New Hampshire, with its picturesque landscapes and rich history, boasts a network of covered bridges that stand as both functional marvels and cultural gems. These bridges, varying in age, style, and condition, offer a delightful journey for those eager to explore the diverse tapestry of covered bridge architecture across the Granite State.
Covered bridges in New Hampshire can be found spanning the state from as far south as Ashuelot and Pelham to as far north as Pittsburg, creating an enchanting trail that connects communities and landscapes. With at least 60 covered bridges scattered throughout the state, enthusiasts can embark on a captivating road trip, discovering these iconic structures everywhere in between.
Several regions in New Hampshire serve as hotspots for covered bridge enthusiasts. In and around the town of Swanzey, visitors can witness the charm of six covered bridges within a mere 5-mile radius, including the Coombs Covered Bridge, Slate Covered Bridge, Denman Thompson Covered Bridge, Sawyers Crossing Covered Bridge, Barrett's Greenhouse Covered Bridge, and Carlton Covered Bridge. Similarly, Conway emerges as another covered bridge haven with seven distinct structures, each with its own unique character, such as the Saco River Covered Bridge, Swift River Covered Bridge, Stony Morrell Covered Bridge, Phillips Covered Bridge, Eastman Covered Bridge, Albany Covered Bridge, and Tymeson Covered Bridge.
Historical Significance and Diverse Styles
Many of New Hampshire's covered bridges are well over a century old, with dozens listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Styles ranging from the iconic Town lattice truss, practical stringer, classic queen-post bridge, sturdy Howe truss, to the intricate Burr truss can be found throughout the state. The Bath-Haverhill Covered Bridge, built in 1829, stands as the oldest covered bridge, gracefully carrying Route 135 across the Ammonoosuc River.
These covered bridges, aging gracefully and resonating with historical significance, are cherished by photographers capturing their timeless beauty, historians unraveling their stories, and general sightseers marveling at their enduring charm. The bridges, each with its own unique character, are true must-see locations for anyone visiting the Granite State.
In conclusion, the joy of exploring covered bridges in New Hampshire lies in the diversity of these structures, their historical significance, and their seamless integration into the state's landscapes. Whether capturing them through a camera lens, delving into their stories through historical exploration, or simply enjoying their picturesque settings, exploring New Hampshire's covered bridges is an enchanting journey that connects the present with the state's rich heritage. As vital links to the past, these covered bridges beckon travelers to embark on a timeless expedition through the heart of the Granite State.
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