VIDEO: A visit to Vince Smith Memorial Bridge, North Country Trail

October 8, 2022

VIDEO: A visit to Vince Smith Memorial Bridge, North Country Trail

MI Travelogue By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

SAUBLE TOWNSHIP (Lake County) — Last weekend I took my side-by-side for a cruise through parts of the Manistee National Forest in Lake County’s Sauble Township. My final destination was a stop at the Vince Smith Memorial Bridge which is a North Country Trail crossing of the Big Sauble River. The bridge is located near West Anderson Lane (which is also national forest road 5139). 

The main paved road in the area is West 5 Mile Road, then south on North Mack Road and then east on West Anderson Lane. According to my plat book, the parking area to access the bridge appears to be on private property. However, it looks pretty obvious that this is used frequently. 

According to local North Country Trail expert Joan Young of Scottville (who happens to be hiking the entire 4,800 miles of the trail), the bridge was named after Vince Smith, a volunteer who helped get the North Country Trail through this area. Smith died in 1998. 

Young said the previous bridge was wood and seemed a little more “friendly” to hikers. According to the Manistee National Forest website, the U.S. Forest Service became concerned about having footers in the water of the river and wanted a clear span bridged installed. The project was funded by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service. Volunteers build the approaches and the piers. The bridge was completed in 2016. 

I apologize in advance about the shakiness of the video. I am experimenting using different cameras on my side-by-side as I try to perfect “action” videography. 






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