About This Location
Nestled in the picturesque town of Kent, Connecticut, the Bull's Covered Bridge stands as an iconic symbol of history and craftsmanship. This single-lane vehicular wooden covered bridge gracefully spans the Housatonic River near the state border with New York, providing a vital link for travelers and a touch of rustic charm to the region.
The history of the Bull's Bridge is steeped in legend and heritage. The first bridge at this location was erected in 1760, constructed by Jacob and Isaac Bull, which ultimately gave the bridge its name. According to popular legend, even George Washington is said to have crossed the bridge with the Bulls' assistance while it was still under construction.
The current incarnation of the bridge, built in 1842, showcases the enduring craftsmanship of its era. Crafted primarily from timber and designed with a Town lattice, patented by Ithiel Town, it has stood the test of time. Additional supports were added during the 19th and 20th centuries to ensure its stability. Bull's Covered Bridge's construction is a testament to both function and form, with vertical planking and wooden shingles adorning the roof. While some modifications have been made over the years, the joinery and lattice design have been carefully preserved.
Throughout its history, the Bull's Covered Bridge has played a crucial role in local transportation, initially serving as a means to transport pig iron from Bull's foundry to Poughkeepsie, New York. It also acted as a point of refuge for Blue Law offenders, allowing them to cross the river into New York, beyond the reach of state authorities.
Today, the Bulls Bridge is a historical treasure and a vital part of the local landscape. It remains one of only three public highway covered bridges in Connecticut, and one of two still in use for motor vehicles. Despite its age, the bridge continues to accommodate heavy loads, thanks to its sturdy construction and protective cover that shields the wooden floor from the weather.
The location of the Bull's Covered Bridge is equally enchanting, surrounded by pristine woodlands and offering opportunities for hiking and watersports. The presence of the nearby hydroelectric dam outlet, waterfalls, and rapids make it a popular tourist route.
Visitors today can easily access the Bulls Bridge, thanks to dedicated parking areas located on both the eastern and western entrances. The eastern parking area is right near the bridge's entrance, off Bulls Bridge Road, and can hold approximately a dozen cars. Upon arrival, most people are drawn towards the bridge, where they can take in the impressive sight of the Housatonic River and the powerful waterfall originating from an old power station. However, it's worth noting that a short walking path across the street from the parking lot leads to a scenic overlook of the river, providing an alternative perspective of this historical and natural wonder.