Catalpa Swinging Bridge

It was a blustery Easter afternoon, much too cold to hide eggs, and, with only an eighteen and fifteen year old in the house, such an activity would have been annoying to them at best!

So Kurt and I left them to feast on their Easter treats…


…and headed towards Oark.

“There’s a swinging bridge that I want to check out.”  He told me as we were walking out the door.

I was intrigued, recalling the old swinging bridge my family had to cross in our light blue Ford LTD in order to get to a favorite swimming hole at Sylamore Creek near Mountain View.  My dad always took it slow, and the bridge would always sing a squeaky little tune as the tires hit the old wooden slats.

I was soon to find out that this wasn’t a bridge for car traffic; it was a bridge for foot traffic.

Known as the Catalpa Bridge, it was thought to have been first built in the 1930’s or 1940’s.  Crossing the Mulberry River near the town of Oark, the Catalpa Bridge is privately owned and maintained.  It has been washed out several times over the years, actually as recently as last December.  To our great fortune, necessary repairs were made…

….and so Kurt told me to go first!

It bounced quite a bit as I took every step…..


…and  I was a bit unnerved when I crossed the area that was patched up somewhat haphazardly with new boards….

but I, as well as Kurt,  made it across and back fairly unscathed and very dry!

To get there from Russellville, take I-40 to Clarksville.  Take exit 57, and go right on Crawford.  When Crawford intersects Main, go left.  In 1/2 mile, take a right on Ray Road.  In 1.6 miles, take a left on Highway 103 N/N Harmony Drive.  Highway 103 N turns into AR 215 E in 18.2 miles, and will lead to Oark.  The bridge is a couple of miles past Oark on the right.   It’s a gorgeous drive through the Ozarks, perfect for a Sunday afternoon!




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