Preservation, Road Trips

Side-by-side bridges on Narrows Road in Indiana’s Turkey Run State Park

People come to Parke County, Indiana, for two main reasons: to see the many covered bridges there, and to hike over the hills and through the canyons in Turkey Run State Park. Within the park, you can hike to one of the covered bridges.

Narrows Covered Bridge

The Narrows covered bridge was completed in 1882, and is considered the first of J. A. Britton’s many covered bridges in the county.

Narrows Covered Bridge

Like most of Parke County’s covered bridges, it features a Burr arch truss design. Those giant curved members are the Burr arches.

Narrows Covered Bridge

The bridge spans Sugar Creek where it narrows, hence the name of both the bridge and the road. If you’re ever out this way, you can rent a canoe and paddle through Turkey Run on the creek. I did it once with my sons, and except for the fact that my sons weren’t interested in helping paddle, it was fun.

Narrows Covered Bridge

It’s easy to get underneath this wooden bridge, as a rocky path passes beneath it on its north side. If you look hard, you can see those curved Burr arches jutting out and into the rock on the far end of the bridge.

1958 bridge alongside Narrows Covered Bridge

A concrete arch bridge carries Narrows Road today. Bridgehunter.com says that the concrete arch bridge was built in 1958, while the Indiana Covered Bridge Society says that the covered bridge was bypassed in 1966. Perhaps both bridges carried traffic during those eight years.

1958 bridge

1958 is mighty late for a concrete arch bridge to be built in Indiana. It came at the very tail end of the concrete arch era. I’m surprised a common steel beam bridge wasn’t built here then. They became all the rage at about this time and are the main kind of bridge built in the US today.

Narrows Covered Bridge

If you’re interested in seeing this bridge, you can get there from Narrows Road of course, or by hiking Trails 1 or 2 inside Turkey Run. The trails give you these lovely side views of the bridge.

Narrows Covered Bridge

I made these photos in 2011 on a trip to Turkey Run with my sons. We went at least once a year while they were still growing up. I found them while I was culling junk and duplicates from my photo library, and liked them enough to share them now.

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12 thoughts on “Side-by-side bridges on Narrows Road in Indiana’s Turkey Run State Park

  1. I wasn’t sure if the words “cross this bridge at a walk” meant what I thought it meant so I gave it a quick Google. Your other photo turned up, too, right here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mobilene/10344749885 and I found my answer here: https://www.valpo.edu/vpr/garrisonreviewcarter1.html

    “The title Cross this Bridge at a Walk comes from a sign that was often posted in front of nineteenth-century covered bridges. It invites us into the shadows of these bridges to read slowly and savor. ” And yes, it meant what I thought it did :)

  2. Very nice. I went canoeing there once with by boys’ Cub Scout pack. We probably went under this bridge but I don’t actually remember it. I just remember the stiff headwind we started fighting in the last hour on the river which took every ounce of fun away. My sons took turns with the front paddle but they were too young to add much horsepower.

    • I took my boys canoeing there once, too. I thought surely they’d love it. They didn’t, and barely paddled. I was wrung out by the end.

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