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Picturesque Covered Bridges of Vermont

When you think of Vermont do you think of covered bridges, rolling hills, and farms? I do. Oh and cows, lots of cows. Covered bridges always evoke picturesque countrysides, horsedrawn carriages, and olden times to me. Well, in Vermont covered bridges are pretty much a necessity in the winter months. They are beautiful anytime you visit though. To help you find some covered bridges I’ve drawn out a route from Rt. 89, along Rt. 4 and around to Rt. 100. This is such a picturesque part of the state. I’m certain you will not be disappointed even if you only chose to do a small portion of the route.

covered bridge map
The route we drove

Excuse me if I talk about the construction of the bridges. I still love architecture and will always admire how things are designed and built even though I am not in the field any longer.

Table of Contents

Covered Bridges on Route 4

Since we started this trip on Route 4 off Rt. 89 we went through the quaint villages of Quechee, Woodstock, and Bridgewater. The first town you come to is Quechee, famous for its gorge. Letter B on the map. I highly recommend stopping and walking across the bridge. The hike down to the bottom isn’t difficult at all and can even be done in flip-flops for an adult, weather dependent of course. We enjoyed our hike to the bottom and the girls played in the water. It will be cold at any time of year but still fun to splash around in. Next to the gorge is the Quechee Gorge State Park. They offer camping, hiking, fishing, and nature programs.

Ottauquechee River Bridge

A little bit up the road from the gorge is the Ottauquechee River Bridge. Letter C on the map. This bridge has a separate aisle just for pedestrians which I personally love. There is a waterfall just before the bridge and the view of the valley is beautiful. This bridge is right next to Simon Pearce, which is a glass-blowing factory and store. You can watch as the workers make their glass pieces in the basement of the building. It’s really fascinating to watch them make the different pieces of glass they sell in their shop. We have a decorative glass plate and I love the piece.

Taftsville Covered Bridge

This bridge is right on Route 4 and is also right after a waterfall on the Ottauquechee River. Letter D on the map. This is the red bridge you think of when we think of covered bridges. Build-in 1836 this bridge is one of the state’s and country’s oldest covered bridges. The construction is beautiful. Build of Kingpost wooden trusses and finished with arches this design is a marvel for its time. This is what is called a 2 spam bridge because of its center support.

Taftsville Covered Bridge
Taftsville Covered Bridge

Woodstock Middle Bridge

The Woodstock Middle Bridge is in the quaint little town of Woodstock. Letter E on the map. This is a town to meander along its main street and go into all the boutiques, gift shops, and restaurants. The Middle Bridge is the second youngest covered bridge in the area, built in 1969. However, it’s hard to tell isn’t so young because it was built using traditional methods including wooden pegs. This is a one-lane bridge that thankfully includes a footpath. The Ottauquechee River is lazy under this bridge.

Woodstock Middle Covered Bridge
Woodstock Middle Covered Bridge
Middle bridge construction
Town lattice truss work sides and wooden pegs

In addition to the shopping in Woodstock, on the other side of this bridge, you can visit the Billings Farm & Museum. The farm is a national park and your kids can earn a junior ranger badge. My kids love to earn these badges.

Lincoln Covered Bridge

The Lincoln covered bridge was built in 1877 and is a Pratt truss system (it looks like an upside-down truss) with flanking arches. Letter F on the map. This bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places since its design paved the way for future steel highways and railroad bridges. The Ottauquechee River is quiet and lazy at this point. At the moment you can not drive through this bridge. It has been damaged and waiting to be repaired. Please note the height on all bridges before going through them. ** I’m pleased to say as of Feb 2020 the Lincoln covered bridge has been repaired. I will update the photos the next chance I get.

Lincoln Covered Bridge
Lincoln Covered Bridge

Pittsford, Vermont Covered Bridges

Pittsford is a small town north of Rutland off Rt 7. The town boasts two picket forts used during the Revolutionary War as its claim to fame. The town is also host to the New England Maple Museum.

Gorham Covered Bridge

The Gorham Covered Bridge is a one-way bridge, set among the fields off Rt. 3 north of Proctor. Letter G on the map. Constructed in 1841 and built using the town lattice truss and wooden peg construction. Otto Creek was very sleepy below this bridge.

Gorham Covered Bridge
Gorham Covered Bridge
Gorham bridge construction
Town Lattice Construction

Cooley Covered Bridge

The Cooley Bridge is just up the road a bit from the Gorham bridge. Letter H on the map. Constructed in the town lattice truss method with wooden pegs. And the same lazy Otto Creek runs under this bridge. The area is certainly a quiet and peaceful area to drive through. The Cooley Bridge was built in 1849.

Cooley Covered Bridge
Cooley Covered Bridge

Depot Hill Road Bridge

The Depot Hill Road Bridge was built in 1840 and is constructed in the town lattice truss method. Letter I on the Map. Again Otter Creek is quite lazy here. Clint said next time we will bring our kayaks on this river and go under all these bridges. It sits among the fields and mountains of Vermont in a most picturesque setting.

Depot Hill Road Covered Bridge
Depot Hill Road Bridge

Hammond Covered Bridge

The Hammond Covered Bridge is now a pedestrian-only bridge. Letter J on the map. A new steel and concrete bridge carry’s the traffic over the Otto Creek. This bridge built in 1843 used the town lattice truss method with wooden pegs. Added steel plates and rods have helped to reinforce the structure. The flood of 1927 brought this bridge a mile downstream. Luckily it was unharmed and returned to its original spot the following winter.

Hammond Covered Bridge
Hammond Covered Bridge

Middlebury, Vermont

Middlebury Vermont is a quaint college town that is home to Vermont’s original marble quarries. The town is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

Pulp Mill Covered Bridge

The Pulp Mill Covered Bridge was finished in 1820 and built using the double-barrel Burr arch method of construction. Letter K on the map. This bridge has been rebuilt over the years but is on the National Register of Historic Places. It crosses over the Otter Creek where it becomes more of a river. Lastly, the bridge can boast that it is one of only a handful of two-lane bridges across the country.

Pulp Mill covered Bridge
Pulp Mill Bridge
bridge construction
Double barrel Burr arch construction

This is the Otto River that has run under all the bridges in Pittsford and now in Middlebury. The river gets much wider and as you can see has a much stronger current when you arrive in Middlebury. I think if we kayak on the river it will be down in Pittsford where the river is narrower and much more of a lazy river. I can’t imagine going over these falls in a kayak. Scary!

Morgan Horse Farm

Because the girls and I are horse lovers we stopped at the Morgan Horse Farm in Middlebury. Letter L on the map. There were several horses in the different paddocks in addition to a few foals. Ainsley loved being able to pet this foal so much that she named it “Hershey’. The history of the Morgan horse is very interesting and if you have time we recommend stopping for the half-hour tour.

Ferrisburgh up to Shelburne Vermont

Spade Farm ‘Old Hollow’ Covered Bridge

The Spade Farm bridge is located right on Rt. 7 and built in the town truss method. Letter M on the map. It was moved here as a way to save the bridge from being demolished. The bridge now spans the farm pond. It is also next to ‘America’s #1 Flannel Company’, so go in and check out their stuff.

Spade Farm Covered Bridge
Spade Farm Covered Bridge

Quinlan’s Covered Bridge

The Quinlan’s Covered Bridge, built in 1849 makes use of the Multi-Kingpost truss & Burr arch method of construction. Letter N on the map. This bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places and crosses Lewis creek.

Quinlan's Covered Bridge
Quinlan’s Covered Bridge
Quinlan's covered bridge and river
The bridge and its lazy river below

Seguin Covered Bridge

The Seguin Covered Bridge built in the same fashion as the Quinlan bridge has been in use since 1850. Letter O on the map. Recently restored this bridge sits proudly above Lewis Creek.

Seguin Covered Bridge
Seguin Covered Bridge
Seguin Covered bridge and river
The bridge and lazy river below

Holmes Creek Covered Bridge

The Holmes Creek Covered Bridge runs over the Holmes Creek off Lake Champlain in Charolette. Letter P on the map. Built in 1898 the bridge is a Kingpost truss and tied arch construction. I love the openness of the top of this bridge. Holmes Creek was almost dry when we visited but still has one of the most beautiful settings right off Lake Champlain. With a town beach right after the bridge, I suggest spending time here. We paid $6 to park and brought a picnic lunch to enjoy. The girls were as surprised as I was at how warm the lake water is. Being used to ocean water it was a welcome change. In addition just down the road, you can catch the ferry across the lake to New York.

Homes Creek Covered Bridge
Holmes Creek Covered Bridge
bridge construction
Bridge construction

Lake Champlain

Charolette beach is rocky instead of sandy but the water being so warm and inviting it was hard to leave the beach.

Shelburne Covered Bridge & Museum

The Shelburne Covered Bridge is now pedestrian-only and within the museum grounds right on Rt. 7. Letter Q on the map. This is another two-lane bridge built in 1845 in a modified Burr design. An interesting fact about the length of bridges, the longer the bridge the more the inventor received for their design.

Shelburne Covered Bridge
Shelburne Covered Bridge
bridge construction
Creative Burr design

Side trips in the area

Burlington is the largest city in Vermont and only 45 miles south of the Canadian-US border. This is another great college town that has lots of great shopping, and restaurants as well as a thriving art scene. Of course, being right on Lake Champlain and being close to many ski resorts it’s no wonder this city has outdoor activities to enjoy year-round. Making a stop here is well worth your time.

If you go through Waterbury Vermont and enjoy ice cream, Ben & Jerry’s is a must-stop. I for one love their ice cream so it was a necessity for us. You can’t take pictures inside their processing facility but it is a fun time watching the ice cream being made. They also have a short movie to start off your tour and the ‘piéce de résistance’ is the ice cream tasting at the end. Of course, if you collect their memorabilia there is a whole store for you to enjoy.

Green Mountain Cafe & Visitors Center is also in Waterbury. The visitors center and café are located in a restored train station making the setting even more enjoyable. They have interactive displays and videos for you to learn all about their ‘source to cup’ theory of sustainable growing and producing coffee. Enjoy.

Waitsfield and Warren Covered Bridges

Pine Brook Covered Bridge

Pine Brook Covered Bridge was built in 1872 and is constructed using the Kingpin truss method. Letter R on the map. It recently was refurbished to its former glory. The Mad River is quiet and lazy at this crossing.

Pine Brook Covered Bridge
Pine Brook Covered Bridge
Bridge construction
Bridge construction

Village Bridge

The Village Bridge or Waitsfield Village Bridge is a Multi-Kingpost and Burr arch construction, built in 1833 it has gone under a revival since Hurricane Irene. Letter S on the map. Look at the picture of the bridge construction: the arch isn’t even. I’m not sure why but I guess it’s still helping to disperse the weight and working just fine. The Mad River is still lazy and quiet as it goes under the bridge that is used frequently by the townspeople. Luckily there is a pedestrian walkway to keep everyone safe. We saw several people swimming in the river and decided it was a good idea. However, unlike Lake Champlain, the river was quite cold even in the heat of summer. Still, it was a refreshing dip.

Village covered bridge
Village Bridge and pedestrian walkway
swimming in the river under Village covered bridge
Swimming in the river
bridge construction
Bridge construction

Lincoln Gap Covered Bridge

The Lincoln Gap Covered Bridge is built in the queen post truss design and was completed in 1880. Letter T on the map. The Mad River is quiet and lazy here but Hurricane Irene did put the bridge out of commission for a year. This is another bridge on the National Register of Historic Places. The interesting thing about this bridge is that the trusses are ‘completely’ (well mostly) covered, inside and out.

Lincoln Gap Covered Bridge
Lincoln Gap Bridge
bridge construction
Bridge construction

Pin for Later

Final Thoughts on the Covered Bridges of Vermont

I hope you enjoyed our trip around Vermont and all the lovely covered bridges we saw. Vermont has the most covered bridges per square mile in the whole country. So there is a lot to explore here. To enjoy the changing leaves along with the covered bridges explore Vermont Vacations and see what else they have to offer.

Have you ever gone on a covered bridge hunt? Are you intrigued by their construction? Do you wonder about the rivers they pass over? Let us know about your adventures with bridges.

This Post Has 44 Comments

  1. Je

    Very interesting read. These bridges are worthy of our love and respect. Cool photos. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. Leeanne

      Yes, these bridges are awesome. I was very sad to find the Lincoln bridge damaged.

  2. Holls

    These are so picturesque! Thanks for including a map of them all.

    1. Leeanne

      The map really helps to plan your visit for sure.

  3. Lucy

    wow, so may cool looking bridges!

    1. Leeanne

      I love how so many are built the same but still have their own character.

  4. Cindy

    Wow what a great road trip! We love covered bridges too! Have not been to Vermont to see theirs but we have been to some in New Hampshire.

    1. Leeanne

      New Hampshire has some great covered bridge as well. We found a few news one last fall when we visited.

  5. Lori Nielsen

    Well, the bridges are awesome, but the rivers underneath are even better! I’ve only seen a couple of covered bridges, but they were really fun.

    1. Leeanne

      I’m always fascinated how the rivers change so much with the seasons. There was ice in the rivers last time we were in Vermont. It was so beautiful.

  6. melissa

    I love visiting all of quaint towns in Vermont and the covered bridges are such an integral part of the “Vermont feel.” This looks like a wonderful route to check out!

    1. Leeanne

      I agree with you, Melissa. Driving through the towns you really do get a feel for life in Vermont.

  7. kmf

    Love this post so much! We lived in Vermont for five years and the special and quaint covered bridges never got old. This is such a comprehensive travel guide and also love the architectural facts.

    1. Leeanne

      Thanks, Karen. I can’t help but look at all the architecture when I see bridges or buildings.

  8. Tricia Snow

    So many bridges! What a great guide!

    1. Leeanne

      Thanks, we had a great time finding all these bridges and exploring them.

  9. Jennifer

    The covered bridges fascinate me. As, we see them in some movies.

    1. Leeanne

      I think they make us think of simpler times. Almost a feeling of nostalgia.

  10. Shirley

    Wow, what an awesome guide to some very cool covered bridges. I love it and I’m bookmarking for future travel plans.

    1. Leeanne

      I’m sure you will love it Bibi. The hiking in the area is great too.

  11. Lisa Manderino

    I just love looking at all the pictures! This would be a great road trip or places for family pictures!

    1. Leeanne

      If you could time your trip just right and get all the fall leaves in your family photo, it would be awesome.

  12. Stacey

    I would LOVE this trip! I love the look of the covered bridges, and each one unique in it’s own way.

    1. Leeanne

      I agree, Stacey. I think I love the bridge that has the mailbox the most. The setting was wonderful with the bend in the river and being able to walk down to the river. Plus the whole mailbox in the bridge intrigues me. Who would have their mail delivered to the bridge? Is it that your driveway is too far off the road? We couldn’t figure out who it was for but I still wonder about it.

  13. Cathy

    I’m fascinated with covered bridges, and now I want to take a tour of these. So beautiful!

    1. Leeanne

      There is something fascinating about covered bridges. I think it’s the thought of simpler times and country towns.

  14. Hera

    Great pics of these bridges and such interesting history behind them. I’ll have to pay more attention next time I see one

    1. Leeanne

      I’d suggest going through the bridge on foot to really get the feel of the bridge. Some of them echo, some don’t, some have designated walkways, some don’t, some have windows -these are my favorites, and others don’t. They really are all unique.

  15. Courtney

    You really captured the character of these bridges. They are all so beautiful.

    1. Leeanne

      Thanks. To me the bridges are alive. They really have their own character.

  16. Trisha

    The last time I was in Vermont was 12 years ago. It was during the fall and the whole state was absolutely magical! I LOVE covered bridges also! I’ll be saving your post for the next time I’m in Vermont. Thank you so much!

    1. Leeanne

      That’s great, Trisha. I’m sure you will have a great trip when you do get back to Vermont.

  17. heather J jandrue

    Gorgeous photos! This is a great road trip for the upcoming summer season.

    1. Leeanne

      Yes, Heather, we did it trip in the summer but I bet fall is even nicer with all the leaves changing.

  18. Amanda

    They are each so beautiful and unique. Thank you for putting this together. It is an awesome guide!

    1. Leeanne

      I’m glad you like it, Amanda. I hope it helps in your travels.

  19. Missy

    We have not been on covered bridge hunt but would like too. Yes, I am intrigued by their construction, too. I have wondered about the rivers they pass over.

    1. Leeanne

      I’ve always wanted to find the source of a river. Go to the beginning and then go all the way to the ocean or lake it dumps into.

  20. jen

    Great list! LOVE it!

    1. Leeanne

      Thanks, I love all the little towns you drive through as well. They all have their own charm.

  21. Cathy

    I am fascinated with covered bridges. Your photos are great! I am putting these on my bucket list for next summer. Thanks!

    1. Leeanne

      I love covered bridges too, Cathy. I always make my husband stop anytime we come across one in our travels. One day I might even take a trip out to Iowa and see if I can see all of the bridges in Madison County. lol.

  22. Lannie

    Incredible! I’d love to do this trip sometime. I love the different methods of construction and the lazy rivers underneath. Fabulous post 🙂

    1. Leeanne

      Thanks so much. My family wants to kayak on at least one of those lazy rivers.

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