A non-dinosaur related tourist attraction in the Drumheller badlands, Walk across, walk back. This is one of those under-sanitized tourist attractions. No admission fee. No guides or guards. No fence to draw the line between touring and trespassing.
The sign declares in ALL CAPS: MAXIMUM BRIDGE LOAD IS TWENTY PERSONS. I counted 37 when I was half way across. At least a good number were children under 5 feet tall…
The Star Mine Suspension Bridge connects the town of Rosedale, Alberta with some vacant land that was once the access to one of many thriving coal mines in the Drumheller Valley. Roughly 9 kilometres east of the town of Drumheller on Highway 10. Turn after crossing Rosebud Creek, and then follow the Suspension Bridge signs.
The bridge is a single span, suspended on wire cables. The distance from one side to the other is a slightly bouncy 117 metres over a muddy river.
There a two large signs near the entrance to the bridge…
SWAYING OF BRIDGE STRICTLY PROHIBITED
MAXIMUM BRIDGE LOAD IS TWENTY PERSONS
PROPERTY ON NORTH SIDE OF BRIDGE IS
PRIVATELY OWNED. OLD MINE WORKINGS
- 1912, coalminers working the Star Mine crossed the Red Deer River in rowboats,
- 1919, an aerial cable car system was built, which transported both men & coal from the mine to the tipple on this (south) side.
The C.N.R. carried the coal from the valley.
- 1930, the C.P.R. built a bridge (10km up river) and a tipple was built at the main site.
- 1931, the original swinging bridge was constructe, and, although winds and floods made crossing hazardous at-times, it was used by the mines until 1957, when the mine closed. A year later, the large mass of shale, rock, and dirt you see on the north side slid over the mine workings.
- 1958, in order to commemorate part of the colourful mining history of the Drumheller valley, the Alberta government rebuilt and continues to maintin the suspension bridge for public use.