The OES visited the I-71 Rest Area on August 1, 2004. This abandoned rest area was in far southern Franklin County along I-71 south. Not many facts are known about the rest area. We noticed a gravel path as we drove down I-71 one day and wondered what it led to. Upon our return, we found old cement curbs, a sewer grate, asphalt pavement, and numerous remains of animals. We were not sure what exactly this area was until a topographical map was found naming it a rest area. As of the early 1980s, the rest area appeared to still be in use. The map also showed another rest area on the opposite side of the freeway. It looked like the rest areas were abandoned long ago, although we were not sure when. Thanks to website visitor Jeff R., we now have an answer. Governor Dick Celeste closed many of the state's outdated rest areas (many with no running water) in favor of newer modern facilities. Some of the rest areas, including this one, were never reopened due to the expense of constructing and maintaining the new facilities.
Another website visitor, Mark Finster, had previously written in with a different explanation. Mark grew up nearby and remembered when the rest areas were still in use. He recalled that a girl had been raped and beaten to death at one of the rest areas there, although he couldn't recall if it was the southbound or northbound pull-off. A couple of other girls were found raped and murdered at various other rest areas, including the scenic view rest area near the bridge over the Little Miami. Mark cited this as a reason why several secluded rest areas, including this one, were closed and destroyed.
If anyone has more detail about this area, the murder, or photos from when it was an active rest stop, please email .