My family and I live in Kentucky and while it isn’t a location we are able to visit often, the High Bridge Park and overlook are a beautiful place to picnic and enjoy some Kentucky history.
In the aftermath of the Civil War, a major north-south railroad route was deemed vitally important. The Cincinnati Southern Railroad picked up where the defunct Lexington and Danville railroad had left off. A new cantilever bridge was designed by Charles Shaler Smith to be built at the same location as the previously planned suspension bridge. Tim Powell
When you enter the park you will notice several covered picnic areas. These are all considered “first come, first served” and do not need to be reserved. You can pack a lunch that morning and take your family to the park to enjoy some fresh air, scenic views and playing on the playground. This post was going to be mostly about the park. My photos of the park and picnic grounds didn’t turn out. But we’re heading back there soon and I’ll have a follow-up post on my personal blog, Cinnamon Hollow. I’ll add more photos in my travel section there.
So let’s talk a a little about the bridge and overlook instead. At one time High Bridge was considered the tallest bridge in the world. Because it brought in many tourists at that time, things like a pavilion and picnic areas of High Bridge Park were established. It is said there was once a restaurant there too but that is no longer there. As tourism dwindled, care and maintenance weren’t what they once were. The park has been renovated and the pavilion restored. It is nearly identical to the original. You can see photos of the original High Bridge Park pavilion here worldtimzone.com/railtrail/highbridge/tourism.php
The large, covered pavilion has to be reserved and is often booked two years in advance! We have attended family reunions there and it was wonderful. The county hold many functions at the parks large pavilion. Although there are port-a-potties that anyone can use, when you reserve the pavilion you also gain access to the sheltered restrooms. The pavilion has electricity and running water in a kitchenette.
Behind the large pavilion is a cantilever overlook featuring an information board detailing the history of the bridge and the area. This gives you a great view of the bridge where you can see trains cross over as well as the Dix river below. There are farms on the edges of the river and you may be lucky enough to see a horse or two as well as river boaters below.
High Bridge Park isn’t a fancy vacation spot. And there really isn’t much there other than the park and overlook. But if you’re looking for a beautiful place to take the family on a picnic or a family-friendly playground, that holds a lot of history, High Bridge Park is the place to go!