Today I decided to look for old bridges in Fulton County. I had originaly packed the DR for 3 days and 2 nights in the Shawnee National Forrest, but the weather and a grandaughters birthday party pushed it back a couple weeks. I was given directions to two abandoned Iron Bridges spanning the Spoon River. The first is north of Bernadotte, Illinois.
Location: N40 24'13" W90 19'15"
On to the second bridge.............
This is interesting! A horse drawn road-maintainer
My directions take me up and down some really interesting gravel roads and then some grass and dirt (mud) road/trails. The Garmin says "Driving Off-Road", but I still see road signs at each intersection. This is some of the most remote area I have been in, in central Illinois. I am somewhere near Babylon, Illinois. I made a bad decission to get off the road and follow a grassy trail into the timber and end up here.....
I road DOWN this rutted gravel/mud road about 1/4 mile and decided I needed to turn around because the road was getting worse with every wheel revolution. This was no easy task!! I finely had the big thumper turned around and on its kickstand. I was very courious what lay at the end of this road so I continued down on foot (BTW mosquitos were terrible). I walked another few hundred yards and saw a small cabin off to the north. I started running the movie "The Hills Have Eyes" through my mind, and finding the bridge seemed much less important to me! I made it back to the DR and didnt look back.
I got back on the main trail and ran a couple more miles to a black top. I ride this road across the river and back towards where I feel the bridge should be. A few more miles and I come to a road with a ROAD CLOSED AHEAD sign. I have found several bridges by following signs like this. The elevation was dropping quickly and I knew I was getting close. I came upon several houses/shacks and saw a couple older gentlemen sitting on lawnmowers talking to each other. I stopped to ask about the bridge. They told me to keep going down the road and I couldnt miss it, they also told me it is called the BABYLON BEND BRIDGE. THEN,..... THERE IT ITS!!!
Location: N40 35'06" W90 20'53"
NOTICE THE DATES AND WATER HEIGHTS MARKS!!