Bailey Bridge Trail

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

The Bailey Bridge Trail is a 2.5-mile trail that begins near the Twin Oaks Trail and ends at the junction that connects the Wauponsee Glacial Trail with Twin Oaks Trail. Unlike other hikes at Midewin, the Bailey Bridge Trail is not a loop trail, but it intersects with numerous other trails, which provides visitors opportunities to extend their hikes and create their own path back to the trailhead.

Immediately upon starting your walk you will go past a small pioneer cemetery, most likely established in 1877 by a local homesteader from Pennsylvania. After passing the cemetery you will be brought to the bunkers, or “igloos” as they are fondly referred to.

There are several bridge crossings along the trail. Interpretive signs provide visitors with the history of the 140-foot long Bailey Bridge, a portable, pre-fabricated truss bridge developed by the British during WWII for military use. The bridges saw extensive use by the British, Canadian and United States military engineering units during WWII. Originally there were two Bailey Bridges at Joliet, but they fell into disrepair and could not be salvaged. The existing bridge is a surplus bridge that was purchased and assembled in place of one of the unsalvageable original bridges. The existing bridge was built by Thirty-nine volunteers over the course of five days, taking 928 man-hours to finish.

At a Glance

Open Season: January 1 - December 31

General Information


From the Midewin Welcome Center

  • Turn right/north onto Route 53
  • Travel north on Route 53 for 3.6 miles.
  • Turn right/east onto Hoff Road.
  • Travel east on Hoff Road for 2 miles.
  • The trailhead parking is on your right.

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