In Iowa's 'Scenic City', a historic swinging bridge spans the mighty Iowa River

March 25, 2019

Originally built in 1897, and then re-built in 1909, 1925, 1956, and then 1989, a historic swinging bridge provides you amazing views of the Iowa River as you cross it in Iowa Falls, the Scenic City of Iowa

 

On a recent Saturday, after a family gathering at my aunt's home in Iowa Falls, I made a quick stop at this landmark. Though the Iowa River is higher than normal due to flooding, the bridge is open and I walked across it in both directions. The best place to access the bridge is through Assembly Park on the west side of the river.

There is a number of amenities associated with the park in addition to being the best place to access the walking bridge. For example, I spotted some nice playground equipment and a picnic shelter.

 

There's some nice walking paths and plenty of green space.

 

I also spotted some sand volleyball courts and tennis courts.

 

Fortunately, there is ample parking.

To get down to the bridge, there is a set of stairs. You can also get down there via a steep path. 

 

Here is a look at the stairs from the bridge. 

Along the banks of the river are some sizable ice chunks. I would imagine that it might take awhile for these to melt. In some places, these large ice chunks have caused ice jams. Ice jams can lead to some serious and very destructive flooding issues.

 

But in addition to the ice chunks, I also spotted some geese.

There is a nice plaque embedded into concrete that gives you some very brief history of the bridge.

Despite the term "swinging", there's not a huge amount of give to it. I never felt unsafe or felt like it was going to really start swaying back and forth. There's a little give to it but not a lot. There's some significant concrete and metal hardware keeping this thing in place.

 

 

There is some cosmetic string lighting added to it. I am sure at night it is easy to see.

The actual walkway is mostly wood and only a few feet wide. I suppose it's possible to get a bicycle on it (though I'm not sure if that's allowed). However, it's mostly for pedestrian traffic.

 

 

The opposite end from the park has a couple of metal posts in concrete designed to keep non-pedestrian traffic from entering.

From any spot on the bridge you can enjoy stunning views of the Iowa River or the bluffs that line the river's channel.

 

 

 

 

Of course, they do not want anybody jumping from it. I am sure that could lead to serious injury or worse.

There's even a property near the bridge that is available for rent if you are looking for a nice vacation rental or place to have a nice weekend away. I am sure the views of the river are also great from there.

This may be a quick stop while in Iowa's Scenic City, but I can guarantee you it will be a memorable stop. People of all ages can enjoy the remarkable uniqueness of the bridge while also appreciate the incredible beauty of the river and the surroundings. It really drives home the point that Iowa Falls is our state's scenic city.

 

As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Hardin County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you have a good idea or would like to host the Iowa Adventurer, please drop me a note through this website.

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