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Why Covered Bridges?

Updated: Feb 18, 2023

Historic covered bridges dot the landscape in New Hampshire, creating a link with the past. Cycling through this region provides an opportunity to visit several of the covered bridges while also experiencing some of the most scenic views in the state! Standing as a reminder of the ingenuity and hard work of the people who designed and constructed them, it is easy to appreciate how the covered bridges in New Hampshire thoroughly changed the landscape of local and regional economies. But why did they specifically build covered bridges?

The lovely Corbin Covered Bridge spans the East Branch of the Sugar River.

There are 60 remaining historic covered bridges in New Hampshire. The oldest covered bridge in the United States is the Haverhill-Bath Bridge, located in Bath, New Hampshire - built in 1829.

Why covered bridges? Covered bridges were constructed using local and available resources such as timbers made from spruce and white pine. This made the bridges flexible and strong, however the wood decayed quickly when exposed to rain and snow. By the early 1800s bridge builders began to construct bridges with roofs and siding to protect the bridge's wooden structure. Uncovered wooden bridges typically had a lifespan of only 20 years because of the effects of weather, but a covered bridge could last over 100 years. The roofing and siding also provided shelter for those traveling long distances in inclement weather!


Join our New Hampshire Covered Bridges tour and visit 12 of these iconic covered bridges all while taking in the beautiful landscape and quaint towns that epitomize the character of New England.

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