They say Possum Run Road is the coolest place in Ohio. Literally.
Having lived just up the hill from there for more than 15 years, I’d be inclined to agree. According to my car thermometer, it’s always around 10 degrees colder down there in the winter.
Possum Run Road is also one of the coolest places in Ohio for spurnpikers. This two-lane blacktop twists and turns as it meanders through a valley between State Route 13 near the I-71 interchange and State Route 95. It’s one of the most scenic drives in Richland County.
It’s safe to say that most outsiders who use Possum Run Road don’t venture too far — at least not beyond Snow Trails Ski Resort.
Here’s a map:
At the eastern terminus of Possum Run – northeast of the intersection – is the ghost town of Newville. You won’t see much of it. If you go one road east on SR 95, you might find a few foundation stones in the woods north of the Pleasant Hill Road bridge.
Newville was dismantled brick by brick when Pleasant Hill Dam was built in the mid 1930s. It was feared at the time that, when the lake filled in behind the dam, it would back up to the village during high-water events. This ended up being a miscalculation. It didn’t back up that far. Although, in all fairness to the project engineers, residents would have ended up with wet basements occasionally.
The next two photos are of Possum Run Church of God, which was disassembled and moved west by northwest to Possum Run Road.
Besides Snow Trails, Possum Run Road boasts another claim to fame — sort of. Hagerman Road, which was one of the locations for the classic film The Shawshank Redemption begins or ends there. Depending on how you look at it.
If you’re in a hurry, Possum Run is not the road for you. No need for a speed limit; the curves will slow you down. Another reason spurnpikers love it.
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