5 Historic Covered Bridges to Check Out this Fall
At one point, there were more than 15,000 covered bridges in the US. According to the Dept. of Transportation, the first covered bridge, The Waterford, was built in Connecticut in 1804. Today, this number has dwindled down to approximately 750 (acc to the Smithsonian) with the majority located in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Hampshire, Vermont, Oregon, and Indiana. Whether destroyed by storms, neglect, or replaced by newer bridges, these beautiful reminders of the past are now considered to be historic landmarks.
Despite their popularity in the US, covered bridges actually date back hundreds of years, possibly originating in Europe and Asia. As it would be hard to duplicate the construction today, these beautiful pieces of history continue to enchant tourists, photographers and history buffs alike. Their timeless appeal will continue to attract anyone seeking out an idyllic remnant of the past.
Take a blast to the past at these 5 gorgeous historic covered bridges
1. Devil’s Hopyard State Park Covered Bridge
- Location: East Haddam, CT (Middlesex County)
- Highlight: Incredible fall foliage, easy access to a gorgeous waterfall
This gorgeous 36 foot long wooden bridge, built in 1970, is located within Devil’s Hopyard State Park in East Haddam, CT. Southern Connecticut is one of best leaf peeping destinations in the state. A short trail at this underappreciated park will take you to the bridge, as well as gorgeous 60 foot Chapman Falls. Not surprisingly, local nature lovers and photographers adore this park. Leaf peepers will also want to take note that this is one of the most gorgeous autumn destinations in the state. And, the bridge is even more gorgeous when surrounded by the bright colors of the season. Overall, Devil’s Hopyard is a beautiful place to spend the day immersing yourself in the gorgeous natural surroundings. As for the park’s name, local legends involve sightings of the devil near the falls.
2. Campbell’s Covered Bridge
- Location: Landrum, SC (Upstate region)
- Highlight: Last remaining covered bridge in the state
Built in 1909, this 38 foot long, 12 foot wide wooden bridge is a favorite of locals and visitors of Upstate South Carolina. A notable historic landmark, Campbell’s is the only remaining covered bridge in the state. Built over Beaverton Creek, the setting is very rustic and tranquil. As one of the most romantic destinations in the state, this old fashioned gem is a popular site for wedding and engagement photography. While beautiful anytime of the year, fall is a particularly mesmerizing time to enjoy the fall foliage. Bring with a picnic and enjoy a rustic day out in nature. On the other hand, winter offers the rare glimpse of a southern covered bridge dusted with snow. A nice detour en route to Upstate parks and waterfalls.
3. Honeymoon Covered Bridge
- Location: Jackson, New Hampshire
- Highlight: The most iconic covered bridge in the state
This classic New England covered bridge is a postcard worthy treasure. Honeymoon is a 121 foot long, 26.5 feet long wooden bridge which was built over the Ellis River in 1876. According to the Jackson Historical Society, the name arises from the custom of newlyweds taking their photos here. To this day, lovers continue the tradition of kissing under the bridge for good luck. Although there are 54 remaining covered bridges in New Hampshire, Honeymoon is one of the most picturesque of the bunch. While you are in the vicinity, be sure to visit the old-fashioned Nestlenook Farms where you can take a horse drawn carriage ride around a Victorian ice rink as old time chime bells ring and skaters glide by. Also, there are many charming inns to stay at around the region.
4. Swamp Meadow Covered Bridge
- Location: Foster, RI (Providence County)
- Highlight: Rhode Island’s only covered bridge on a pubic road
Despite this being a fairly new bridge (constructed in 1993), it is also one of New England’s most beautiful. A trip out here during the gorgeous fall foliage season is a must for leaf peepers. Plans to build the bridge for the state’s 350th anniversary took place back in 1986, however, construction did not begin until 1993. Unfortunately, the bridge was burnt down shortly thereafter (in 1994 it was rebuilt by volunteers). The 40 foot wooden bridge is located off on a side road and remains a rustic hidden gem. The bridge is located in Foster, just a half hour outside of Providence. Thus, it’s a great side trip if you will be visiting the city. Roger Williams Park & Blackstone Blvd are 2 leaf peeping hotspots to check out during your time in Providence.
5. Schofield Forge Covered Bridge
- Location: Newtown, PA (Bucks County)
- Highlight: The longest and only unpainted bridge in Bucks County
This 170 foot long bridge is located within Tyler State Park in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Schofield was originally built to help farmers cross Neshaminy Creek. The bridge which stands today was constructed in 1997 (the original 1873 bridge was destroyed by arson in 1991). Pennsylvania leads the pack with the most standing bridges at 209. Several of these bridges are accessible via hiking trails, which makes the experience a bit more interesting. Tyler State Park is home to 25 miles of hiking and biking trails. Whether hiking, biking, picnicking, fishing, and/or simply enjoying the bridge, Tyler is a great place to escape the city congestion for a few hours.