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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A few Vermont covered bridges


 Last weekend's trip to Vermont and Quebec featured a search for the state's covered bridges (there are 100 still standing after August flooding destroyed two) and waterfalls.  Pennsylvania has 200 covered bridges, more than any state in the country.  Vermont and New Hampshire, which combined are about half the size of Pennsylvania, boast having the most bridges per square mile. We stopped at a few, most of which were close to waterfalls, also on our list.

The Holmes Creek Bridge at left stands just a few feet away from the splashing waves of Lake Champlain, a few miles south of Burlington. From the web site--"Purported to be the shortest covered highway bridge in use in New England; at 112' above sea level, it is the lowest altitude covered bridge in Vermont. When the town's Select Board approved the bridge, it was specified to allow passage of "a load of hay, high and wide."
In the late 1800s, the Holmes family, for whom the creek and thus the bridge were named, operated what was supposedly to be the largest apple orchard in New England, shipping apples to distant places."
  At left is the Red/Sterling Bridge, just north of Stowe, where skiers can find the best snow in the northeast.  Built in 1896, the bridge is about 64 feet long. We had to detour around the main road to get there, since construction work was still going on to replace a washed out bridge nearby.
The Halpin Bridge, below, is supposed to be the highest bridge over water level in Vermont. Muddy Branch creek is 41 feet below the bridge, and trees and weeds make it tough to see. Private property is posted on one side, so you'll have to ford the creek from the other side to see the bridge at all.

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