The Cahaba River is the longest free-flowing river in the state of Alabama, one of the most scenic and biologically diverse rivers in the country. The 194-mile river passes through Trussville and eventually joins into the Alabama River in Dallas County.
The river supports more than 60 rare and endangered plant and animal species, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. More than 130 species of fish are found in the Cahaba River. The river provides fishing, swimming and tubing opportunities in Trussville and neighboring cities.
The most recognizable Trussville landmark associated with the Cahaba River is the Civitan Bridge, located in downtown Trussville’s Civitan Park.
The bridge was constructed in Argo in 1901, dismantled and moved to Ketona, and dismantled again and moved to Happy Hollow Road in 1940.
With a new bridge and road built for the Happy Hollow area, the bridge was determined to be useless and was subsequently abandoned. The Trussville Civitan Club stepped in, spearheading a project that transported the bridge to its present location in Civitan Park.
The club’s project rallied support throughout the city, attracting private citizens, civic organizations and businesses to help in the cause. Citizens donated money to purchase 200 wooden planks necessary to floor the bridge. Businesses worked to relocate the bridge, prepare the site, and sandblast and paint the structure green.
The Rock Bridge was created to access Goat Hill where Cahaba Project homes were intended to be built and part of the water system was built. However, the home construction was attempted and halted. The water system storage tank was built on Cherokee Drive to deliver clean water to all the Cahaba Project homes.
History and elderly tell of several names associated with the bridge: Rock Bridge, Little Cahaba Bridge and Roosevelt’s Folly Bridge, the latter of which attributed to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visiting on an unpublicized trip to inspect the Cahaba Project. The rock used on the bridge came from a quarry in Rock Creek Park, north of the 200 block of Brentwood Avenue.
A greenways project began in 1998 to enhance the Cahaba River and parks throughout Trussville. The two-mile project included a lighted walking trail that stretches from Civitan Park to the Trussville Sports Complex, running parallel to the river the whole way. The project was completed in 2017.