Covered bridges have a long history in Vermont dating back to the 19th century.
Vermont, known for its scenic countryside, characterized by rivers and streams, and the need for reliable transportation led to the construction of these iconic structures. The earliest known covered bridge in the state was built in 1820, setting the precedent for many more to come.
These covered bridges served as crucial transportation links, protecting the wooden structures from the elements and extending their longevity. They were often constructed using the Town lattice truss design, a popular and efficient architectural style.
Over the years, Vermont boasted more than 100 covered bridges at its peak, but the number has since dwindled, with some lost to natural disasters and others preserved as historical landmarks.
Today, Vermont’s remaining covered bridges are cherished for their historic significance and the picturesque charm they add to the state’s rural landscapes. Many of them are open to visitors, offering a glimpse into a bygone era of transportation and architectural craftsmanship.
The Taftsville Covered Bridge
The Taftsville Covered Bridge, located just outside of Woodstock Vermont, is one of the oldest bridges in the state dating back to 1836. It’s also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Spanning the Ottauquechee River, this distinctive red-colored bridge allows both vehicles and pedestrians to make the passage from Taftsville to Hartford. It’s also the second-longest bridge in Vermont, spanning 189 feet.
Quechee Covered Bridge
The distinctive Quechee Covered Bridge, built in 1970 and spanning the Ottauquechee River, serves as an entrance to the town. It’s also a popular tourist destination in this small picturesque community.
Walking along the pedestrian portion of the bridge provides views of a lively waterfall below. To the right, nestled along the shore is the Simon Pearce flagship, a renowned glass-blowing and pottery store.
The Creamery Covered Bridge
Not far from downtown Brattleboro Vermont lies the Creamery Covered Bridge – a beautiful structure that harkens back to a time gone by.
At 80 feet long and 19 feet wide, this lattice, truss-style covered bridge spans over Whetstone Brook, connecting the towns of Brattleboro and Dummerston.
Windsor Cornish Covered Bridge
Located on the Vermont-New Hampshire border and crossing the Connecticut River, the Windsor Cornish Covered Bridge is the second longest wooden covered bridge in the United States, spanning 449 feet.
Built in 1866, the Windsor Cornish Covered Bridge is a two-span, timber Town lattice-truss design. It connects the towns of Windsor, Vermont, and Cornish, New Hampshire.
Unlike other covered bridges that have a pedestrian walkway, the Cornish-Windsor bridge only accommodates vehicles. A sign at the front of the bridge harkens back to a previous era with the message: “Walk your horses or pay two dollars fine”.
Arlington Green Covered Bridge
In the southwestern part of the state is the Arlington Green Covered Bridge. Built in 1852 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this bridge is one of Vermont’s oldest surviving bridges.
The Arlington Green Covered Bridge crosses Batten Kill River just south of Route 313 in West Arlington. Its design is Town lattice truss and it features a green roof with red-painted exterior.
Chiselville Covered Bridge
Also red in color and a short distance from the Arlington Bridge is the Chiselville Covered Bridge.
Located in Sunderland, Vermont, the Chiselville Covered Bridge spans across the Roaring Branch of Batten Kill River. A sign above its entrance says “One Dollar Fine for Driving Faster Than a Walk on This Bridge.”
Poland Covered Bridge
Located in Cambridge, Vermont, the Poland Covered Bridge (also known as the Cambridge Junction Covered Bridge) crosses the Lamoille River off of State Route 15.
The Poland Covered Bridge was built in 1887 and was named after the local official, Judge Poland. At the time it was built, Cambridge citizens were unhappy with the cost of the structure (estimated to be between $6,000 – $10,000) and felt that the bridge benefited few other citizens other than Poland.
Located in the heart of picturesque Woodstock, Vermont, the 139-foot-long Middle Covered Bridge is a Town lattice truss structure that was built in 1969 to replace an 1877 iron bridge.
In 1974, however, the bridge was set aflame due to arsonists but was soon repaired. The Middle Covered Bridge has an area for both cars and pedestrians.
Located in Bennington, the Henry Bridge, also known as the Burt Henry Bridge, is red in color and features the Town lattice truss design.
The bridge, built in about 1840, crosses the Walloomsac River and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s Bennington County’s oldest covered bridge.
West Dummerston Covered Bridge
The West Dummerston Covered Bridge, located in Dummerston, Vermont, was built in 1872. At 280 feet, it’s the longest covered bridge that’s entirely in the state of Vermont.
The bridge spans the West River and connects Route 30 with Camp Arden Road. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Gold Brook Covered Bridge
Gold Brook Covered Bridge, which also goes by the names Stowe Hollow Bridge or Emily’s Bridge, is located in Stowe, Vermont. As the original name suggests, this bridge crosses Gold Brook and is located on Covered Bridge Road.
Built in 1944, Gold Brook Covered Bridge is the only 19th-century bridge that uses wooden Howe trusses along a public roadway. Gold Brook Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
About Kerry Flatley
Kerry Flatley has lived in New England for the past 26 years. She has roots in Maine & Massachusetts, family in New Hampshire, and grew up close to the Connecticut border. She loves all that this region has to offer – the ocean, mountains, islands, history, villages, and cities. When she’s not writing about New England, she’s relaxing at home in the Boston suburbs with her two teenage daughters and husband.