Location: Glen Park, River Falls, WI 54022, USA
One of the most beloved icons of River Falls, Wisconsin, is its Swinging Bridge. As a gateway between historic Glen Park and Cascade Avenue, the bridge offers a wonderful view of the South Fork rapids as they begin their entry into the Kinnickinnic River.
Glen Park, a 41 acre park established in 1898, is the city’s oldest municipal park. The “glen” is the deep ravine formed by the South Fork tributary of the Kinnickinnic River. Several bridges had been built in the glen beginning in the 1860s and the area was a favorite spot for picnics.
In 1925, the Minneapolis Bridge Company designed a suspension bridge to span the South Fork at the site of the former Cascade Mill and dam. The current bridge, a replica of the beloved 1925 bridge used by thousands of kids over the years on their way to swim in Glen Park pool, is a favorite spot for viewing the river. Below the bridge are some favorite fishing holes.
The River Falls Historic Preservation Commission worked with Mrs. Zirbel’s third grade class in 2006 to create and dedicate the Swinging Bridge marker. Next to it is another River Falls Landmark plaque with information about historic Glen Park. Nearby is information about the Cascade Mill, which was used first as a flour and grist mill, and later as a saw mill.
The Swinging Bridge holds a very special place in the hearts and memories of River Falls residents, including my family. Stop by and explore this very special landmark!