The Travel Geek

Greenbanks Hollow Covered Bridge

What a wonderful place to spend a Monday morning. The sun was out. The air was crisp but not too cold. And, the people are friendly in this part of Vermont: everyone waved or nodded as they carefully passed on the muddy roads.

During our meander, there was absolutely no noise pollution… just the sound of the water babbling and the sound of crunching snow or slurping mud as we meandered around. In the centre of it, all was a bridge: the Greenbanks Hollow covered bridge.

This was my very first covered bridge. I know that this isn’t a phenomenon unique to New England… Europe and Asia have their share of covered bridges (there are about 1600 in the world). But, it felt very East Coast to stand in the middle of the road and look up at the white rafters and the Christmas wreaths. It made me think of Beetlejuice and the Bridges of Madison County.

One question in my head was: why would you cover a bridge? Well… it’s to protect the timber structure from environmental damage, which makes sense in the moist New England climate. Most of the parts (e.g. the trunnels and untreated supports) are made from wood and by covering the bridge, it increases the lifespan by decades.

On December 14, 1885, a fire that devastated Greenbanks Hollow (a mill community that stood on this site in the 1800s) also destroyed the original bridge. The one you see today is thought to have been built in 1886.

My favourite photo from the trip was taken by La Niña… and it happens to be of the bridge.

Note: in the winter and/or spring, you’ll need a vehicle that has 4wd or one that can handle the muddy, icy, pothole-filled roads.

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