Burkeville Covered Bridge

Conway, Massachusetts
The Burkeville Covered Bridge, a cherished historical gem nestled in the beautiful town of Conway, Massachusetts, is steeped in both charm and history.
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The Burkeville Covered Bridge, a cherished historical gem nestled in Conway, Massachusetts, is steeped in both charm and history. Stretching a respectable 106 feet in length, this covered bridge gracefully carries Main Poland Road over the gentle waters of the South River.

The bridge’s story begins around 1850 when the earliest bridge at this location is believed to have been constructed. Likely built to accommodate shifts in the water impoundments for the burgeoning industrial facilities in Burkeville, it stood as a testament to the region’s development. However, Mother Nature had other plans. In 1869, a devastating flood unleashed its fury upon the original bridge, leaving little more than a memory.

A year later, in 1870, the bridge we now know as the Burkeville Covered Bridge was born. It was a testament to the resilience of the community, rising once again to bridge the South River and reconnect the people of Conway. Over the years, the bridge faced its fair share of challenges. A powerful New England hurricane in 1938 rendered it unsafe and necessitated its closure. The bridge’s stone abutments were reinforced with concrete in the aftermath.

Winter brought its own challenges, as heavy snow caused the bridge’s roof to partially collapse in 1975. However, the spirit of community prevailed once more, with dedicated volunteers coming together to restore this piece of history to its former glory. Yet, in 1985, safety concerns prompted another closure. Determined to preserve their beloved bridge, further modifications were undertaken, culminating in the triumphant reopening of the Burkeville Covered Bridge to vehicular traffic in November 2013.

The bridge’s architectural features are a testament to its enduring appeal. Beneath its gabled metal roof, its sides are adorned with vertical board siding, exuding rustic charm. The bridge’s wooden trusses, a departure from the more common kingpost trusses, incorporate wrought iron verticals, effectively transmitting the active load to the top chord of the truss. Over time, some truss components have been either replaced or reinforced with steel fittings, seamlessly blending the old with the new.

In recognition of its historical significance and contribution to the heritage of Conway and the region, the Burkeville Covered Bridge was bestowed with the honor of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 9, 1988. This designation, assigned by the National Park Service with the reference number 88001456, signifies not only the bridge’s intrinsic value but also its significance as a tangible link to the past. It ensures that future generations can appreciate the bridge’s history and unique architectural features, underscoring its enduring importance to the community and beyond.


Address: Main Poland Road, Conway, Massachusetts
Place GPS Coordinates: 42.507825, -72.711122
Parking GPS Coordinates: 42.507825, -72.711122
Parking Notes: There is no official parking area for the Burkeville Covered Bridge. It is best to look for a roadside parking spot along Ashfield Road or Orchard Street.

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