In 1915, Hemphill County contracted to erect a bridge to span the Canadian River. Construction of the Canadian River Wagon Bridge was completed in July, 1916. The bridge was comprised of seventeen 153.5 ft. pin-connected Parker through-truss spans; the dimensions being 16 ft. in width and 2,635 ft. in total length. After its completion it was said to be the largest steel structure west of the Mississippi. In 1923, it fell victim to the raging waters of the Canadian River which cut a new channel around the north end of the bridge necessitating the extension on the north end of four identical spans and an approach span. The bridge's 3,255 ft. length now made it the longest pin-connected bridge in Texas.
In recent years a committee of interested citizens raised funds, along with matching grants, to renovate the bridge, laying wooden planked flooring, decking, and installing side-guard railings to create a walking bridge. After five years of hard work, the Canadian River Wagon Bridge was reopened on July 1, 2000. It was restored as part of a new scenic hiking and biking trail over the Canadian River Valley and wetlands habitat.
Visualize in times past a horse-drawn wagon or a Model T loaded with people or groceries crossing a wide and mighty Canadian River. Today as you walk this historic bridge keep a keen eye on the riverbed and you might catch a glimpse of an occasional bobcat, turkey, or deer.