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.
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.
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.