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rhino_adv 11-29-2011 06:59 AM

475+ old bridges in Illinois
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Here is a gpx file of more than 475 old bridges in Illinois. Most of the bridges are old iron structures. Some are concrete or stone arches. A few are simple wooden decks on iron stringers. There are even a few covered bridges. I have visited and photographed many of these old bridges, but not all of them. Some can be crossed and some can not. Most are on public land, but a few are on private property. The majority of these bridges (particularly those in the southern half of the state) can be found on a gravel or dirt road. There can be mud, there are a few water crossing and beautiful scenery.
Several of these bridges disappear (torn down/wash away/vandalised) every year.

After the name of the bridge is a code I have given to each one. Example:bolivia rd bridge O-TT= Open Through Truss

O-PT=open pony truss
C-PT+closed pony truss
O-TT=open through truss
C-TT=closed through truss
O-SA=open stone arch
C-SA=closed stone arch
O-CA=open concrete arch
C-CA=closed concrete arch
O-CB=open covered bridge
C-CB=closed covered bridge
O-WB=open wooden bridge
C-WB=closed wooden bridge

As time permits, I will loop many of the more interesting bridges together with as much gravel and dirt as possible and post the track/route here.
I hope you enjoy these old structures as much as I do!


Jeff@TheQuadShop 11-29-2011 12:21 PM

WOW, and I thought I was doing good finding the only 13 that are left in KY! :eek1

BigDogAdventures 11-29-2011 05:03 PM

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Thanks so much for the e-mail you sent me with the link to this thread----I'm guessing you heard of my love for old bridges-----after looking at your gps file I'm guessing a hundred of these bridges are within a hundred miles of my house.

I'm sure I've ran across a lot of them----and I'm sure most I've not. You've made me a very happy man as I can go find and see these bridges on just day or weekend rides from my house in Southern Illinois.

One of the things that is so neat about a dual-sport or adventure bike---you can have a lot of fun poking around the backroads without traveling to far from home.

I just can't thank you enough--very nice of you.

I've got a file of all the covered bridges in Indiana---which I've been to all of them---but I'm bettin' your way ahead of me :D
Holler if you'd like that.


Here's the closest one to my house---over the Little Wabash River---and yes---it's on your file already.

rhino_adv 11-30-2011 03:01 PM

Mark, Enjoy the file! There are very few things I enjoy more than to be riding down an unfamiluar gravel/dirt road and come across one of these old treasures! PUTS A SMILE ON MY FACE for the rest of the day.
I already have your 157 Covered Bridges file in my garmin. Ive been visiting those Indiana bridges for more than 20 years.
Hopefully our paths will cross sometime, Id love to meet the BigDog!


BigDogAdventures 11-30-2011 03:44 PM


Originally Posted by rhino_adv (Post 17414883)
Mark, Enjoy the file! There are very few things I enjoy more than to be riding down an unfamiluar gravel/dirt road and come across one of these old treasures! PUTS A SMILE ON MY FACE for the rest of the day.
I already have your 157 Covered Bridges file in my garmin. Ive been visiting those Indiana bridges for more than 20 years.
Hopefully our paths will cross sometime, Id love to meet the BigDog!


The cool thing about old bridges-----is that they are always on a remote country road---so as you navigate between them, it's always good riding. And who know what else you'll find on the way.

I can't wait to start finding the ones I haven't been too. After looking closer-----I have been to more of them than I first thought--but still lots of new ones out there.


kimzx1000r 12-02-2011 11:50 AM

Superb! Looking forward to going and seeing some of these first hand in the spring.

BigDogAdventures 12-02-2011 03:14 PM

Huchins Creek O-WB No longer there.
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The Huchins Creek bridge on this file is no longer there.
The picture I included was after a huge flood (about 2 years ago)---we crossed it--but had to jump a small washout--then build rocks for a ramp on one side. After that---someone took the boards off the bridge---and now it is no longer there. It just appears state funds are not there and they are not going to rebuild it.

Sad for me--as it was on my favorite one lane dirt road in all of Southern Illinois---in which there was a really neat river ford also.

Now-------you can get around it easily---just to the side of the bridge---but it's private and 2 people that live down in there (crazy people) that I have run into are determined that this road never re-opens---they run off and discourage travel on the road on either side of the bridge. One lady is definitely crazy--a hermit. If you ride down to where the bridge was just to look at it----one of them will run down there with folded arms and stare at you until you leave. It's a public road.

I sat there with a friend one time for an hour---and they just stared at you.
I think they are the ones that removed the boards and promoted the whole thing washing away.
Now they got a few miles of dead road all to themselves--guess who pays for keeping the road in repair ???
Me and you.

Once when I was there just to admire the beautiful place---I turned back and the crazy lady took a swing at me and knocked the mirror on my 950 backwards as I was riding.


rhino_adv 12-03-2011 09:18 PM

Mark,....Thanks for the update on the Huchins Creek O-WB. Its sad some of these bridges are not being repaired and left to the rath of mother nature and crazy land owners.
Since this bridge was on a legal road, I think I'll risk getting asulted by the old lady at the bridge. If BigDog says "it was on my favorite one lane dirt road in all of Southern Illinois". its got to be an awesome road.:lol3


vfrpilot 12-07-2011 02:51 PM

Thanks for the GPX file! It'l be good for a lot of exploring! :clap

BigDogAdventures 12-17-2011 10:43 AM

Finding the bridges
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I do believe it was Dec. 3rd, 2001 I got my trusty old KLR out and went Northeast of my house in
Southern Illinois to find some of these bridges on the gps file.

It was a great day and I rode from sun up---thru sun down and had a ball.
Found some bridges---found some gone--found some private roads--found some way too muddy roads---like
I said a great day.
Got my KLR all muddy----------found some extremely flooded areas.

I'll post my ride in the next post--and I've put the gps file in with this post.

About the waypoints---bridges that were gone or replaced----I noted as such.

BigDogAdventures 12-17-2011 11:20 AM

Old Bridges
Follow my track log as you read this--and you'll see just where I am.

I first went to bridge icg rd2 O-WB which was a wooden bridge over a railroad track.
I guess I didn't take a picture of it---but after crossing the bridge the road ended very quickly
at a house on a muddy dirt road---it was their only way to their house------the bridge was in bad shape
and if it gets closed--they will have no way of getting to their house.

Next up was skillet fork O-TT

A really neat old bridge that brought traffic down to one lane.
Nice to find this one still standing.
If and when the Illinois economy regains itself---I'm sure they'll tear it down.

Next up was icg3 rd C-WB
Which was a wooden bridge over the railroad---there were many of these going over this
same railroad----however after riding a bit thru the mud and tall weeds the bridge was blocked from my side
and after looking on the other side---it looked like you couldn't even get to it from there.

I tried to get to johnsonville C-PT
It was down a muddy road that was grown up in trees--and I wouldn't have had to hike to it
probably on private property to it---------and I didn't.

Next up on the track log you'll see endsley creek C-PT
I never saw any kind of a bridge there---there was a tiny creek with a culvert--and
I guess that was it ??????

But my favorite find of the day------sycamore creek C-PT

I went down a road that dead ended at the bridge and creek----I went passed the last house
and down a very muddy hill-----a big GS would have sunk in the mud------on a dry day it would be fine.

On the other side of the bridge---the road had gone back to nature pretty much and you'd have
to hike in from the East side.

I stayed here awhile----had a snack---a drink---and pondered the bridge.

Closed to all traffic
Built 1909
Pony truss
Length of largest span: 60.0 ft.
Total length: 84.0 ft.
Deck width: 13.5 ft.

Weight limit-------one KLR with a fat old man-----maybe !!!!

Another bridge---the Dorsey bridge--on the Little Wabash was gone---and I had wandered down a dead end road
that was flooded at the end---and into a whole bunch of hunters along the river drinking beer around a campfire.
I was a little worried as they all glared at me.
But after I took my helmet off and they saw I was just some fat old man with a smile-- we had a great time talking.
I finally told them the reason I went down this road was to find an ole bridge.
They all laughed and pointed to the river---the bridge was gone but you could still see the pilings
sticking out of the water-------dang it---------I didn't take a picture.
Before I left they invited me to stay and drink beer and said I could come down here and camp anytime :D:D:D

I had also tried to see this bridge from a levee on the other side of the river---you can see that in my track log--but
it was extremely flooded.

Next up was drainage ditch3 O-PT

Which was replaced with this horrible concrete structure which just bout made me sad.

Up next tr454 O-PT

The sun was going down----deer were everywhere---it was getting colder and I had to work
at finding this one and almost gave up.----but I thought to myself---heck this could be the last time
I get to ride all winter-----and I had to backtrack quite a bit cause I couldn't get across a drainage ditch
to find this one---the track log there will confuse you there.

I was dissapointed at what I found---but proud I had "Endeavored To Persevere" :D:D:D:D:D:D

It was replaced---but not long ago.
I don't think that road went thru---but it was way too muddy out there for me to try.
I think this just serves farmers to get across the drainage ditch.

I had so much fun today---ran my electric vest and heated grips all day.
My KLR is so much fun to ride and is so dependable---if it ever fails to start I'd expect the world
to quite turning.

By the way-----the bridge in this picture with my 950 on it----I tried to get to as it was
kind of on my way home--but the road to it was under 4
feet of water. :eek1:eek1:eek1:eek1

It is bridge grayville O-TT

Man I hope it didn't wash away-------it's my favorite.
You can see on the gps track log how close I got to it---I couldn't see it thru the trees--unless it was gone :eek1

dogmoon 12-17-2011 01:42 PM

Thanks Mark I enjoyed that I couldnt get out to ride today maybe tomorrow.:clap

BigDogAdventures 12-17-2011 04:51 PM


Originally Posted by dogmoon (Post 17537388)
Thanks Mark I enjoyed that I couldnt get out to ride today maybe tomorrow.:clap

Glad you enjoyed that----tomorrow I'm going for dry fork C-PT which the waypoint info says it's closed----and after google earthing it-----it looks like the road from both sides of it is going back to nature----so I'll hike in to it---take a picture---pee off the bridge----have a snack----a candy bar. And if I don't get arrested for trespassing or shot by a hunter---you'll see the pics tomorrow night :D

Then Down the creek a ways is bridge dry fork O-PT which according to the waypoint is open to traffic----and after looking at it from google earth---the road looks traveled. No bonus points for this one :ear

Wish you was over hear Dogmoon-----we could go camping in the rain and throw our tents in the dumpster (private joke). :rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl

Might drag out the pig 950 and get stuck in a mudhole.
Nah---think the KLR will be better. Hard to go back after upgrading:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:huh
And the 250 is too fast for this kind of thing.:deal

rhino_adv 12-17-2011 08:39 PM

Mark,....Im glad your getting to find some of these old bridges and posting photos. It is sad to see the sycamore creek C-PT in such sad shape, ill make a point of visiting it next year before it is gone forever.. Good luck with tomorrows bridge hunt and post some more pictures. Hopefully I can get out for a few hours and ride! There are a few bridges with in an hour of home I have yet to photograph.


jped 12-18-2011 05:13 PM

Bridge near Savanna, IL
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Over railroad tracks on SE Side of town, near Poopy's HD Magnet(lot empty today, 50 degrees). Found this about 1985, not sure when it closed to wheeled traffic.

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