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Manchester Vermont Area Covered Bridges
Manchester Vermont Area Attractions Inn at Ormsby Hill B&B

Bridges were covered to keep the wood dry and thereby avoid rot. This became the trend in 1805 when a bridge designed by Timothy Palmer, an architect proved most durable. Most covered bridges are painted red because iron ochre was an inexpensive pigment. Here is an early recipe for bridge paint: 2 quarts skim milk, buttermilk or whey; 8 oz. newly slaked lime, 6 oz. oil from ground flaxseed, 2 oz. turpentine; 1.5 lbs. pulverized ochre.

The most common type of covered bridge is Town Lattice. All the covered bridges in Bennington County fall under this category.

Traveling along Route 30 from Brattleboro to Manchester, we spotted the remain of several covered bridges. Stone supports could be seen in the middle of the river - no longer bearing the bridges that once crossed. A thank you for the efforts of the following Covered Bridge Societies:

  • National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges
  • New York State Covered Bridge Society
  • The Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania
  • Vermont Covered Bridge Society
  • The Vermont Covered Bridge Museum

A self-guided audio tour, complete with a CD to listen to in the car, map, detailed directions, history and guided exploration of each bridge, trivia, and a collection of postcards are available from the Vermont Covered Bridge Museum. For more information call 802-442-7158—and please ask—there may be a CD available for you.

Visit Covered Bridges of the Northeast for more detail.

Chiselville Covered Bridge
Sunderland Hill Road
Sunderland

Lat: N 42 54.738
Lon: W 73 15.271

covered bridgeThe name Chiselville comes from a former chisel factory nearby, but the bridge was previously named High Bridge and The Roaring Branch Bridge. It spans the Roaring Branch Brook and was built by Daniel Oatman in 1870. At the time the cost to build this bridge was $2,307.31 including the builders fee. It survived the flood of 1927, which destroyed hundreds of Vermont covered bridges. It appears that the strategic placement of this bridge allowed the flooded Roaring Branch Brook to pass harmlessly underneath. Please observe the posted speed limit - warns motorists that there is a one dollar fine for driving across the bridge at a speed faster than a walk. And if you’re touring Vermont’s covered bridges with someone you love you should know that covered bridges were once known as “kissing bridges” because they provided a moment of privacy during the days of horse and buggy courtships. So, do slow down and sneak a kiss! Parking in pull offs on north side of bridge.

West Arlington Bridge
Route 313 West
West Arlington

covered-bridge-west-arl
The West Arlington Bridge is one of Vermont’s most photographed and painted covered bridges. Dating to 1852, the picturesque red bridge is located on the town green near the former home of painter Norman Rockwell, which is now the Inn on Covered Bridge Green. West Arlington Bridge spans the Battenkill River, a popular spot for kayaking and fly fishing.

Silk Road Covered Bridge
Bennington, VT

Lat: N 42 54.738
Lon: W 73 15.271

covered bridge
This bridge spans the Walloomsac River and was built in 1840 probably by Benjamin Sears. The original name for this bridge was the Locust Grove Bridge. Photographs from road easy, Photos from stream difficult when leaves are on trees. Parking in pulloffs on north side of bridge.

Paper Mill Village Bridge
Bennington, VT

Lat: N 42 54.738
Lon: W 73 15.271

covered bridge
This bridge spans the Walloomsac River. It was originally named for a 1790 paper mill that was one of the state's first. This bridge was built by the son of Benjamin Sears. The Paper Mill Village Bridge area provides enough room for tour buses to park and unload passengers offering photo opportunities.

Burt Henry Bridge
Bennington

Lat: N 42 54.738
Lon: W 73 15.271

covered bridge The Burt Henry bridge spans the Wallomsac River. It is named after Elnathan Henry who bought the land from James Breckenridge and constructed the Henry House in 1769. The Henry House operates today and is used as a Bed and Breakfast and is located directly across from the bridge. The original bridge was built in 1840, but was completely restructured in 1989.

Taftsville Covered Bridge
Woodstock, Vermont

One of the oldest covered bridges in Vermont — 1836

Lat: N 43 37.857
Lon: W 72 28.083

covered bridge
The Taftsville Bridge is a two span 189 foot long Multiple Kingpost Truss with an arch. Spans are 89 and 100 feet. It carries River Road the over Ottaquechee River in Taftsville Vermont. This bridge was built in 1836 and is one of the oldest covered bridges in Vermont. For portal shots be careful of traffic. Had trouble getting down to the streambank in the snow for side views. Cross the bridge. Lots of parking along shoulder of the River Road on the other side.

Downers Covered Bridge
Wethersfield, Vermont

Lat: N 43 23.904
Lon: W 72 31.297

covered bridge
The Downers or Upper Falls Covered Bridge is a 120 foot long Town Lattice Truss . It carries a Upper Falls Road over the Black River in Amsden. This bridge was built in about 1840.

Portal photos are easy, traffic volume is low. Getting down the stream is easy on the west side of bridge. Nice area along bank to take pictures of sides of bridge. Dropped my digital camera into the Black River while taking photos of this bridge, it floated down the river a short distance in its leather case, luckily it still works.

Cross the bridge. Lots of parking along the road on the other side.

Depot Covered Bridge
Pittsford, Vermont

Lat: N 43 42.551
Lon: W 73 02.595

covered bridge
The Depot Covered Bridge is a 121 foot long town lattice.
It carries Depot Road over the Otter Creek.
This bridge was built in 1853.

Easy to photograph from sides.
Parking available in pulloff near bridge.

Hammond Covered Bridge
Pittsford, Vermont

Lat: N 43 43.232
Lon: W 73 03.206

covered bridge
The Hammond Covered Bridge is a 145 foot long town lattice truss. The bridge carries Kendall Hill Road over the Otter Creek, it is closed to vehicular traffic. The Hammond bridge was built in 1843.

Easy to photograph from sides. Parking available in pulloff near bridge.

Fisher Railroad Covered Bridge
Wolcott, Vermont

covered bridge This bridge, built in 1908, carried the St. Johnsbury & Lamoille County RR over the Lamoille River until recently. The truss is a Town-Pratt with double lattice, which now only carries the deadload of the truss, roof and snow load. A steel pier was built in the river and now supposts four steel girders which carry the railroad live load. This bridge has a full length cupola which allowed the smoke from the steam locomotives out of the bridge. The park on the north side of the bridge is an excellent area to take photographs of this bridge. Easy access under bridge on south side, good for underside and panoramic photos.

Slaughterhouse Covered Bridge
Northfield, Vermont

Lat: N 44 1.105
Lon: W 72 39.280

covered bridgeThe Slaughter House Covered Bridge is a 55 foot long queenpost truss. It carries Slaughter House Road over the Dog River. This bridge was built in around 1872. Slaughter House Road was formerly named Bailey Road.

Portal photos are easy to take because of the lack of traffic. Easy access via a path heading north after crossing the bridge, good for underside photos. (See Elevation view)

A small parking area is available on the left side of Slaughter House Road before crossing the bridge.

Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge
Windsor, Vermont

The longest covered bridge in the United States

Lat: N 43 28.424
Lon: W 72 23.025

covered bridge The Windsor-Cornish Bridge is a two span 460 foot long Town Lattice Truss. It carries Bridge Street in Vermont and the Cornish Toll Road in New Hampshire over Connecticut River in Windsor Vermont and Cornish New Hampshire. This bridge was built in 1866 and is the longest covered bridge in the United States.

Easy to photograph from New Hampshire. Truss difficult to photograph due to heavy traffic on bridge.

Parking available both sides of bridge. Larger area in New Hampshire.

Gifford Covered Bridge
Randolph, Vermont

Lat: N 43 54.971
Lon: W 72 33.303

covered bridge The Gifford Covered Bridge is a 46 foot long Multiple Kingpost Truss. It carries Hyde Hill Road over the Second Branch of the White River in East Randolph. This bridge was built in 1904 and is one of the newest of the historic covered bridges in Vermont.

Portal photos is easy, traffic volume is low. Getting down the stream was difficult in the snow.

Parking available on either side of bridge.

Union Village Bridge
Union Village, Vermont

Lat: N 43 47.314
Lon: W 72 15.257

covered bridge

The Union Village Covered Bridge is a 111 foot long Town Lattice Truss. It carries Acadamy Road over the Ompompanoosuc River in Union Village. This bridge was built is 1867.

Easy portal shots from shoulder on either side.
Parking is available along road before crossing the bridge.

Halpin Covered Bridge
Middlebury Vermont

Lat: N 42 50.969
Lon: W 72 35.156

covered bridge The Halpin Bridge is a 66 foot long Town Lattice Truss. It carries Halpin Lane over Muddy Branch of the New-Haven River. This bridge was built in 1824.  Easy to photograph portal, Difficult to photograph from sides because of steep embankment and need of permission by owner to get stream access.

Parking available on west side of the bridge.

Lake Shore Covered Bridge
Charlotte, VT

Lat: N 44 19.968
Lon: W 73 16.896

covered bridgeThe Lake Shore or Holmes Creek Covered Bridge is located on the shore of Lake Champlain. The superstructure is a Kingpost truss & a tied arch. It has a 39 foot span. This bridge carries Lake Road over Holmes Creek in the town of Charlotte. This bridge was built in 1898. When photographing from road watch for traffic, Photos from easy to take, great shots of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack High Peaks in New York across the lake. Parking in pulloffs on north side of bridge.

Pulp Mill Covered Bridge
Middlebury, Vermont

Lat: N 42 50.969
Lon: W 72 35.156

covered bridge The Pulp Mill Bridge is a 195 foot long two span Double barrel Burr Arch. It carries Pulp Mill Bridge Road over Otter Creek. This bridge was built in 1820.

Difficult to photograph from the side. Difficult to photograph portal with heavy traffic in the area.

Parking available beyond bridge, and turn right.

Creamery Covered Bridge
Brattleboro, Vermont

Lat: N 42 50.969
Lon: W 72 35.156

covered bridgeThe Creamery Bridge is a 80 foot long town lattice truss in Brattleboro VT. The bridge was built in 1879, a sidewalk and slate roof were added in 1917. Many great photographing angles. Electric wires visible in most photos. Parking in park on south side of bridge.

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Innkeepers MaryAnn and Jack Orlando

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