Seeing Vermont’s Covered Bridges

Bridge on the Green in Arlington, a red-painted covered bridge.

It’s easy to get up close to Bridge on the Green in Arlington. Photo © Doug Kerr, licensed Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike.

Color State Map of Vermont

Vermont

Bridges in Vermont were covered to protect the roadway and supports from the ravages of New England weather. The covers were relatively easy to replace compared with the supports driven into the river bottoms. Originally, there were more than 600 covered bridges in Vermont; two-thirds of them were destroyed in the disastrous flood of 1927. Dozens more were simply not replaced when their covers became damaged or rotted.

While Pennsylvania is the state with the largest number of surviving covered bridges, Vermont and New Hampshire have long fought over which of the states can lay claim to being the “covered bridge capital of New England.” Actually, Vermont blows New Hampshire out of the water, with 106 surviving covered bridges compared to the Granite State’s 54. If it’s any consolation, however, New Hampshire can lay claim to having the longest covered bridge, the 450-foot Cornish-Windsor Bridge over the Connecticut River. (That’s the Windsor-Cornish Bridge to Vermonters.) Because the official boundary between the states is the west bank of the river, nearly the entire bridge is firmly within New Hampshire state territory.

  • Number of Covered Bridges in Vermont: 106
  • Oldest Bridge in Vermont: Pulp Mill Covered Bridge in Middlebury, dating from 1820
  • Oldest Continuously Operating Bridge in Vermont: Great Eddy Bridge in Waitsfield, dating from 1833
  • Longest Bridge in Vermont: Scott Covered Bridge, north of Brattleboro—277 feet long
  • Most Camera-Friendly Bridge Near Norman Rockwell’s Home: Bridge at the Green in Arlington
  • Longest Bridge not Technically in Vermont: Windsor-Cornish Bridge in Cornish, New Hampshire
  • Town with the Most Covered Bridges in the United States: Montgomery, Vermont, with six covered bridges
  • Place Where You Can See Two Bridges at Once Spanning Different Sections of the Same Road: Cox Brook Road in Northfield
  • Best Place to Learn About Covered Bridges: Covered Bridge Museum in Bennington

Excerpted from the Third Edition of Moon Vermont.

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