Meet Our Covered Bridges
Meet Our Covered BridgesNew England’s Covered bridges, those small engineering icons from the minds of 19th-century America, attract artists and sight-seekers from all over the world. Their romantic architecture has complemented the New England landscape’s stunning scenery for hundreds of years, and they were and are workhorses of daily life and travel. Every New England state is home to these architectural gems.
- Vermont has about 104 covered bridges, the most in any New England state and the largest number in any state as a percent of the population.
- New Hampshire and Vermont share the Cornish-Windsor Bridge, the longest in the country. It crosses the Connecticut River, the border between the states. New Hampshire’s oldest covered bridges are around 200 years old!
- Montgomery, Vermont, is the state’s covered bridge capital, with five bridges -- the most of any single town.
- In the days when people traveled routinely by horse-drawn sleigh in the winter, snow had to be shoveled onto the bridge floor to allow the sleighs’ runners to move across the bridge.
- The bridges were covered for a single reason: to extent their lives by protecting them from rain and snow.
- Over time, some covered bridges have been knocked off their foundations by flood water; swept downriver ; and later picked up and returned to their original locations.
Be prepared for your visit
Take a camera or paints and an easel. Artists have been using the bridges as models for centuries. Take boots; you may be inspired to wade into or near a stream to view the trusses from below. Look for safe, off-road parking near the bridge and walk to it to look at it. New Englanders love the bridges and they welcome visitors to view and enjoy them, but they prefer you don’t block traffic. These bridges are on the job in their communities.
Admire the bridges on a self-guided driving tour
Covered bridge drives in Vermont includes a trail of seven bridges near Waitsfield; a cluster of five bridges near Salisbury; and a group of eight bridges near Killington.
Also, check out online guides for driving tours in Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire to see covered bridges on scenic routes.
Check out Vermont’s Covered Bridge Museum at 44 Gypsy Lane, Bennington, Vermont. Hours of operation are irregular; call ahead at 802-442-7158.
Learn more about covered bridges in Connecticut, Maine , Massachusetts, ,New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.