Paths, roads and bridges are meant to take you somewhere, which makes it especially odd when a path leads … nowhere at all. Why do some bridges stop midway through the sky? Why do footpaths lead into the wilderness? We’ve brought together some of the most mysterious non-endings from around the world.
The last train to nowhere
Thousands came to Alaska’s Seward Peninsula searching for gold and left a rusty old train. (Photo: NOAA Photo Library/Flickr)
Some rolling stock and a few rusty locomotives is all that remains of this railroad in Alaska’s Seward Peninsula. Chicago investors built the railroad in the early 20th century during a gold rush. But when the gold rush ended, the project was abandoned. Today, locals call it “the last train to nowhere.”
The path that builds itself
Israel’s Dead Sea, one of the lowest points on Earth, is full of salt — so much that you can float in the sea without treading water. The salt collects and builds on itself, forming walkways that disappear into the sea.
From nowhere to nowhere
Locals in Dunbar, Scotland call it ‘The Bridge to Nowhere.’ (Photo: Euan Morrison/Flickr)
A small river in Scotland winds its way through Biel, a small village, to Dunbar. Before emptying into the North Sea, the river flows under this bridge. When the tide is low, you can cross the bridge and get to a sand bank on the other side. But when the tide is high, the land is submerged, and this becomes a bridge from nowhere to nowhere.
Strawberry trails forever
Hamble Point in England used to be an important strawberry-growing region. (Photo: Jon Mitchell/Flickr)
England’s Hamble Point is known for its marina, which features boat shows, yachts and boat races. It’s also a beautiful natural area and features walks like the Strawberry Trail and the Royal Victoria Country Park paths. The photographer took this photo of a pathway that seems to disappear during an evening walk after work.
Wandering through the Moors
Derwent Moors in England is famous for its tors, rock structures that have been made over centuries. (Photo: Dave Wild/Flickr)
Winding paths make these English moors popular among hikers and bikers. That’s how the photographer found this dead end: a trail he was cycling along turned into a footpath that vanishes in the wilderness.
A footbridge for fish
You would not want to be stuck on this bridge during high tide. (Photo: Larry Lamb/Flickr)
Somerset is a 1,000-person village in Bermuda that’s been around for centuries. In addition to being home to the smallest drawbridge in the world, it’s also home to this aged footbridge on the village’s Ireland Island.
Walking along the bay
‘Eagle v. Shark,’ a romantic comedy, was shot in New Zealand’s Titahi Bay. (Photo: Stewart Baird/Flickr)
New Zealand’s Titahi Bay is located on the foot of a peninsula. The Maori indigenous people lived there for centuries. It’s currently a popular surfing spot, as well as an area with lovely walking trails, like this one that seems to vanish at the horizon.
An optical illusion
The Atlantic Road in Norway was originally supposed to be a railroad line. (Photo: xdmag/Flickr)
Norway’s Atlantic Road crosses through a chain of islands and is considered by some to be the world’s greatest road trip. This spot in the road doesn’t actually drop off the face of the earth — it’s an optical illusion, one that has been both fascinating and alarming motorists for years.
Half a bridge
New Taipei City is the largest city in Taiwan. (Photo: Alexander Synaptic/Flickr)
This bridge in Taiwan, part of Jifu Road, was is slow in the making. The photographer discovered it after it had been under construction for at least 20 years. As of 2013, it was still under construction. Think it’s finished yet?
A bonfire bay
Seurasaari Island in Helsinki, Finland is home to one of Finland’s nudist beaches. (Photo: Lucas Marcomini/Flickr)
Thousands of people flock to this Finnish island for Midsummer, where they watch the massive bonfire that burns off the island’s coast. If you want to get a closer look at the bay, we recommend you follow this walkway.
A foggy deception
California’s San Rafael Bridge is in the background in action movie ‘Magnum Force.’ (Photo: Mark Gunn/Flickr)
The Richmond–San Rafael Bridge crosses over San Francisco Bay in California. It was built in 1956 and replaced a ferry that used to bring passengers from Richmond to San Rafael. The fog makes it look like the bridge, the sky and the sea all fade into nothingness.
An art experiment
Arbon’s Lake Constance in Switzerland only freezes over about every 100 years. (Photo: Kecko/Flickr)
According to the photographer, three artists created this wooden bridge for The Arts Hall in Switzerland, an organization that supports experimental artwork. The artists had a motto: “So far as the budget goes.”