Four Covered Bridges in Vermont

Imagine heading down a rural lane, with trees thick on either side, and then rounding a curve and finding an old covered bridge over a rushing river. There is a feeling I get when I first come upon a covered bridge, a thrill of excitement in seeing the beauty and history. I recently visited four covered bridges in Vermont. 

What is a covered bridge? 

What is a covered bridge? It is a timber truss bridge that has a roof, a deck, and siding. Most covered bridges create a nearly complete enclosure. The covering on the bridge is designed to actually protect the bridge and extend its lifespan. Uncovered wooden bridges will last about twenty years before needing to be repaired or replaced, while covered wooden bridges can last as long as a century before any work needs to be done on them. 

It is the construction, and not the age, that determines the authenticity of a covered bridge. Trusses, rather than another assembly of beams such as stringers, compose an authentic covered bridge. 

Charming covered bridges epitomize Vermont. Recently, I had the opportunity to explore and photograph four Vermont covered bridges. The covered bridges of Vermont are picturesque and often historic masterpieces of Yankee ingenuity. Their beauty naturally makes people want to stop and admire them. It was a rainy day but the dark clouds helped provide an even better backdrop.  

Quechee Covered Bridge

This modern covered bridge was built to replace the former covered bridge that stood here. Hurricane Irene damaged the original bridge in 2011. Originally a concrete bridge with a wooden cover, it suffered massive damage in the hurricane. The hurricane dumped enough water in the region that the gorge had filled, flooding the bridge and damaging it and nearby buildings. 

Known as Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon, the Quechee Gorge is 165 feet deep, making it the deepest gorge in Vermont. Built by ice age activity from a receding glacier, it is a popular place for recreation and relaxation. The pedestrian footbridge offers the perfect way to enjoy the views of the pretty, impressive waterfall at the dam.

rustic covered bridge showing open sides and a separate walkway
rustic covered bridge with storm clouds in the background

Taftsville Covered Bridge

The Taftsville Bridge is long, red, and perfect. Also, its 189 foot span really adds to the beautiful effect as you admire this covered bridge’s reach over the river. Floodwaters destroyed three previous bridges, and Solomon Emmons III was contracted to build the timber-framed Taftsville Covered Bridge that stands today. The bridge consists of two spans – one 89′ and the second 100′ – making it one of the longest covered bridges in Vermont. Completed in 1836, it is not only one of the oldest covered bridges in the nation, only two bridges, Pulp Mill and Great Eddy, are older in Vermont. 

In recent years, it has survived Hurricane Irene and a hit-and-run, thanks, in part, to its early craftsman design likely influenced by Swiss tradition. The modified multiple kingpost truss design complete with arches is not based on any US patent, and it remains one of the most stunning and effective designs in covered bridge history.

red covered bridge with storm clouds overhead
red covered bridge with storm clouds overhead

Middle Covered Bridge

Middle Covered bridge is one of the covered bridges located in Woodstock, Vermont. Situated right in the middle of Woodstock Village, photographers love to take pictures of this bridge. 

The lattice work and the blooming spring and summer flowers around this lattice truss bridge make it especially picturesque in the warm weather months! Built in 1969 to replace an 1877 iron bridge, this is one of Vermont’s newest covered bridges. But this bridge contains centuries’ worth of charm! It is constructed using traditional methods and materials down to the wooden pegs in lieu of nails. It sits at 139 feet in length and crosses the Ottauquechee River. There is a pedestrian walkway attached to this bridge. After it was set on fire by arsonists in 1974, the bridge was repaired to its current glory, as seen today. 

Middle Covered Bridge is golden wood on one side, and gray on the other, with a lattice reminiscent of a see-through waffle cone along the sides. And yes, that is rain you see, especially in the second picture. I wanted this picture so badly that I stood out in the rain for it.

rustic gray covered bridge with separate walkway and storm clouds

Lincoln Covered Bridge

The Lincoln Covered Bridge is another bridge in Woodstock, Vermont. Built in 1877 , it is 136 feet long. Visiting this covered bridge is a unique and charming experience that can transport you back in time to a simpler era. It’s not only a functional structure that provides safe passage over a body of water but also serves as a cultural and historical landmark that reflects the ingenuity of its builders. Note the old stone footing underneath the bridge in the third picture. 

rustic covered bridge in rural setting surrounded by green trees

My Camera

Since I’m often asked what camera I use, here are some details. I’m a firm believer that any modern camera today can produce a good picture. I use a Canon R5 as my main camera. It is a mirrorless camera, and more importantly it is a great tool. I am able to get it to translate the vision that I see into a photograph. My key reasons for this camera are: 

It is 45 mp. For some photographers, that may be too much as it produces large files. But this works well for me as a landscape photographer. 

It’s a Canon. I have used a lot of Canon cameras and have always found them dependable, reliable and intuitive to use. 

The RF lenses are truly amazing. I have always had EF-L series lenses, but the RF lenses produce stunning images. 

Also, the image stabilization is outstanding.

It is not too large, and not too small and works well as a travel camera for landscape photography. 

But this isn’t a blog about cameras. If you want to know more, please contact me. 

Debbi Marquette Photography is located in Upstate New York at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. Debbi is an award-winning and published travel, landscape and bald eagle photographer specializing in artistic, authentic, and memorable landscape and wildlife photography. She travels frequently, lives near the mountains and constantly has a camera in her hand to capture photographs.