Fort Victory is a camp for disabled children. It is owned and operated by
a faith-based organization from Aurora, MN. The bridge was built to provide
access from the camp facilities on the north bank of the river to a network
of trails on the south side of the river. I do not know when the camp was
established or when the bridge was built. It shows up on the oldest aerial
photos that I have access to, which go back to 1991.
The bridge is a classic steel cable suspension footbridge. Steel poles were
driven into the ground on each side of the river. Cables were hung between
these poles. The bridge deck is suspended from these cables on chains.
That allows the cables to act as hand rails as well as holding up the bridge.
The support poles are held upright by anchor cables that are connected to
rods that are driven into the ground about eight feet back from the support
poles. The deck is built from two inch pressure treated wood.
The photo above is looking south across the Saint Louis River down the center
of the Fort Victory Bridge. The bridge deck is very bright compared to the
dark water and dark green trees, making it stand out on aerial photos as
well as these views from the north bank of the Saint Louis River.
The photo above is the north bridge portal and the anchor point for the
suspension cables. The photo below is a view of the river crossing from
near the northwest corner of the structure.
These two photos are views of the downriver west face of the bridge as seen
from downriver of the structure. The photo above shows the steep climb on
the south side of the river, while the photo below shows how close the bridge
deck comes to the river. Despite this being low enough for canoeists to
have to duck, this obstacle is not listed on the DNR canoe guide for the Saint
The photo above is another view of the south end of the bridge disappearing
into the trees on the south side of the river. The photo below is the sign
at the entrance to Fort Victory. Despite the sign saying ‘Welcome’,
the fort site is private property.