Ware-Hardwick Covered Bridge

Hardwick, Massachusetts
The Ware-Hardwick Covered Bridge, an enduring testament to 19th-century craftsmanship, stands as a historic treasure that spans the Ware River in Massachusetts.
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The Ware-Hardwick Covered Bridge, an enduring testament to 19th-century craftsmanship, stands proudly as a historic treasure that spans the Ware River, connecting the towns of Ware and Hardwick, Massachusetts. Measuring an impressive 139 feet in length, this covered bridge is a rare survivor from a bygone era, one of the precious few that still grace the state of Massachusetts.

The joint stewardship of this iconic bridge falls to a committee representing both towns, Ware and Hardwick, a testament to the collaborative spirit that keeps its legacy alive. The bridge showcases the enduring beauty of a Covered Town Lattice Through truss design, a marvel of engineering and aesthetics combined.

With a generous width of 20 feet, the bridge comfortably accommodates a single lane of traffic, preserving the charm of a bygone era when horse-drawn carriages would have been a common sight. This single lane harks back to a simpler time, inviting travelers to step back in history as they cross the Ware River.

The Ware-Hardwick Covered Bridge also carries with it a remarkable tale of resilience. In the tumultuous 1930s, a devastating flood wreaked havoc on the textile mills in Gilbertville. Amidst this catastrophe, the bridge remained steadfast, a symbol of strength and fortitude against the forces of nature.

The bridge’s own history is marked by a commitment to preservation. Completed in 1886, it underwent significant repairs in 1986–1987, ensuring its continued service to the community. However, in 2002, concerns over its structural integrity led to its closure to automotive traffic. The turning point in the bridge’s journey came in October 2010 when it reopened after a meticulous $1.9 million reconstruction and restoration effort. This monumental endeavor not only restored the bridge to its former glory but also lifted any weight limits, allowing it to once again serve as a vital river crossing.

The significance of the Ware-Hardwick Covered Bridge is further underscored by its inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, a distinction it earned on May 8, 1986. The National Park Service bestowed upon it the reference number 86001006. This esteemed recognition cements the bridge’s place in history and underscores its cultural and historical importance.

For those eager to experience the bridge’s historic charm, there is no designated parking area. Instead, visitors are encouraged to pull over safely on the side of the road near the bridge. Alternatively, some opt to park at the Gilbertville Library and enjoy a leisurely 0.15-mile stroll to the bridge. The journey to the Ware-Hardwick Covered Bridge is not just a physical passage; it’s a step back in time, an encounter with history, and a tribute to the enduring spirit of two towns intertwined by a single, iconic structure.


Address: Bridge Street, Hardwick, Massachusetts
Place GPS Coordinates: 42.310112, -72.212015
Parking GPS Coordinates: 42.310112, -72.212015
Parking Notes: There is no dedicated parking area or spots for visitors of the Ware-Hardwick Covered Bridge. Visitors can simply park on the side of the roads near the bridge. Additionally, there is a great option to park at the Gilbertville Library and take a short walk (0.15 miles) to the bridge.

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