Hemlock Cliffs Trail in Crawford County recently received a makeover
In mid-2020, bridge inspectors with the Hoosier National Forest noticed that steel supports under one of three bridges on the Hemlock Cliffs Trail were beginning to show signs of surface rust.
While not structurally compromised it was an early sign of wear indicating that the bridge would eventually need to be replaced.
The height and length of the existing bridge posed an additional problem since the base sat only a few feet above the streambed and though infrequent, floodwaters from the stream could reach, or even overtake, the bridge’s walking surface.
To solve these problems, engineering staff from the Forest Service’s Eastern Regional Office proposed a new bridge design.
With approximately $125,000 in funding provided by the Great American Outdoors Act, the bridge was recently replaced.
In addition to the new bridge, a staircase was rebuilt and another staircase was added to improve an area of the trail that had become indented from heavy use.
Also, approximately 2,000 feet of the trail was resurfaced with crushed limestone aggregate and nearly 50 drainage structures were installed along the trail to prevent erosion or pooling of water.
The one-mile Hemlock Cliffs Trail is located between state roads 237 and 37, about 2 miles north of Interstate 64 in Crawford County.
For more information about Hemlock Cliffs visit fs.usda.gov/recarea/hoosier/recarea/?recid=41570.