Washington, Connecticut

The Henry David Thoreau Footbridge stands within the Hidden Valley Preseve as a great testament to architectural grace and the enduring reverence for nature.

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About This Location

Nestled in the serene landscapes of Washington, Connecticut, the Henry David Thoreau Footbridge stands as an exquisite testament to architectural grace and the enduring reverence for nature. Erected in 2015, this bridge swiftly endeared itself to both locals and visitors, becoming a cherished gem within the region.

This unique bridge marries the attributes of a cable-stayed and suspension bridge, crafting an awe-inspiring spectacle. Vertical suspender cables delicately cradle the 5-foot-wide bridge deck, elegantly spanning the river. These cables radiate from a majestic 35-foot-tall mast on one side of the river, gracefully descending into the embrace of a steep hillside on the opposite bank. The bridge's deck, curving in plan as it traverses the river, gently meets the land near a nature trail, seamlessly integrating with its natural surroundings.

Surrounding this architectural masterpiece is the sprawling 650-acre Hidden Valley Preserve, a pristine wilderness adorned with a network of enchanting trails. This preserve is a testament to the dedication of preserving the beauty of the natural world.

The bridge's name, the Henry David Thoreau Footbridge, pays homage to the illustrious 19th-century American naturalist, essayist, poet, and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau. Revered as a stalwart environmentalist, Thoreau's legacy is etched into the very fabric of the bridge. As visitors traverse this remarkable structure, they encounter Thoreau's eloquent words, thoughtfully carved into the steel railings. On the eastern end of the bridge, one of his most iconic quotes graces the structure: "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

The architectural vision for this bridge was brought to life by Gray Organschi Architecture, who have seamlessly woven human ingenuity into the arms of nature. The result is a harmonious marriage of form and function, a bridge that not only spans the river but also bridges the past and present, inspiring all who cross it to reflect on the profound wisdom of Henry David Thoreau.

The Henry David Thoreau Footbridge stands as not just a remarkable feat of engineering but as a poetic testament to the enduring connection between humanity and the natural world. It is, indeed, one of the most resplendent bridges in the entire state of Connecticut.

Location Features

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198 Bee Brook Road, Washington, Connecticut

GPS Coordinates:
41.656755, -73.316293
Directions to location:
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Directions to parking area:
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Parking Notes:
The Hidden Valley Preserve parking lot holds about 2 dozen cars and is only a few hundred feet from the bridge. Parking is free.


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