Raleigh Nature

October 29, 2014

Mystery Bridge in Crabtree Valley

Filed under: Crabtree Creek, Gems & Surprises, Greenways & Parks, West Raleigh — Tags: , — raleighnaturalist @ 2:50 pm
stop sign at bridge

abandoned bridge over Crabtree Creek just off Glenwood Avenue

Crabtree Creek Trail is 14.6 miles of greenway through the heart of Raleigh, starting at Anderson Point off New Bern Avenue east of town and following the creek all the way to Oak Park in northwest Raleigh. It was until recently the longest continuous stretch of Raleigh greenway, and now has been eclipsed by the Neuse River Walk and Walnut Creek Trail, both newly completed, relatively rural connectors. Of all the wonderful features on this complex trail, the abandoned bridge just upstream of Kidd Brewer’s old cow meadow (now Raleigh’s most floodable mall) wins the honors for mystery and quirkiness.

Crabtree creek from bridge

When and how was this bridge used? I will be crowdsourcing on Facebook, and don’t hesitate to comment here if you know anything. This stretch of greenway picks up across Edwards Mill Road from Crabtree Valley Mall, and meanders through old neighborhoods as well as a sprinkling of new condo developments before dead-ending into Lindsay Road in Oak Park.

abandpned bridge

I do NOT recommend walking on this bridge! It is very rotten. You wouldn’t fall in, but stepping through would be no fun. I stuck to the crossbeams, but was still anxious. Lovely view, though. Any thoughts?

Update

The Facebook post for this piece has produced wonderful information: Foy Beal states that the bridge was installed by the Martin family, namesakes of Martin MIddle School, when they owned property on both sides of the creek. Richard Butner has this info: “Used to go to the Leroy B. and Charlotte M. Martin House, designed by Brian Shawcroft.” Chip Robie has a fun story about using this “driveway” as a shortcut to Edward Mills Road. Others have interesting memories as well, and I am sure more to come.  Thanks!

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4 Comments »

  1. good to see you posting again. I saw some great photography of the area around crabtree valley before it was being developed, couldn’t find it after a quick search online.

    Comment by dwight — October 29, 2014 @ 4:01 pm

    • Thanks, Dwight – I would love to see those images, but I can easily conjure up driving back from Durham and seeing those black and white Holstein cows munching away! It was a floodplain then, and in spite of measures up the hill (Lake Lynn, Shelly Lake) it is still.

      Comment by raleighnaturalist — October 29, 2014 @ 4:54 pm

  2. wonderful place to explore!

    Comment by Arthur in the Garden! — October 29, 2014 @ 6:09 pm

  3. Brian was a regular at The Upstairs Deli—and usually a guest as Nell Styron’s parties.

    Comment by Ted Harrison — March 24, 2016 @ 10:53 am


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