Would you cross this 262-foot swinging bridge that hovers 100 feet above a ravine?
For those who would not cross it, I’ve heard three reasons why :
- The obvious – is fear of heights. The middle of the bridge rides over the tops of trees in the ravine below.
- Fear of motion. It’s a swinging bridge and I mean SWINGING. If just two people are on the bridge at the same time, this bridge gets moving.
- Even if you can handle the heights and the motion, some have also bowed out due to the sounds. This bridge creaks and groans with every step you take. Not exactly comforting stuff.
But if you can get past these three things, you’re in for a great adventure.
Where is Lover’s Leap Swinging Bridge located?
Why is it called Lover’s Leap Bridge?
The name comes from a local legend that an Indian maiden jumped from the bridge to her death after finding that her lover was killed in battle.
History of Lover’s Leap Swinging Bridge in Columbus Junction, Iowa
There have actually been three bridges at this location. The first bridge was built by Josiah Stewart in 1886 out of salvaged barrel wood. The bridge lasted until 1902.
The second bridge was built in 1904 and stayed for sixteen years until its collapse while two children were on the bridge. According to Mary Zielinski in her book “The First Hundred Years, 1874-1974”, she wrote that that swinging bridge collapsed in 1920, “but so slowly that Jesse Tison and his brother, Lou, who were on it at the time, were left standing upright when the bridge reached the bottom.”
The third and current bridge was built in 1922. It has been through several updates and renovations since that time, but is still the same bridge and is safe for those who love a little adventure.
What’s it like crossing the swinging bridge in Columbus Junction, Iowa?
Here’s a short video to show what it’s like to cross the bridge alone. Of course, the real adventure is crossing it at the same time as others are crossing.
In the May 9th, 1948 edition of the Quad City Times newspapers, they had the following comments on what it’s like to cross the bridge…
“To walk over the bridge on a windy day is like trying to stand up in a row boat in an Atlantic gale”
“Town wags, after thrills, go even further. Walking over the swaying bridge doesn’t give them enough “kicks.” They speed over it on bicycles. Gulp.”
What do locals call the bridge?
The locals from Columbus Junction refer to the bridge as the “leap”. By the way, the town is also referred to locally as the “Junction”.