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Swinging Bridge Park & River Walk, Brunswick

A woman and her dog crossing The Swinging Bridge in Brunswick, Maine

Just outside of charming downtown Brunswick, is a historic swinging bridge leading to a flat, paved trail along the Androscoggin River. Sunday was my first time discovering this that I'd driven past at least a hundred times. You can only imagine how excited I was when we first pulled into the small parking lot and caught sight of the striking red bridge. Here's how the conversation went down with (ok at) my husband as we got out of the car.

"Holy crap! How did I NOT know this was here!"

"Quick, can you take the dog so I can get my camera?!"

"Wait, can you hold my phone so I can grab my coffee?!!"

My husband is a very patient man. It's a good thing, because my energy can be a lot when I'm excited about a new trail. But on this gray March Sunday, one that also involved plans to finally stop procrastinating on our taxes, I was in need of some good energy. This short, sweet trail gave me just the boost I was looking for.

Located on Route 1 (Mill Street) in Brunswick, this 1.6-acre park offers scenic river views and a pedestrian suspension bridge that connects Brunswick to Topsham. According to the non-profit organization Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org, the bridge was built in 1892 for workers walking from the Topsham Heights neighborhood to the Cabot Mill in Brunswick. Originally constructed by the Roebling Company, who also built the Brooklyn Bridge, it was rehabilitated in 2006 by Atlantic Mechanical. In 2007, park-like entrances were created on both sides of the bridge.

Swinging bridge that crosses from Brunswick to Topsham, Maine.

Swinging Bridge is one of the few remaining and active pedestrian suspension bridges. In May of 2011, it was designated as a Maine historical civil engineering landmark.

But there's more. Watching the rapidly flowing water from the bridge and paved path leading along the shore is highly energizing and the views are worthwhile.

You will find the paved path, called the Androscoggin River Walk, once you've crossed the bridge to the Topsham side of things. It will be on the right, winding along the water's edge. We only walked a short part of this path, but if you want to do the full loop, it's 1.25 miles. For a map with directions to access points, link here. All paths are fully accessible!

A paved walkway along the Androscoggin River Walk at Swinging Bridge Park in Brunswick.

I will leave you with this: The Swinging Bridge, does in fact "swing". You can feel it as you walk across, especially once you're nearing the end. It reminds me of crossing The Wiggly Bridge in York - the smallest suspension bridge in the U.S. that also connects to a sweet nature preserve on a forested peninsula called Steedman Woods. Read about that here.

Enjoy the Swinging Bridge and downtown Brunswick, which is a one minute drive from this park. Grab a cup at Reverie Coffee House on 117 Maine Street. That's what we did before our walk and the coffee was delicious. Although in all the excitement upon arriving at the park, I did spill it all over myself, but enough was spared that I had something warm to sip during our walk.

This blog post was sponsored by:

Kaneel is a small business in Southern Maine dedicated to learning, sustaining, and celebrating all that the more-than-human world is willing to share with us. Davinica Nemtzow, a Kripalu Mindful Outdoor Guide, offers guided forest bathing, mindful outdoor experiences, and nature meditations to help you cultivate a mindful relationship with the land you inhabit. Visit their website for more information and upcoming events.


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