Lost Bridge

“Lost Bridge” is the unofficial name of the bridge over the lower Great Miami River, located on Lawrenceburg Road near Shawnee Lookout Park. Lawrenceburg Road crosses U.S. 50 in Elizabethtown, at the first traffic light east of the Indiana state line. The bridge is about half a mile east of U.S. 50. The current bridge is the fourth to occupy this site, each of which in turn has been called “Lost Bridge.” The Hamilton County Engineer’s web site has an interesting history of the bridge.

Besides the Cliff Swallows which nest under the bridge, and the Bald Eagles which are often seen in the area, Lost Bridge has three areas which are seasonally attractive to birders. The bridge itself gives views of the Great Miami, which features gravel bars just under the bridge at low water. These are attractive to shorebirds during spring and fall migration – again, at low water. Just to the west of Lost Bridge, and on the north side of Lawrenceburg Road, is a gravel pit which attracts waterfowl in season. During the winter, this gravel pit is one of the last bodies of water to freeze, causing waterfowl to congregate here in large numbers. Finally, on the south side of Lawrenceburg Road is a shallow, dirt-lined pit, which attracts waterfowl, shorebirds, waders and swallows. The south side is being actively worked for topsoil by the owners, so it is questionable how long this feature will remain attractive to shorebirds.

Both sides of the road are posted private property, so all birding must be done from the road. Although there is ample room to get off the road, it is frequently used by heavy trucks, so some may feel uncomfortable birding here; the birding can be good, but you must be careful. Also, the road is occasionally closed when the Great Miami floods.

This is a worthwhile stop on its own, which has produced rarities such as Piping Plover, and which should always be checked when going between the Oxbow and Shawnee Lookout.


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