Bow Bridge of the Big Wood River
Date Acquired: 2012
Public Access: Yes
Funded through the generosity of an anonymous donor, the Bow Bridge of the Big Wood River was inaugurated during the fall of 2012. The Bow Bridge is a pedestrian bridge which spans 160-feet over the Big Wood River, connecting the east and west sides of the Draper Wood River Preserve and the Hailey Greenway. The public can now walk the trails of the Preserve and cross the river to Lions Park, connecting with the Blaine County Recreation District’s Nordic trails, along with trails on Carbonate Mountain.
The Bow Bridge is one piece in the Land Trust’s Hailey Greenway Restoration Project. The river has been straightened south of Bullion Bridge to reduce flooding in nearby neighborhoods, and an oxbow in the historic river channel had been filled with 80 years of trash, including pre-solvents and other toxins. Six-hundred cubic yards of material were sifted out of the former dump area, with 90 percent of the inert material being used for restoration, including a path to the Bow Bridge. The new makeup of soil was designed to promote native plants and increase wildlife habitat.
The Bow Bridge is an integral part of our objective to allow people to experience nature, as the bridge itself is a draw for our community and visitors alike to experience the Hailey Greenway. As people visit special places, they begin to take ownership and pride in the health of the area, thus helping the Land Trust manage it. We hope this connection with nature will inspire our community and Wood River Valley visitors to become more involved with land protection and restoration.