Photo taken by James Baughn in February 2015
BH Photo #315489
Thanks for the reply. I'm a little too old for such hiking. I do appreciate people who take their own pictures for this site. I've driven across the country as far as western Montana (from Maryland), and I've seen quite a few bridges. I should buy a decent camera and get some good shots.
Well, bridgehunting isn't always easy. This was a 3 mile round trip hike, and I had to wait for the right winter day to tackle it.
My route: Start at Mount Olive Cemetery, hike northwest along a farm road, then go west along the old rail grade. This area (except for a portion of the rail grade) is public land within the Shawnee National Forest.
The rail grade is high and dry. Getting across Sugar Creek (Bridge #4) is the hardest part. The wooden deck is missing from most of the bridge, and the creek is too deep and wide to jump or wade across. I had to tip-toe across a girder. I don't recommend that.
The two wooden trestles (Bridges #2 and #3) are too overgrown and deteriorated to cross. However, a convenient beaver dam made it possible to cross #3, while the creek at #2 is narrow enough to jump across.
The big truss bridge (Bridge #1) also has a missing deck, so I just stayed on the east side.
It would be easier to hike from the west or north, but that would involve crossing private land, and I saw plenty of No Trespassing signs around Reevesville. And approaching from the west wouldn't solve the problem of getting across the big bridge.
The rail grade and bridges would make an excellent rail-trail if the National Forest was ever able to consolidate ownership of the entire grade. It's a scenic area.
The bridges are in very good shape except for the missing decks and some deterioration of the timber abutments. I was surprised at how well the trusses have aged without any maintenance for 30 years -- there's no signs of pack rust or section loss. I don't see why this bridge couldn't support locomotives if the deck was rebuilt.
How the heck did you get back in there to take pictures. It looks like swamp in a directions, and a long hike.