Covered and Historic Bridges
Once, Maine had more than 120 covered bridges. Fire, weather and flood has reduced that number to only nine.
They include Babb’s Bridge between Windham and Gorham; Bennett Bridge in Lincoln Plantation; Hemlock Bridge in Fryeburg; Lovejoy Bridge in Andover; Lowes Bridge in Guilford; Porter-Parsonsfield Bridge in Porter; Robyville Bridge in Corinth; Sunday River Bridge in Newry; and Watson's Settlement Bridge in Littleton.
By covering bridges with boards or shingles, builders in the 19th and early-20th century tried to protect the bridges’ elaborate, wooden engineering from snow, rain and rot. A side benefit is that folks find them charming. The Sunday River Bridge has been featured in so many paintings and photographs that it’s been nicknamed ‘The Artist’s Bridge.’
Some of the bridges are the original, others have been replaced. Some still allow local traffic to drive over them – others, like the Bennet and Porters-Parsonfield Bridge are open only to foot traffic – great for taking photos
Other Cool Bridges to Explore
Covered bridges aren’t the only historic and unusual spans in the state. Bailey Island’s cribstone bridge in Harpswell was based on a Scottish design. It uses carefully stacked, or cribbed, slabs of granite for support. They’re tough enough to survive the elements and the ‘cribbing’ design allows the tide to flow through. The Wire Bridge in New Portland, finished in 1866, is the last remaining wood-and-wire suspension bridge of its type in Maine – and maybe in America.
Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory is a very impressive modern suspension bridge. A one-minute elevator ride will take you to one of the most unique views in Maine, a 360-degree panorama from 437 feet above the Penobscot River. Located atop the northern tower of the new Penobscot Narrows Bridge, the observatory gives visitors a spectacular look at mountains, lakes and Penobscot Bay. Tickets for a ride to the top of the tower can be purchased as you enter Fort Knox.