Few structures in America combine architectural ingenuity, economic necessity, and romantic idealism better than the covered bridge. Covered bridges flourished in the United States in the 19th century. Vermont, with about 104 of them, has the highest density of bridges. Vermont and New Hampshire share the Cornish-Windsor Bridge, the longest wooden covered bridge in the United States.
Individual inventiveness played an important role in the proliferation of covered bridges. As the industry grew, builders experimented and adapted each other’s designs in hopes of building stronger bridges with the fewest materials. Covered bridges grew in popularity in the early 20th century and became subjects for artists and advertisers.
[Thanks to Hank and Marlee Bickel and their Web site, http://coveredbridgesite.com, and to the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service and the Montshire Museum of Science]
Route 30 East Townshend, VT, 05359 Phone:
Location: Take Route 30 east 1.6 miles from the junction with Route 35 in Townshend to the bridge on the south side of the road. The bridge is located between Townshend and West Dummerston.
Bear Hill Road Grafton, VT, 05146 Phone:
Location: 0.1 miles east of Grafton on Route 121 then right on Bear Hill Road; then 0.2 miles to the bridge. The bridge is located on the south edge of Grafton.
Jacksonville Stage Road Guilford, VT, 05301 Phone:
Location: 1.4 miles south of junction I-91 exit 1 on US5 to Guilford then right 4.1 miles to Guilford Center and 0.6 miles ahead; then right 2.4 miles on Stage Road; left 0.1 mile to the bridge.
Silk Road Bennington, VT, 05201 Phone:
Location: US7 north 1.2 miles from junction with Route 9 in Bennington; northwest on Route 7A 0.8 miles; continue northwest on Route 67A and west 1.0 miles; south on Silk Road (opposite Bennington College); 0.2 miles to the bridge.
Williams Road Bartonsville, VT, 05143 Phone:
Location: From Lower Bartonsville Road go south 0.5 miles from Bartonsville; continue south on Route 103 0.4 miles; east on Williams Road; then 0.2 mile to the bridge.
Sunderland Hill Road Sunderland, VT, 05250 Phone:
Location: E. off Route 7. Travel east of Arlington, East Arlington Road east (curves north) 1.6 miles; continue north on Sunderland Hill Road; 0.4 miles to the bridge at Chiselville.
Covered Bridge Road Arlington, VT, 05250 Phone:
Location: Northwest of Arlington, Route 313 West 4.2 miles from junction with Route 7A in Arlington (just past West Arlington); south on Covered Bridge Road; then 200 feet to the bridge.
Lower Bartonsville Road Bartonsville, VT, 05143 Phone:
Location: Off Route 103 on Lower Bartonsville Road at the south edge of Bartonsville.
River Road Bennington, VT, 05201 Phone:
Location: South-southwest of North Bennington. Travel Route 67A south 1.2 miles from junction with VT67 in North Bennington; west on River Road; 0.5 miles south on River Road; 150 feet to the bridge.
Location: North of exit 6 on I-91, at the intersection of US 5 and Route 103, travel north on Route 103 for 2.5 miles. Bridge is an entrance to Vermont Country Store.
Dover Road Newfane, VT, 05345 Phone:
Location: Off Route 30. Dover Road east 1.7 miles from junction with North Street in East Dover to the bridge. The bridge is east of East Dover in the town of Newfane.
Murphy Road Bennington, VT, 05201 Phone:
Location: US7 north 1.2 miles from junction with Route 9 in Bennington; then northwest on Route 7A 0.8 miles; continue northwest on Route 67A west 1.4 miles; south on Murphy Road; 250 feet to the bridge.
Sunderland Hill Road Rockingham, VT, 05101 Phone:
Location: Route 121 east 1.2 miles from junction with Westminster Street in Saxtons River, north on Sunderland Hill Road 200 feet to the bridge. The bridge is east of Saxtons River.
West Dummerston Covered Bridge Road West Dummerston, VT, 05357 Phone:
Location: Route 30 north 0.7 mile from West Dummerston; turn east on West Dummerston Covered Bridge Road. Travel 150 feet to the bridge.