The Trestle Bridges
Among the early features of the early park were "trestle" bridges over creeks. These were "high" trestles for vehicles built in the manner of railroad trestles. There was one over Dean's Branch just upstream of Tunnel Falls and one over Little Crooked Creek at the south entrance to the park. Read about them below.
A 1930s era park map labeled to show location of old trestle bridge (yellow) over Dean's Branch with modern roads (orange). Trails 5 and 6 are in blue.
The Trestle over Dean's Branch
A 1930s era park map shows a slightly different park in some ways. The "Canyon" road then crossed Dean's Branch (then called Dean's Hollow Branch) just upstream of Tunnel Falls, much closer to the falls than today (see labeled image).
The bridge there was called the "high trestle bridge" and photos from the period remain (at the Jefferson County Historical Society).
The footings that held the trestle up still remain in the stream channel and a small retaining wall on the south side could be an artifact of the bridge.
The bridge connected the north side of this side canyon near the present-day Hickory Grove picnic area to the south side between the Tunnel Falls parking lot and the T-junction of Canyon Road and Campground Road.
This is a section of the 1930s era park map showing the location of the high trestle across Dean's Branch. The numbers refer to the trails as numbered at the time.
Note that today's Tunnel Falls was called "Dean's Hollow Falls" at the time period of the map.
A carousel of images along Trail 5 up along Dean's Branch and then from the top across the creek looking back.
The Trestle over Little Crooked Creek
In 1948, the current concrete bridge replaced the trestle bridge that was built in 1933. The construction activities closed the south gate for 20 months.
Very little is left of the original trestle bridge as the new bridge crosses at the same point (it seems). This contrasts to the Dean's Branch trestle bridge which was replaced further upstream.
The image carousel here shows the current bridge and two vestiges of the old trestle bridge - old footings or worn-with-wear foundation piers.