The Lexington and Danville Railroad Company began construction of High Bridge in the early 1850s. It was initially designed by John Roebling as a suspension bridge. Roebling was the very same man who designed the famous Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. Met with hard financial times, the railroad company halted construction indefinitely. Once the Civil War ended, Cincinnati Southern Railroad took up the project and assigned Charles Shaler Smith to finish the project. Smith was a former Confederate engineering officer who had the idea to construct the first cantilever bridge in North America. The arms of the bridge were built out from and supported by the piers on the cliff and project out horizontally, across the gorge where it balanced itself for stability.Construction wrapped up in 1877, and High Bridge, as it became known, was the tallest and widest bridge in the world at that time. It towered over the Kentucky River gorge at a staggering 275 feet in the air and is 1125 feet wide. The American Society of Engineers recognized High Bridge with the rare distinction of a notable engineering landmark in 1986, and, what’s more, there is even a model of High Bridge in the Smithsonian Institute.Visit High Bridge Park and enjoy this architectural marvel from the lookout! A reconstructed Victorian pavilion extends a full 35 ft. Beyond the cliff so that visitors have a breathtaking view of the railroad trestle, the expansive Kentucky River, and the stunning sight of the limestone Palisades. View this feat of human ingenuity from below and ride the waves on the Dixie Belle Riverboat. The Dixie Belle launches from the waters by Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill from May to October, where guests can imagine what life was like in 1870s Kentucky.