The Most Beautiful Covered Bridges in America
Covered bridges evoke a special feeling about life in America. They make a person think about horses and buggies, gold rushes, barn raising and bygone eras when young lovers went “courting.”
They make people think of "The Bridges of Madison County." Frankly, who hasn’t fantasized about stepping into the shoes of Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood and recreating their meet-cute on a picturesque, covered bridge somewhere?
Covered bridges are just a comforting site.
While you no longer need to drive a horse and buggy in order to visit them (unless you want to), these bridges are excellent places to hike, take a picnic or explore the fall foliage. And every single one is extremely photogenic, like stepping into a Thomas Kinkade painting.
Over the years, many covered bridges have fallen into disrepair and disappeared. Luckily, other bridges have remained thanks to towns who were dedicated to preserving its historic sites. And even though covered bridges are becoming rare, chances are there's a beautiful one close to home. If not, they're a pretty good excuse to take a road trip.
Newfield Covered Bridge: Newfield, New York
Out of the 29 covered bridges in New York state, Newfield Covered Bridge is the oldest, having been built around 1853. The bridge connects across the Finger Lakes wine region, which perfectly compliments the bridge’s dark wine-red color.
Roseman Covered Bridge: Winterset, Iowa
You might recognize Roseman Covered Bridge from "The Bridges of Madison County." The special bridge, built in 1833, is the same bridge where Meryl Streep invites Clint Eastwood to her home in the memorable romance film.
Arthur A. Smith Covered Bridge: Colrain, Massachusetts
Named after a Civil War Army Captin, the last surviving Burr arch truss bridge in Massachusetts originally crossed the North River between Shattuckville and Griswoldville. After falling into disrepair the bridge moved multiple times before being renovated and finding a home in its current location.
Flume Covered Bridge: Franconia Notch, New Hampshire
Hikers love to visit the Flume Gorge and waterfall for its wondrous beauty: rock formations, brooks and walls of natural granite that formed over 200 million years ago. While there, you'll have to stop to admire the some man-made beauty, the bright red pedestrian bridge cutting a path over the Pemigewasset River.
A. M. Foster Covered Bridge: Cabot, Vermont
If you can’t already tell by the name of the town it’s in, this bridge will take you across part of Vermont’s famous cheese trail. The bridge is close to Cabot Creamery, which is famous for its delicious sharp cheddar cheeses.
Felton Covered Bridge: Felton, California
Built in 1892 and restored in 1987, this beautiful bridge is the tallest covered bridge in the United States. Though you can’t drive on the bridge anymore, pedestrians can still take a stroll through it by visiting Felton Covered Bridge Park.
Harpersfield Bridge: Harpersfield, Ohio
The Harpersfield Bridge incorporates five architectural styles, including the Howe truss technique, making it not only a beautiful bridge, but a technologically innovative one. The bridge is still open to cars and pedestrians can cross thanks to a walkway that was added in the 1990’s.
Campbell’s Covered Bridge: Landrum, South Carolina
Bordering the Greenville County Recreation District, this bridge is, sadly, the last remaining covered bridge left in South Carolina. Luckily, Campbell’s Covered Bridge remains a bright, red pinewood that's perfect for a fall photo or a brisk, romantic walk or picnic.
Bridgeport Covered Bridge: Nevada County, California
Built in 1962, the Bridgeport Covered Bridge has the longest clear span of any covered bridge in the world that is still standing. The bridge was once a particularly important link in the in the western United States when silver mining was at its height.
Ada Covered Bridge: Ada, Michigan
This classic bridge, built in 1867, crosses the Thornapple River. Due to the Thornapple’s propensity for flooding, farmers used to leave wagons full of stones on the bridge during high waters in order to hold it to the foundation.
Wawona Covered Bridge: Yosemite National Park, California
Spanning the south fork of the Merced River, the Wawona bridge was built in 1868, but it didn’t get its covered cladding until 10 years later. At the time of its construction, it was the only direct route to the Yosemite Valley, one that even Ralph Waldo Emerson took.
The Fisher School Bridge: Tidewater, Oregon
This 72-foot Howe truss structure crosses the Five Rivers in Oregon, which is actually the name of five streams that converge in this area: Alder Creek, Cougar Creek, Buck Creek, Crab Creek and Cherry Creek. The bridge takes its name from Fisher Elementary School, which was nearby but no longer exists.
Stark Bridge: Stark, New Hampshire
While the Stark Bridge has seen some hard times, including many floods, townspeople have worked tirelessly to keep the historic bridge standing. The white bridge covers The Ammonoosuc River and looks perfectly stark against the foliage of the area.
Sachs Bridge: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Not far from the Gettysburg Battlefield, you’ll find the Sachs Bridge. During the Civil War, Union Army soldiers used it to access a field hospital and the Confederate Army retreated across the bridge after the Union won the battle.
Horton Bridge: Amnicon Falls State Park, Wisconsin
Filled with winding trails, mini pools, cascades, and waterfalls, taking a hike through Amnicon Falls State Park is truly picturesque. One of the best places to take in the views is by stopping at Horton Bridge in the Lower Falls.
Allman Bridge: Oquawka, Illinois
Allman Bridge — also known as the Oquawka Wagon Bridge — originally carried a road over Henderson Creek until, in 1935, the government turned it into a pedestrian walkway.
Humpback Covered Bridge: Covington, Virginia
When you reach the center of Humpback Covered Bridge, you might notice an unusual arc shape in the structure. Built in 1857, the site is Virginia’s oldest still-standing covered bridge and a natural stop for visitors to grab a photo.
Zumbrota Bridge: Zumbrota, Minnesota
Built in 1869, the Zumbrota Bridge is one of the last covered bridges still standing in Minnesota. The current, renovated iteration of the bridge actually sits 100 yards from its original location in in Covered Bridge Park.
Meem’s Bottom Bridge: Mount Jackson, Virginia
Built in 1893, Meem’s Bottom ushered cars 204 feet across the North Fork River for more than 80 years until it was set on fire on Halloween in the 1970’s. Not exactly a funny prank, the bridge was restored to it's former glory and still serves as a popular highway detour.
West Cornwall Covered Bridge: Cornwall, Connecticut
Built around 1864, this covered lattice truss bridge carries the Sharon-Goshen Turnpike over the Housatonic River. The bridge is nestled nicely in Housatonic Meadows State Park among 10,000 acres of foliage.
Weaver’s Mill Bridge: East Earl, Pennsylvania
Lancaster County is known for stirring up feelings of nostalgia — practically everywhere you go is like stepping back in time. The red-and-white Weaver’s Mill Bridge, in particular, is regularly used as a buggy crossing by the local Amish community.
Artist’s Bridge: Newry, Maine
Out of the nine remaining covered bridges that still stand in Maine, the Artist’s Bridge remains one of the most stunning. Built in 1872, the beautiful bridge, with it’s criss-crossing posts that are perfect for peering at the surrounding scenery, is one of Maine’s most photographed and painted sites.