The Most Beautiful Covered Bridges in America

Foster Bridge Cabot Vermont
Photo: Getty Images/Gallo Images

Go back to a simpler time.

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 dedicated to preserving 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.

01 of 20

Newfield Covered Bridge: Newfield, New York

Newfield Covered Bridge Newfield New York
Jason O. Watson/Alamy Stock Photo

Out of the 33 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.

02 of 20

Roseman Covered Bridge: Winterset, Iowa

Roseman Covered Bridge Winterset Iowa
UIG via Getty Images

You might recognize Roseman Covered Bridge from "The Bridges Of Madison County." The special bridge, built in 1883, is the same bridge where Meryl Streep invites Clint Eastwood to her home in the memorable romance film.

03 of 20

Arthur A. Smith Covered Bridge: Colrain, Massachusetts

Arthur Smith Colrain Massachusetts
Massachussetts Office of Travel & Tourism

Named after a Civil War army captain, 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.

04 of 20

Flume Covered Bridge: Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire

Flume Bridge Franconia Notch New Hampshire
Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

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.

05 of 20

AM Foster Covered Bridge: Cabot Plains, Vermont

Foster Bridge Cabot Vermont
Getty Images/Gallo Images

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.

06 of 20

Felton Covered Bridge: Felton, California

Felton Covered Bridge Felton California
Santa Cruz County Parks

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.

07 of 20

Campbell's Covered Bridge: Landrum, South Carolina

Campbells 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.

08 of 20

Bridgeport Covered Bridge: Nevada County, California

Bridgeport Covered Bridge Nevada County California
Getty Images/Aurora Open

Built in 1862, the Bridgeport Covered Bridge has the longest clear span of any covered bridge in the nation that is still standing. The bridge was once a particularly important link in the western United States when silver mining was at its height.

09 of 20

Ada Covered Bridge: Ada, Michigan

Ada Covered Bridge Ada Michigan
Purestock/Alamy Stock Photo

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.

10 of 20

Wawona Covered Bridge: Yosemite National Park, California

Wawona Covered Bridge Yosemite National Park California
Russ Bishop/Alamy Stock Photo

Spanning the south fork of the Merced River, the Wawona bridge was built in 1857, but it didn't get its covered cladding until 1879. At the time of its construction, it was the only direct route to the Yosemite Valley, one that even Ralph Waldo Emerson took.

11 of 20

The Fisher School Bridge: Tidewater, Oregon

The Fisher School Bridge Tidewater Oregon
Lincoln County

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.

12 of 20

Stark Bridge: Stark, New Hampshire

Stark Bridge Stark New Hampshire
UIG via Getty Images

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.

13 of 20

Sachs Bridge: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Sachs Bridge Gettysburg Pennsylvania
Getty Images/iStockphoto

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.

14 of 20

Horton Bridge: Amnicon Falls State Park, Wisconsin

Horton Bridge Amnicon Falls State Parks Wisconsin
Wisconsin Dept. of Tourism

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.

15 of 20

Humpback Covered Bridge: Covington, Virginia

Humpback Covered Bridge Covington Virginia
Joe Potato/Getty Images/iStockphoto

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.

16 of 20

Zumbrota Bridge: Zumbrota, Minnesota

Zumbrota Bridge Zumbrota Minnesota
Alvis Upitis/Getty Images

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 1,000 feet from its original location in Covered Bridge Park.

17 of 20

Meem's Bottom Bridge: Mount Jackson, Virginia

Meems Bottom Bridge Mount Jackson Virginia
Courtesy of Virginia Department of Transportation

Built in 1893, Meem's Bottom ushered cars 204 feet across the north fork of the Shenandoah River for more than 80 years until it was set on fire on Halloween in the 1970s. Not exactly a funny prank, the bridge was restored to its former glory and still serves as a popular highway detour.

18 of 20

West Cornwall Covered Bridge: West Cornwall, Connecticut

West Cornwall Bridge Cornwall Connecticut
LightRocket/Getty Images

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 451 acres of foliage.

19 of 20

Weaver's Mill Bridge: East Earl, Pennsylvania

Weavers Mill Bridge East Earl Pennsylvania
Lee Snider/Alamy Stock Photo

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.

20 of 20

Artist's Bridge: Newry, Maine

Artists Bridge Newry Maine
Portland Press Herald/Getty Images

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 its crisscrossing posts that are perfect for peering at the surrounding scenery, is one of Maine's most photographed and painted sites.

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