Pack Your Bags ~ The White Mountain Covered Bridges Await!

October 18, 2011

Tucked way up, almost to the Canadian Border are the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  The leaves right now are bright orange and red, and the rustic scenery is idyllic and ripe for a weekend road trip.  Throughout the area are a collection of romantic covered bridges – often called “courting bridges”.   There are more than 29 of them, many with names as colorful as the foliage that surrounds them: Jack O’ Lantern Bridge, Turkey Jim’s Bridge, Honeymoon Bridge, and Happy Corner are just a few.

Many believe covered bridges first came about to comfort horses nervous about crossing a span of water – personally I believe that it was a safety measure to guard against buggies running off of icy roads in the Winter.  Whatever the case, here are a few you should see:

top ~ The Flume Gorge Bridge is thought to have been built in 1871, however little more is known about it than this.

above ~ The Blair Bridge was first built in 1829 but was later alleged to have been burnt down by a local man one afternoon.  Several replacements have been built since including the current structure which was built in 1977.  below ~ The Stark Bridge built in the 1890’s washed down stream at one point and was hauled back by men and oxen and set on stone piers.  During the 1950’s locals voted to demolish the wooden bridge and replace it with a steel structure – this of course did not go over well with artists and historians who resolved to work with the state of New Hampshire to restore the historic bridge.

above ~ The Sentinel Pine Bridge is actually constructed from a great pine that stood over 90 feet tall and 5 feet in diameter.  The hurricane of 1938 sadly blew it over – workmen laid a section of it across the stream and using other trees that had blown down in the storm, constructed a footbridge held together with wooden pegs to protect it.  below ~ The Jack O’ Lantern Bridge is part of the a resort and is located on the Jack O Lantern Golf Course.

above ~ The Lost River Allen Hollis Bridge is part of the Lost River Gorge Park – not to be missed! below ~ The Albany Bridge was originally built in 1857 but has been destroyed or damaged by storms several times.

above ~ The Columbia Bridge was built in 1912. below ~ The Groveton Bridge was built in 1852.

above ~ The Swift River Bridge was built in 1850. below ~ perhaps the spookiest and most interesting of all these is The Bath-Haverhill Bridge which is more than 256 feet long and is the oldest covered bridge in continuous use in New Hampshire.  It connects the towns of Bath and Haverhill and was built in 1827.

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