Augusta Covered Bridge
Spans: Augusta Creek
Width: 12 feet
Built in 1973, Augusta Creek Bridge is one of West Michigan's newest covered bridges. It was hidden away for its first 26 years, spanning Augusta Creek on private property owned by William John Upjohn. Originally built by Doug Carrigan, today the 32-foot long covered bridge is open to the public near the entrance to the W.K. Kellogg Forest.
The Upjohn land, along with the covered bridge, was purchased by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), which, in 1993, removed all structures except the bridge. Vandals damaged it in the fall of 1995. Wes Knollenberg, president of the Augusta Creek Watershed Association (ACWA) immediately contacted the MDNR about options to preserve the bridge. Plans called for its demolition due to liability issues. For the next few years, several options to restore the bridge were pursued and discarded.
Restoration hopes brightened in September of 1999. The ACWA, with the state's blessing and support from the Chief Noonday Chapter of the North Country Trail Association and other public and private organizations, dismantled the bridge and hauled it in pieces to the Kellogg Forest. There, two and a half miles south of its original location and at the main creek crossing, they reconstructed the bridge piece by piece to last 100 years. Thanks to grants, private funding and to volunteer donations of materials and time, the Augusta Creek Bridge is restored to its original charm.
The current bridge, which is about 12 feet tall and 12 feet wide, stands about a foot higher than the original bridge. Folding doors at both ends and shuttered openings on both sides allow visitors to enjoy the views both upstream and down.
Directions: From Richland, follow M-89 east toward Battle Creek. Turn south on 42nd Street at the flashing yellow light. Drive a quarter mile to the W.K. Kellogg Forest entrance. Bridge is near the parking area on the left.