If you love autumn, Maine is pretty much the place to be. With its dense forests of beautiful foliage, gorgeous mountains, and winding rivers, this state is the perfect place to get outside and enjoy the fall season. It’s no secret that the foliage is a showstopper but Maine’s covered bridges add a little bit of charm to that colorful autumn backdrop.
In the 19th century, Maine had over 150 covered bridges. Yowzahs! These bridges were super popular because their timbers were protected from the elements. The thought was that they would last longer than their uncovered counterparts. Today there are only 8 covered bridges left in Maine, according to the Maine DOT website. Here are a few that I love to explore during the autumn months.
Located in Newry and nicknamed the “Artist’s Covered Bridge”, this is the most painted/photographed bridge in Maine. This charming covered bridge was built in 1872 and is one of the state’s few surviving 19th century covered bridges. With pedestrian traffic only you don’t have to worry about cars zooming in and out while you’re trying to admire the view or take that perfect selfie.
This cute little bridge spans an upper section of the Presumpscot River. Constructed in 1976, the bridge is a reconstruction of the original covered bridge built in 1864. Fire….or arson claimed the original in 1973. This covered bridge has a lovely rustic patina which will make the colorful fall foliage pop in photos. It’s also pretty close to Portland, I think the closest on this list at about a 40 minute drive.
The last of seven 19th century covered bridges built in Fryeburg, the Hemlock Bridge spans the Old Course Saco River. If you’re like me, you’ll love the drive to get to this bridge. You wind through hilly, rural countryside, with beautiful views and spectacular scenery during foliage season. If you’re looking for those classic New England autumn photos this route will not disappoint. This bridge is open to cars, so be alert!
In 1858, engineers built this Paddleford and arch truss type bridge to span the Ossipee River between Porter and Parsonsfield. Fun Fact: The building of the this bridge resulted in a conflict between the two towns over the roofing material. Roofing material?!?!?Really? Only in Maine. Because of the dispute, the roof of the bridge contained two different types of shingles. The roof was spruced up with some new cedar shingles in 1999, I guess there were no material disputes then. The colors here in the fall are gorgeous, and this bridge is foot traffic only as well.
These are the bridges that are closest to where I live in Maine, the Portland area. There are four more bridges that you can check out if you want to do an epic covered bridge road trip. That could be a thing right? Just check the Maine DOT site that is linked earlier in the post for more info.
Enjoy your exploring!