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Maine protects its scenic, historic covered bridges

The golden age of covered bridges in America spanned the 19th century. At one time, Maine had about 120 covered bridges; many were lost to floods, fire, and highway modernization projects. Nine bridges remain, most of them in the western lakes and mountains region. One of the most famous is known by two names: the Sunday River Bridge and the Artist’s Covered Bridge, in Newry. The bridge acquired the second name because its special beauty has made it a favorite subject for painters and photographers.

Hemlock Bridge

Hemlock Bridge Road Fryeburg, ME, 04037 Phone:

Location: Three miles north of East Fryeburg

Hemlock Bridge, built in 1857, crosses an old channel of the Saco River near Kezar Pond. The bridge was reinforced to carry local traffic in 1988. Paddleford truss with laminated wooden arches; 109 feet long.

Robyville Bridge

Cushman Road Corinth, ME, 04427 Phone:

Location: About three miles northwest of Kenduskeag Village

This bridge, the only completely shingled covered bridge in the state, was built in 1876. The bridge crosses Kenduskeag Stream in Robyville Village. The bridge was reinforced in 1984 to carry local traffic. Long truss; 73 feet long.

Lovejoy Bridge

Covered Bridge Road South Andover, ME, 04216 Phone:

Location: South of Andover

This bridge, built in 1868, spans the Ellis River. It is Maine's shortest covered bridge. The bridge was reinforced in 1984 to carry local traffic. Paddleford truss; 70 feet long.

Low's Bridge

Off State Route 15 Guilford, ME, 04443 Phone:

Location: Just off State Route 15 south of Guilford Village.

This bridge, built in 1857, was washed away by the flood of April 1, 1987. A modern covered bridge, patterned after the original, was built on the original abutments in 1990. The bridge crosses the Piscataquis River. Length of 120 feet.

Parsonsfield-Porter Bridge

Off Route 160 Porter, ME, 04068 Phone:

Location: One-half mile south of Porter

The Parsonsfield-Porter Bridge, which crosses the Ossipee River, was built by the towns of Porter and Parsonsfield as a joint project in 1859. The bridge was closed to traffic in 1960 when a new bridge was built upstream. Paddleford truss with laminated wooden arches; 152 feet long.

Watson Settlement Bridge

Carson Road Littleton, ME, 04730 Phone:

Location: Southeast of Littleton

This bridge, built in 1911, is the farthest north and the newest of Maine's original covered bridges. It crosses Meduxnekeag Stream. In 1984 the bridge was closed to traffic when a new bridge was built. Howe truss; design and has two spans with a total length of 170 feet.

Sunday River Bridge (Artist's Covered Bridge)

Sunday River Road Newry, ME, 04261 Phone:

Location: Four miles northwest of North Bethel near Routes 2 and 26

This bridge, built in 1872, crosses the Sunday River. It is named the Artist's Bridge because of its reputation as being the most photographed and painted of the venerable covered bridges in Maine. The bridge was closed to traffic in 1958 when a new bridge was built downstream. Paddleford truss; 87 feet long.

Babb's Bridge

Covered Bridge Road South Windham, ME, 04062 Phone:

Location: Southwest of Windham off River Road

Babb's Bridge carries Covered Bridge Road over the Presumpscott River. This historic bridge was built in 1843; destroyed by fire in 1973; and rebuilt in 1976. One-span queenpost truss; 79 feet long.