Fans of old bridges will love Historic Bridge Park, appropriately named given that it’s the retirement home for five restored Calhoun County, Michigan, metal truss bridges, plus a historic stone arch railroad bridge, all integrated into a footpath that winds through fields of black-eyed susans, queen anne’s lace, cow vetch and cattails.
As we walked along the Historic Bridge Park path, situated along the Kalamazoo River and Dickinson Creek, on a Sunday morning, we crossed paths with several joggers, as well as a photographer photographing a teenage girl under the Dixon’s Bridge, a perfect backdrop for the girl’s senior class pictures. Beyond the railroad bridge, the trail feeds into the County Linear Trailway, a 5.28 mile crushed stone path that links to the Battle Creek Linear Trail and the North County Trailway.
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During restoration of the bridges, which were originally built between 1880 and 1906, as much of the original material as possible was used, and replacement parts were replicated to match the originals.
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In addition to the bridges, a sculpture dedicated to the historic bridge project was created by Vernon Mesler, who directed the project.
If you go
Historic Bridge Park, located at 14930 9 Mile Road in Emmett Township, about five miles southwest of Battle Creek, Michigan, is open year-round from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is no admission fee. Picnic tables, running water restrooms, a playground, and trout fishery are available. Check the web site for further details.
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