A Local's Guide to New Hampshire Covered Bridges
A Local's Guide to New Hampshire Covered Bridges
Exploring the covered bridges in New Hampshire is an exciting experience that will allow you to immerse yourself in the beautiful history of the area. Their build and structure are quite particular, and each bridge has something that makes it unique. If you are ready to do some exploring and you want to see some truly memorable places, you should check any of the following New Hampshire bridges.
This bridge is a true beauty, with its romantic architecture and beautiful scenery. Depending on where you are seeing the bridge from, it might give the impression of being suspended, with no solid anchors. The Sentinel Pine Bridge has been there for over 80 years and it’s one of the most outstanding covered bridges in New Hampshire. Plus, you can explore the Flume Gorge and its trail while you’re there.
How to get there: visit the Flume Gorge in the Franconia Notch State Park
One of the oldest bridges in the area, the Cornish-Windsor Bridge was built back in 1866. Interestingly, it is the longest two-span covered bridge on the entire planet and the longest wooden covered bridge in the US. Its total length is 450 feet and it is part of the National Register of Historic Places. An interesting fact is that it connects Connecticut with Vermont, allowing you to cross the Connecticut River. This bridge is a true survivor too! The three similar structures that were built on the exact spot before the Cornish-Windsor Bridge was built were all destroyed by floods. However, this one has stayed strong for over a century.
How to get there: head to the Cornish Toll Bridge Road, which is off of Route 12A
The McDermott Bridge, also called the Cold River Bridge was built back in 1869, making it one of the oldest ones in New Hampshire. Similar to the Cornish-Windsor Bridge, this is the fourth bridge built at this exact spot. Only foot traffic is allowed through it, to protect it and preserve it. Therefore, it is now a historic site that is surrounded by nature. A walk here is a great way to connect with beautiful greens and with the history of the area.
How to get there: North of N.H. Route 123A
If you want to see something truly unique, then you must visit the Sulphite Bridge. Keep in mind that it’s going to be very different from the usual image we have when it comes to covered bridges. For starters, it is the one remaining deck-covered railroad bridge in America. It was built back in 1896 and used as part of the sulphite transportation system. However, locals often refer to it as the Upside-Down Covered Bridge because, instead of running through the center of the bridge, the rails are placed on top of it! Unfortunately, it’s dangerous to cross it but you can enjoy the amazing view when you are there.
How to get there: Walk the Winnepesaukee River Trail, you can park your car on Route 3 in Franklin, New Hampshire
If you are interested in the spookier parts of history, then visiting Blair Bridge should be part of your itinerary! Back in 1868, a man named Lem Parker burned the bridge because according to him, God had told him he needed to do it. While he wasn’t convicted, the weird occurrences didn’t stop there. In 1869, a doctor tried to cross the Pemigewasset River by horse. Unfortunately, the current was too strong and the horse died, which led to the construction of a new bridge. Everything appeared to be fine until 2011 when Tropical Strom Irene happened. During the storm, a tree branch practically impaled the bridge. It has been restored, and now you can visit and try to guess why so many bad things happened at this place!
How to get there: Head East off of U.S. Route 3
Far away from horror stories and allegedly “cursed” bridges, there is the Honeymoon Bridge. It is so well-known as a romantic location that many couples take their first photo as newlyweds here. One of the main appeals of the bridge is the Valentine red paint as well as the fact that numerous couples have carved their initials on the bridge. This bridge is also a long survivor, as it was first built back in 1876. Continuing the romantic note, the bridge has become a preferred spot for marriage proposals.
How to get there: Travel East on Route 16A from the intersection between Routes and 16A
This is the oldest bridge in the state and it’s a testament to good construction. It has been here for almost 200 years since it was first built in 1829. However, don’t think that its age makes it any less beautiful! The bridge can’t be used by vehicles anymore, although a pedestrian walkway was already part of the bridge since 1920. Unlike other bridges you might visit, there have been no other prior constructions at this site.
How to get there: Head to Woodsville Village. You’ll find the bridge one-quarter mile north off of U.S. Route 302.
Albany Covered Bridge
This bridge’s beauty comes from a mix of the beautiful landscape that surrounds it and the stunning image made by the bridge itself. Set with the White Mountains as the backdrop, the bridge stands out for its rustic construction. This bridge is the second construction at this place, and it was built in 1858 after its predecessor was severely damaged by a wind storm.
How to get there: Head to the north side of the Kancamagus Highway, 6 miles west of Route 16.
The scenery in New Hampshire is one of the most beautiful in the country. If you have an appreciation for covered bridges or if you want to learn more about the history of the area through its architecture, visiting these places is the way to go. While there are dozens of bridges in New Hampshire, these eight are truly remarkable and will be something to remember after your visit.
Keep connecting with New Hampshire!