoutsville, Ohio

The parking lot is located immediately inside the park entrance with a covered shelter house within an easy walk from the parking area. 

Shelter House at Cross Mound Park in Stoutsville, Ohio

The WPA Pedestrian Bridge

Concrete bridge crossing a small creek in the Cross Mound Park

Originally built in 1936, this bridge is the only remaining WPA project in Fairfield County, Ohio.  The WPA (Works Projects Administration), originally called the Works Progress Administration, was created by President Roosevelt during the Great Depression to offer jobs for people to work on public works projects like bridges, roads, school buildings, etc.  This pedestrian bridge, restored in 2017, is a suspension style bridge spanning Salt Creek. 

Salt Creek view from the WPA Bridge in Cross Mound Park

The Hike to the Cross Mound

Sign pointing the direction to the Cross Mound in Stoutsville, Ohio

A gravel and dirt trail takes visitors through the park from the suspension bridge to the fenced off cross mound.  It is a short, secluded hike with a couple of rolling hills.  The park sits in the middle of a residential area, so the park lands butt against private property beyond the surrounding woods.

Tree lined dirt trail in the Cross Mound Park

Views from the trail in the Cross Mound Park

Viewing the Cross Mound

A fence surrounds the Cross Mound.  The Cross Mound has the shape of a cross, with four identical arms each about 12′ wide, 3′ high and 45′ long. In the middle of the cross is a circular-shaped depression that is 20′ in diameter and about 12″ deep. The arms of the cross nearly align with the cardinal points of north, south, east, west. There are small stone mounds near the cross as well.


Cross Mound in Stoutsville Ohio

Cross Mound in Stoutsville Ohio

Cross Mound in Stoutsville, Ohio

The purposes of the Cross Mound as well as the smaller mounds are unknown.  This mound complex may have once been part of the Great Hopewell Road--a 62 mile pathway that once connected the Newark Earthworks to either the Hopeton Earthworks or the High Banks Earthworks.

Small stone mound near the Cross Mound in Stoutsville Ohio

If you Visit The Cross Mound

Plan about an Hour.  The site is fairly small, with a short trail leading from the WPA bridge to the mound.  We probably spent about 40 minutes at the site. 

Pack a picnic lunch.  The picnic area is small, but if you enjoy packing along a lunch--there is space with a few tables. 

The Cross Mound is Pet Friendly.  Leashed pets are also allowed on park grounds. 

Dining in the Area.  The area surrounding Stoutsville/Tarlton is pretty rural.  I would recommend packing a picnic--or visiting Crosstown Creamery & Diner in nearby Tarlton for ice cream afterwards.  We visited in the mid-afternoon and stopped at Crosstown Creamery for milkshakes and they were very good.

Other Activities in the Area.  This park is within a reasonable drive to the cities of Lancaster or Circleville.  Both have dining, antique and shopping options as well as other parks and hiking areas.  Additionally, the edge of the Hocking Hills region is nearby. 


Pinnable Image for Cross Mound Park

The Cross Mound is a unique stop for those interested in the Moundbuilders of Ohio.  This park has the added opportunity of learning about the WPA projects of the Great Depression with the historical pedestrian, cross suspension bridge.

Details about the Site Featured Here:

The Cross Mound Park

11615 16th Rd SW
Stoutsville, Ohio 43154


If you are visiting from the Blogging from A to Z Challenge--C is for Cross Mound Park.


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