The origin of Dunn's Bridge County Park has become the stuff of legend. Most historians agree that the bridge was built by a farmer named J.D. Dunn, whose property was bisected by the Kankakee River. But beyond that, the facts are a bit murky. Some say the bridge was built in the mid-1890s using steel beams salvaged from the 1893 Colombian Worlds Fair in Chicago. Others contend the bridge was built using pieces of the original Ferris Wheel, which premiered at the fair and was dismantled after the 1904 Worlds Fair.
Porter County Parks and Recreation purchased the 180-foot-long bridge and surrounding three acres in 1994, and undertook the award-winning restoration that helped land the bridge on the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge offers the only designated public access to the Kankakee River in Porter County, allowing fishermen and paddlers to launch their boat here and enjoy the beautify natural surroundings. Those who enjoy fishing can cast for walleye, bass, crappie, bluegill and Northern Pike, among others. In 2016, the Kankakee River was designated a national water trail.
The bridge is an exceptional piece of county history and serves as an access point to some of the most unique environmental features in the area.
Dunn’s Bridge is open dawn to dusk daily, for free. Parking is available north of the bridge in a large lot, and the boat launch is a concrete pad.