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Blog :: 05-2013

Plan Your Own Vermont Covered Bridge Tour

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Though Vermont is known for many things - great skiing, beautiful fall foliage, and snowy winters - one of the state's most enduring and iconic features is the humble covered bridge. Vermont covered bridges are both a link to the state's rich history and a beautiful addition to the natural scenery. One great way to experience both the history and beauty is to hit the road on your own covered bridge tour.

Silk Bridge, Bennington, Vermont

There are just over 100 authentic covered bridges in Vermont, and visiting them is as easy as driving down the roads they're on. A covered bridge is considered "authentic" when it is built with traditional truss-based construction, which uses triangular structural pieces.

You can easily take a covered bridge tour by picking a town or region that you're interested in and finding bridges close to it. Some towns don't have any bridges at all, but others have many. One of the best resources for finding covered bridges is the Virtual Vermont website, which shows bridges close to each town and who owns them.

Some bridges of particular note are the West Dummerston bridge in the town of Dummerston, which is the longest covered bridge in Vermont, and the Scott bridge outside of Townshend, which is the longest single span bridge in the state. Both of these bridges are famous for their construction and appear often in Vermont artwork and photography - the West Dummerston bridge is actually the most photographed covered bridge in the state. Other local favorites include the the Paper Mill bridge in Bennington and the Williamsville bridge outside of Newfane.

The West Dummerston Bridge

Don't worry if you take a wrong turn or lose cell phone service while searching out covered bridges - asking locals for recommendations on which bridges to visit is perhaps the best way to do a covered bridge tour. Vermonters are very proud of the bridges, so you're sure to get lots of advice and probably learn a bit of local history. If touring in spring and summer, you'll see the Green Mountains in their glory, while the fall provides a backdrop of fantastic Vermont fall foliage.

Remember to watch out for traffic and property signs when visiting the bridges. Many of these bridges are still in use by cars today, so always be careful when taking pictures. Most bridges are owned by towns, but if the bridge is on private land, either ask the owner's permission or stay in publicly accessible areas to view the bridge.

Having a good starting point for a covered bridge tour is also essential. Consider staying at one of our beautiful short- or long-term rental properties instead in Wilmington, Vermont - we're only minutes away from some of the most popular covered bridges in the region.

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  1. Patty Killion on

    [...] man behind the Ben and Jerry’s cows). From the rugged beauty of the natural landscapes to the historic covered bridges that dot the state’s waterways, Vermont artists find inspiration throughout the Green [...]
    • Patty Killion on

      [...] is plenty to see on Route 100 beyond Wilmington, too. For instance, several of Vermont’s beautiful and famous covered bridges lie along or near the Scenic Route 100 Byway. Vermont’s covered bridges are a topic unto [...]

      Visit Vermont Art and Artists on a Studio Tour

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      Vermont ArtVermont is home to a wonderful variety of artists, from painters to sculptors to glass blowers, and famous Vermont artists of the likes of Norman Rockwell and Woody Jackson (the man behind the Ben and Jerry's cows). From the rugged beauty of the natural landscapes to the historic covered bridges that dot the state's waterways, Vermont artists find inspiration throughout the Green Mountains. One of the best ways to experience the Vermont art world for yourself is with an art studio tour through the creative spaces of Vermont's many artists.

      An art studio tour is a very different experience from the glossy world of big-city galleries and large museums. It's an intimate look inside the creative process of an artist, where visitors can see and interact with the space in which art is made. Through these tours, Vermont artists welcome visitors directly into their studios and even offer demonstrations, making their art accessible and far more tangible than in a gallery or museum.

      Local artist associations often organize weekend studio tours, an easy way to visit several Vermont art studios. Some of the best options for visitors are the Open Studio Weekends from the Vermont Crafts Council and the Rock River Artists studio tours.

      Carved Table by Eric SprengerThe VCC's Open Studio weekends happen twice a year, in spring and fall, giving visitors the chance to enter the studios of artists working in a huge variety of mediums and styles. A number of the artists are right here in Wilmington, including Eric Sprenger's woodworking studio and Jen Violette's glass art. These are just two of the literally dozens of artists that open their workspaces during Open Studio weekends, a must for any fan of Vermont art and artists.

      Another option for art-lovers is the excellent art studio tour weekend set up by Rock River Artists. A smaller collective between the towns of Brattleboro and Newfane, the members of RRA open their doors to visitors annually in order to share their work and involve people in their process. Tour dates and a detailed map of the furniture makers, potters, painters and other artists in the Mount Snow area are on their website.

      An art studio tour is also opportunity to buy pieces directly from the artist, supporting the Vermont art community. Not only can you find pieces from artists that you might otherwise not have heard of, you'll have unique art with a great story.

      If you are considering an art studio tour for your next Vermont vacation, why not stay close to the action in a short-term or long-term rental home? You'll be nearby, and you'll have lots of extra space to keep your new purchases in, too!

      Comments

      1. Patty Killion on

        [...] Whether you’re an art aficionado, a natural history buff, or just looking for a way to spend a rainy day, the many museums in southern Vermont will be able to entertain you. Vermont museums have a lot to offer, and once you’re hooked, one of the best ways to see the Vermont art world in-depth is through Vermont artists open studio tours. [...]
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