“I’ve been here before.” I thought to myself as I pulled into the parking space.
Memories of an overcast day with drizzling skies start to flood my mind. A short walk. A failed attempt at a drone flight through the fog. Then, a final realization that the park was too small, and weather too crummy, to enjoy enough to get content. After driving away, it formed into a distant memory. One that gets locked away in the far reaches of the mind, only to be unlocked in the future by some random influence. Today, that influence was unknowingly arrive at the exact place. A sense of deja vu. It must have been fate bringing me here; making sure that I shared Lovers Leap Swinging Bridge with you.
The original bridge, constructed from barrel staves and wire, was built sometime between 1880 and 1886, to provide a direct route from Fourth Street to Third above the 80-foot ravine. The first bridge was condemned for safety reasons, and has been rebuilt a few times over the years. The current bridge was built erected after boards collapsed under two brothers causing them to plummet 80 ft to the ravine below. Thankfully neither were injured. Ever since then, the community has called for better safety measures which gave us the more current steel cable form that it takes today.
No one knows for sure why the ravine is called Lovers Leap, but legend has it, that a love sick American Indian leapt to her death. In fact, if you go at night, you can supposedly still hear her cries.
When I arrived this time, the weather was beautiful and I was able to explore a bit. The bridge itself is a short 262 ft, but walking across it is a blast. It swings harder than Charlie Parker at the Blue Note, which makes it a challenge to walk down. I spent a few minutes trying to see if my balance was good enough to run the whole way up and down. Spoiler Alert: It isn’t.
On the other side of the bridge is a small park with a path leading down into the ravine. A perfect place for a short walk or a break to sit and take the world in.
Even though the town is quaint and seemingly in the middle of nowhere, a constant flow of traffic ran through while I was there. It never took too long to hear laughter fill the air as different families came and went. Peaceful, tranquil, serene, there is something special about this small park hidden in Iowa.
Closest Supercharger Iowa City
1914 8th St, Coralville, IA 52241
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Lovers Leap Swinging Bridge
Elm Street and Third Street
IA-92, Columbus Junction, IA 52738
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