The only day it did not rain on my trip to New England thankfully was the day I planned on visiting covered bridges in the region. Having spent the morning bouncing around eastern Vermont and western New Hampshire, I headed towards the community of Windsor, Vermont to visit the covered bridge located there. From the time it was erected until the construction of the Smolen-Gulf Covered Bridge in Ashtabula, Ohio, the Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge was the longest covered bridge in the United States. Note: The journey to visit the Smolen-Gulf Covered Bridge can be found here: Smolen-Gulf Covered Bridge
I followed Route 44 through the town of Windsor, and as I approached the bridge, I did not see any place near it to park. After passing through the bridge, I discovered a pull-off for visitors to view the bridge. Nearby a New Hampshire historical marker told a little piece of the bridge’s history.
The Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge has two spans and a length of four hundred and forty-nine feet. It features Town Lattice design with a support near the halfway point. The covered bridge is one of the few I have visited that is wide enough for two vehicles to pass through at the same time. The bridge, though it connects the two communities in different states, actually belongs to New Hampshire – the border between the two states is the western bank of the Connecticut River, so upon entering the covered bridge on the Vermont side, I was officially in New Hampshire.
The first bridge at this location was built by local businessmen in 1796. It was rebuilt in 1824 and 1828 after the previous one was destroyed by floods. In 1866, the current bridge was erected at this location. The bridge was purchased by the state of New Hampshire in 1936 and was operated as a toll bridge until 1943. In 1976, the bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. By 1987, the covered bridge had deteriorated to the point it had to be closed to traffic. After undergoing repairs, the bridge was reopened to traffic in 1989.
Despite no longer having the distinction of being the longest covered bridge in the United States, it still holds the record of longest wooden covered bridge in the U. S. The bridge also has the longest single span of any covered bridge open to vehicular traffic, with one of its spans having a length of two hundred and four feet. Note: There are two existing covered bridges in the United State with longer spans – the Old Blenheim Bridge in New York and the Bridgeport Covered Bridge in California, However, these two bridges are for pedestrian use only.
On the day of my visit, the parking lot was busy with visitors stopping to take in the bridge. I waited my turn, quickly took my pictures, and allowed the next person to step up to get their pictures. With my day of exploring the covered bridges of New Hampshire and Vermont completed, I knew my journey was coming to an end and turned the vehicle southward to start the long trip home.