“Go to the middle of the bridge and turn left.”
These aren’t the typical directions a lost traveler would expect to hear, but according to legend, these are the instructions a Zanesville man gave over 100 years ago. One would think following that advice would lead to a serious accident, but not on the famous Y Bridge in Zanesville, Ohio.
The incredible Y Bridge is possibly the only bridge in existence where you can cross the bridge and remain on the same side of the river.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Y Bridge spans the Muskingum and Licking River merging what was once four small towns into the present city of Zanesville.
This incredible marvel has received worldwide attention since the very first model was built in 1814. Since that time the bridge has been rebuilt four times, each leading to better design. The bridge has been featured on Ripley’s Believe it or Not, used as a landmark for pilots such as Amelia Earhart and has gained notoriety through scores of television programs and publications that have brought attention to this famous bridge.
As an Ohio native, I’ve heard about this bridge for decades. When my teenage daughter and I set off on a “girl’s trip” with friends and drove through Zanesville, I couldn’t resist adding the bridge to our list of unforgettable roadside attractions in Ohio. I wanted to see firsthand what all the hoopla was about. I stopped by the visitor’s center for directions and learned the best way to see the Y Bridge wasn’t to drive over it, but to view it from the overlook at nearby Putnam Hill Park.
While my daughter wasn’t overly impressed by driving over the bridge, the views from the overlook allowed us to see just how neat the bridge really is, plus offered the best views of downtown Zanesville.
How do you find Putnam Hill Park? Well, it turns out those century old directions of “Go to the middle of the bridge and turn left” will get you pretty darn close, and you’ll find the extra few minutes to stop and check out the view well worth the effort.