This walking bridge was built by the Oregonia Bridge Company out of Lebanon, Ohio in nineteen-twenty.
There are two bridges here at the forks of Coal River. The one you see here crosses the Little Coal River and the other, not visible here, spans the Big Coal River. The bridges were built way back then to give children who lived on the other side of the river access to the Forks of Coal Grade School on the west side of the river. As you can see, the structure is unpainted and rusted. Both bridges are fenced off and closed to traffic.
I can remember walking across these bridges on hikes from Camp Cliffside when I was very young. I remember the smell of the creosote on the boards and the beautiful, crystal green water rushing beneath.
Thanks to the good work of the Coal River Group and others in collaboration with that group, the rivers are actually cleaner and flow more freely now than they have in years.
You can see an aerial view of the bridges by clicking here.