Part II of our Woodstock, Vermont series is here! This week, we wanted to dedicate our post to one of the funnest adventures we created while on a weekend getaway — the covered bridge excursion! This idea came about when we realized the weather wasn’t going to work with our original plan of outdoor activities. Eight degrees is really just too cold for anyone to be outside for more than a few minutes. Luckily for us, Woodstock had no shortage of mini road trips ideas in the area, and a bunch of covered bridges to satisfy our craving for an unexpected undertaking.
Woodstock is known as one of the most iconic New England towns in the region due to its mix of Georgian and Federalist architecture, its scenic location against Mt. Tom, the winding roads that follow the ebbs and flows of the Ottauquechee River, and of course, the covered bridges along the way. There are four main bridges near Woodstock: Lincoln Covered Bridge, Middle Covered Bridge, Taftsville Covered Bridge, and Quechee Covered Bridge. Our tour only took us to three of the four bridges listed above, partly because we wanted to experience the most this area had to offer (look out for our itinerary coming soon).
We started with the Middle Bridge, located in the center of Woodstock Village. Built in 1969 after the iron bridge that was currently in place became unsafe, this 139-foot bridge pays homage to the historic craft of wooden covered bridges from the 19th century. It is characterized by its open trusses that overlook the Ottauquechee River, and is open to both pedestrian and one lane of vehicular traffic. The best fun fact we found was that it was built the traditional way, with a team of oxen pulling the land-built bridge slowly into place three inches at a time.
After getting back in the car, and grabbing some breakfast along the way, we then headed over to the most colorful of the three bridges we saw on our adventure. The Taftsville Covered Bridge was originally built in 1836 and spans nearly 190 feet from Woodstock to Taftsville. Its bright red coloring is newer to the frame, since the bridge was heavily damaged by Hurricane Irene in 2011. But that doesn’t take away its charm from the surrounding area, the bridge pops even more against the bright blue skies and snowy hillsides of winter.
The last stop on our tour was the Quechee Covered Bridge, located in one of the hardest hit areas of Hurricane Irene. Though it wasn’t completely destroyed, the road connecting one side of town to the iconic Simon Pearce headquarters was washed out. Since 2011, almost seven years later, this area has bounced back and made necessary upgrades, including structural improvements to the Quechee Bridge. This bridge has breathtaking views of the Quechee Dam and the amazing dining room at Simon Pearce. It was extremely windy the day we went, which caused the water spray to freeze on the pavement, buildings, and bridge itself creating amazing ice sculptures.
This tour was such an unexpected surprise and took us a total of about an hour of our vacation, which in our mind was time very well spent. What are some of the best day trips you’ve done on a getaway? We’d love to hear about them!