While the picture postcard scene at the headwaters is totally manufactured, the real character of the original Mississippi River is apparent here as a low wide marsh with no specific river channel. Around 1900, a group of local loggers decided that it was not proper that such a great river get its start by running through a muddy swamp. They dug a new channel to bypass the marsh. That is the channel that we see today. This foot bridge spans both the new channel and the remainder of the marsh, and the two channels join just downstream of this bridge.
The photo above is a view looking west down the length of the bridge. The photo below is a view looking east from an observation deck on the west side of the river channel.