Stuck in a Rut
If you had been here 100 years ago, you could have flagged down a stagecoach and been bounced along to Heise Hot Springs in a deeply-rutted stagecoach road. Mail and passengers traveled this road until 1937, when the present road following the river was constructed. The road was built by Richard Heise to bring customers to the newly discovered hot springs.
People continue to change this area. In 1975, you could have been one of the first to hike the original Cress Creek Nature Trail. The trail was constructed by a local Youth Conservation Corps. Notice the remnants of the stagecoach road and the original trail from here.
The first vehicle bridge in this area was built in 1938 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, less than 100 years ago. How did people cross the river before then? By river ferry! You would have loaded up your horse and buggy or Model A Ford car for a short ride to the other shore.
Much of the present farmland around Cress Creek was not cultivated until the late 1880’s. What might you have seen here over 200 years ago? Roaming the plains right in front of you may have been thousands of buffalo, and herds of elk and antelope. Early trappers saw animals that have long since disappeared from the Cress Creek area: wolves, grizzly bears, mountain lions, and bighorn sheep.