mwv insider Blog

Travel Through Historic Covered Bridges!


For many, no trip to Mt. Washington Valley is complete without seeing a covered bridge.

With so many to choose from, Mt. Washington Valley is one of the best places in New Hampshire to enjoy the history and nostalgia of covered bridges.

From Fryeburg, Maine to Jackson, NH you'll encounter these vestiges of yesteryear, each with their own story! There are various theories about why bridges were first roofed. Some say that the bridge’s heavy timbers lasted longer when protected from the elements. In earlier days, young couples soon took advantage of the privacy the bridge allowed, and as a result, covered bridges came to be known as “courting” or “kissing bridges.

Still preserved, many of the Valley’s covered bridges remain as working bridges, and a myriad of visitors to Mt. Washington Valley come just to tour these bridges. Here is a sampling of some of the area’s favorite covered bridges. Make an entire day out of touring Mt. Washington Valley's covered bridges. Here are some suggestions on where to get coffee and lunch, and where to end the day with an awesome dinner!

For more information on planning your Mt. Washington Valley vacation, sign up for our monthly newsletter! But before you do anything, first, we implore you take the MWV Pledge to promise to protect them! Sign your name and join the others who pledge to care for the White Mountain National forest to ensure it sticks around for years to come!)

red wooden covered bridge new hampshire
Spend an entire day touring each of Mt. Washington Valley's covered bridges!
Swift River Bridge in Conway, NH . Photo c/o

Conway Covered Bridges Turn west at the light in Conway (at the junction of Routes 16 and 153). Bear right at the fork to the first Conway Covered Bridge. The first of the two Conway Covered Bridges over the Saco River is 235 feet long, and is called a “2 span” covered bridge. It was built in 1890 at a cost of $4,000. This was the third bridge on this site, and it was built by Charles Broughton and his son Frank of Conway (who also built the Jackson Covered Bridge). It was reconstructed in 1987-90 by the New Hampshire Dept. of Transportation. If you bear left at the fork, you’ll come to a 130 foot covered bridge spanning the Swift River. The first bridge on this site was swept downstream during the floods of spring, 1869, taking with it the neighboring Saco River Bridge. The Swift River Bridge was rebuilt the following year by Jacob Berry and his son, Jacob. True to the Yankee tradition, they incorporated lumber salvaged from the two earlier bridges. The 1870 bridge was restored for foot traffic in 1991. Today the bridge is not open to traffic there are picnic tables at the entrance and inside the bridge, making this the perfect spot to enjoy the river.

Albany Covered Bridge Six miles west of Conway and north of the Kancamagus Highway. Sometimes known as the “Lovers Bridge”, this 120 foot bridge over The Swift River was built in 1858. It is the second bridge built on this spot after the first one blew down in 1857 before it could be completed. The story is it was rebuilt by Amzi Russell and Leander S. Morton who agreed to complete the job for $1300 less than what was paid on account for the first unsuccessful attempt at building the bridge. Come add your name to the hundreds of visitors there.

Bartlett Covered Bridge 4.5 miles east of Bartlett Village on Route 302 in Glen. This 167 foot long span has been closed to traffic since 1939. From time to time it has been home to a gift shop, which still remains open today.

Jackson’s “Honeymoon” bridge This often photographed covered bridge is located on Route 16A, just off Route 16 at the entrance to Jackson Village. The Jackson bridge was built in 1876 by Charles Broghton and his son, Frank. It spans 121 feet across the Wildcat River. According to the town, a covered walkway was added in 1930, and runs along its length. Word has it that suitors and honeymooners alike would come to this bridge to steal a kiss from their beloved under the cover of the bridge. Today, it is the site for one of the most scenic photo opportunities in Mt. Washington Valley.

wooden covered bridge maine
Hemlock Covered Bridge in East Fryeburg, Maine. Photo c/o

Hemlock Covered Bridge built in 1857, is a 109 foot Paddleford truss strengthened with laminated wooden arches. It was built on granite abutments since it was located in a floodplain.The bridge was reinforced to carry local traffic in 1988. Hemlock Bridge was designated as a Maine Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2002. You'll find this bridge in  three miles northwest of East Fryeburg, on Hemlock Bridge Road, over an old channel of the Saco River.

You'll also find a whimsical smaller covered bridge on the Wentworth Golf Course.  In winter, look for XC skiers on the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation trails coming through it. 

For complete trip planning resources and information, explore this site,, or call 800-367-3364 (800-DO-SEE-NH) to talk to a Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce rep.  To learn more about New Hampshire vacations, go to

More posts on
This is some text inside of a div block.
Related posts

You might also like