I recently had the opportunity to join the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges (NSPCB) on their safari of the Covered Bridges of New Brunswick, Canada. Our trip took place from July 26 thru the 28th with our hosts Bill and Jenn Caswell. Bill is the president of the NSPCB.
During the three days we visited 28 covered bridges in 19 towns across 7 counties. We had about 35 covered bridge enthusiasts from Missouri, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Maryland, and John Smolen from Ohio. Below are my pictures, thoughts, and comments on each of the bridges we visited.
I hope you enjoy seeing them here as much as I did in person.
Here is a Google map showing the locations of the bridges we visited over the three days:
The Benton Covered Bridge (55-02-15) was our first stop in the Carleton County town of Benton. Built in 1927, this covered bridge is 105 feet long and crosses the Eel River. The bridge is also known as the Eel River #3.
Unfortunately the Starkey Covered Bridge (55-09-08) in the Queens County town of Johnston is listed as permanently closed, though residents are fighting for reconstruction! It was built in 1912 and is 136 feet long. The bridge crosses Long Creek and is also known as Long Creek #1.
The Smythe Covered or Mill Settlement Bridge (55-12-03) in the Sunbury County town of Blissville was our second stop. The Smythe Covered Bridge was constructed in 1912, is 139.5 feet long, and crosses the South Branch of the Oromocto River.
The Centreville Covered Bridge (55-06-02) in the Kings County town of Studholm was built in 1911 and is 95 feet long. This shot shows a "picture perfect" reflection of the bridge on the Millstream River! The bridge is also known as The Millstream River #5.
The Hoyt Station Covered Bridge (55-12-02) in the Sunbury County town of Hoyt was third on the list. The bridge was built in 1936. It is 94 feet long and crosses the Back Creek. It's also known as the Back Creek #2 bridge.
The Oldfield Covered Bridge (55-06-17) located in the Kings County town of Studholm was my personal favorite. It was built in 1910 and is 92 feet long. There wasn't much access for a side photo of this bridge, so Taryn and I took a bit of a swim in the Smith Creek to get this beautiful angle! The bridge is also known as the Smith Creek #5 bridge.
The Patrick Owens Covered Bridge (55-12-05) can be found in Sunbury County town of Rusagonis. The bridge was built in 1909 and crosses the Rusagonis River. It is 236 feet long and is also known as the Rusagonis River #2 bridge.
Last stop today was Tranton Covered Bridge (55-06-26) in the Kings County town of Sussex. The bridge was built in 1927, measures 121 feet long, and crosses the Smith Creek. This bridge is also known as Smith Creek #1 bridge.
The Point Wolfe Bridge (55-01-05#2) in the Albert County town of Alma was built in 1992 across the Point Wolfe River and is 94 feet in length. It is the only painted bridge in New Brunswick.
The Bamford Colpitts Bridge (55-01-01) in the Albert County town of Cloverdale was built in 1943 across the Cloverdale River. It measures 100 feet long.
The Sawmill Creek Bridge (55-01-20) in the Albert County town of Hopewell was built in 1905 to cross the Sawmill Creek. The bridge is 105 feet long. In 1975, the bridge was replace by a modern bridge. The Albert County Historical Society had the bridge saved and moved.
The Bamford Colpitts Bridge (55-01-01) side view with the Cloverdale River.
The Germantown Lake Bridge (55-01-08) in the Albert County town of Harvey was built in 1903. It crosses Shepody River and is 61 feet long. The bridge is also known as the Shepody River #3.
The Hartley Steeves Bridge (55-01-11) in the Albert County town of Hillsboro was built in 1923 and is 60 feet long! The bridge is also nown as the Weldon Creek #3 bridge as it crosses Weldon Creek.
At this point the shuttle went to view two uncovered bridges, and the tour separated with a few of us viewing some other covered bridges. I went to view the covered ones. The Hasty Bridge (55-14-09) in the Westmoreland County town of River Glade was built in 1931 and is 123 feet long. It crosses the Petitcodiac River and is also know as the Petitcodiac River #3 bridge.
Hartley Steeves Bridge (55-01-11) headache bar!
The Plumweseep Bridge (55-06-18) in the Kings County town of Sussex was built in 1911 to cross the Kennebecasis River. Also known as the Kennebecasis River #9 bridge, it is 75.5 feet long.
This is the William Mitton Bridge (55-01-22) located in the Albert County town of Cloverdale. The bridge was built in 1942, crosses a branch of the Turtle Creek, and measures 76 feet.
The Plumweseep Bridge (55-06-18). Here is a side view showing the Kennebecasis River.
The Peter Jonah Bridge (55-01-07) in the Albert County town of Hillsboro was built in 1912 and measures 64 feet long. It's also known as the Turtle Creek #4 bridge since it crosses the Turtle Creek.
And my personal favorite of the day was the Salmon Bridge (55-06-21). This bridge was found in the Kings County town of Sussex. It was built in 1908 to cross the Kennebecasis River. Also known as the Kennebecasis River #8 Bridge, it measures 120 feet in length.
I got an early start in this day, and caught some morning fog in some of the pictures. First stop on Sunday was the Tynemouth Creek Bridge (55-11-04) in the Saint John county town of Simonds. The bridge was built in 1927 and is 94 feet long. It crosses the Tynemouth Creek.
We met up with the group again for lunch at Hampton Town Square, hosted by the Covered Bridge Conservation Association of New Brunswick. Here we were welcomed by a few dignitaries including Alaina Lockhart, Federal MP for the area, who is also Parliamentary Secretary to Melanie Joly, Federal Minister for Tourism, Hon. Bill Oliver, a member of the legislative assembly & minister of transportation & infrastructure, and Mr. Ken Chorley, Mayor of Hampton.
The Hardscrabble Bridge (55-11-06) in the Saint John County town of St. Martin's was built in 1946 and is 72 feet in length. The bridge is also known as the Vaughn Creek #2 bridge since it crosses the Vaughn Creek.
The Bloomfield Bridge (55-06-01) found in the Kings County town of Norton was built in 1917 and is 146 feet long. The bridge crosses the Bloomfield Creek
This is a view of the Hardscrabble Bridge from the Vaughan Creek Bridge. No other community in New Brunswick features two covered bridges within sight of each other!
The Darlings Island Bridge (55-06-04) in the Kings County town of Hampton was built in 1914 and is 138 feet long. The bridge was threatened with demolition in the 1990’s by the Department of Transportation, but the community rallied against the destruction and the bridge was saved.
The Vaughan Creek Bridge #1 (55-11-05) in the Saint John County town of St. Martin's was built in 1935 and is 72 feet long. The bridge crosses the Vaughn Creek and is also known as the Irish River Bridge.
Following the completion of this tour, we made a stop at Hammond River Brewing in Quispamsis, New Brunswick.
The MacFarlane Bridge (55-06-13) in the Kings County town of Sussex was built in 1909 and is 58 feet long. It's also known as Ward’s Creek #2 Bridge since it crosses Wards Creek.
Also while in New Brunswick, we visited the WORLD’S LONGEST COVERED BRIDGE! The Hartland Covered Bridge (55-02-07) in the Carleton County town of Hartland was constructed in 1901 by the Hartland Toll Bridge Company. The bridge is 1,282 feet long and crosses the St. John River. Here are some pictures of the Hartland Covered Bridge:
The Urney Bridge (55-06-19) in the Kings County town of Waterford was built in 1905 and is 66 feet long. This bridge is also known as Picadilly since the small communities of Picadily & Urney are nearby. As the bridge crosses the Trout Creek it is also know by the name of Trout Creek #4.
The Hartland Covered Bridge (55-06-18). In 1907, the New Brunswick government voted to abolish tolls on the bridge and bought out the private company, announcing free passage for all crossing the bridge.
The Waterford Bridge (55-06-16) in the Kings County town of Waterford was built in 1923 and is 59 feet long. The bridge is also known as Moores Mills. Due to its crossing the Trout Creek it has been called Trout Creek #5.
The Hartland Covered Bridge (55-06-18). Originally the bridge featured seven open Howe trusses, but in 1921 the structure was covered over. The bridge has been repaired a number of times. The village end of the bridge was rebuilt during World War II.
The Moosehorn Creek #1.5 Bridge (55-06-29) in the Kings County town of Norton was originally built in 1915 and was 95 feet long. The bridge was refurbished a few years back by the League for Rural Renewal. The bridge crosses the Moosehorn Brook and is also known as Moosehorn Brook Mouth #1.
The Hartland Covered Bridge (55-06-18). Over the decades ice has damaged a number of the piers. Most recently a heavy ice jam piled up around the bridge in 2006.
In case you are never able to make the trip, here is a video of a drive thru the Hartland Covered Bridge!
When I first started "covered bridge hunting" I had a goal to see every bridge in the United States. This trip has definitely expanded my goal to see every covered bridge in the WORLD!
Though I am still relatively new in the covered bridge world, I was able to learn so much on this trip. My favorite part about covered bridges is their story. Every bridge is so unique with its own history and memories. On this trip, a local bartender told a story about why they called the Waterford Bridge the "pig bridge" when she was in school. I was also fortunate enough to learn about the engineering of covered bridges and why architects might choose one truss over another. Thank you John Smolen! This was something I never really put much thought into until this trip!
It was a blessing to meet covered bridge enthusiasts from so many different states. Every single person on this trip was kind hearted and welcoming. I look forward to seeing you all again soon. Bill & Jenn Caswell, YOU ROCK for organizing these yearly trips and including me. I am already looking forward to future trips!!