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Gone Fishing

Life on and off the waters of the Wood River Valley

Shots of the Week: The Bow Bridge opens

Oct 9, 2012 - 12:52 PM
Shots of the Week: The Bow Bridge opens

Photo courtesy of Western Wood Structures.


There once was time when the land along the Big Wood River by Lions Park in Hailey was little more than a landfill, an eyesore, a place better left ignored than embraced.

But thanks to the great work of the Wood River Land Trust (WRLT) and an anonymous donor, that stretch along the river nestled below Della Butte is no longer a place to dump garbage. It’s now a healthy ecological spot, highlighted by a beautiful new bridge and a walking trail that allows visitors to recycle their spirits among the natural splendors of our little corner of the Northern Rockies.

The wooden, pinned arc bridge fits in perfectly with the Big Wood River.Last Saturday, the WRLT celebrated the opening and dedication of the Bow Bridge, which crosses the Big Wood River at the Draper Preserve in Hailey. Festivities included a 5k Fun Run & Walk, live music, free food, drink and face painting for the little ones.

The turnout for the dedication was terrific, according to Trey Spaulding, the Director of Operations for WRLT.

The breathtaking, “pinned arc-style” pedestrian bridge, which costs $720,000, was made possible by the generosity of an anonymous donor and included the removal of 600 cubic yards of material to allow access. It was designed by Leslie Howa of HOWADESIGN and erected by Western Wood Structures, with the help of several local businesses like Rocky Mountain Hardware and Galena Engineering.

Howa is a competitive archer and she designed the 160-foot long bridge to look like a bow lying, string side down, across the river, shooting watery arrows towards the sky. It’s full of unique details like falling metal leaves and is also meant to pay homage to the Valley’s Native American history.

The Bow Bridge allows pedestrians to now walk the greenbelt from Heagle Park in the Della View section of Hailey all way up to the Draper Preserve and to get a chance to enjoy a restored wetlands area that offers near year-round opportunities to view wildlife—and to get back in touch with the natural wonders that abound along the Big Wood River.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” –Albert Einstein

The new bridge affords wonderful views of the river.The bridge is adorned with unqiue details like metallic falling leaves.

    The eastern entrance to the Bow Bridge and the Draper Preserve.


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About This Blog

Whether he’s being out-fished by his trash talking mother-in-law, guiding one of his young sons through the perils of manhood or finding inspiration from the people of the Wood River Valley, Mike McKenna’s award-winning writing is always sure to entertain. Order a copy of Mike's highly-acclaimed book, "Angling Around Sun Valley: A year-round fly fishing guide to South Central Idaho" from Silver Creek Outfitters.

Gone Fishing's awards include: "Best Blog" 2010 & 2011 by the Idaho Press Club, "Best Web-only Article" of 2011 by the Outdoor Writers Association of California and "Best Fishing" & "Best Humor" blogs of 2012 by the Outdoor Writers Association of America.


"Angling Around Sun Valley" was selected as the "Best Book" of 2013 by Northwest Outdoor Writers Association!

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