Autumn is a magical time to drive through the New Hampshire countryside and discover our charming covered bridges. Affectionately called “kissing bridges,” these trademark New Hampshire covered bridges not only look lovely, but serve an important purpose—protecting the wooden bridge from our harsh winter weather. They also offer terrific photo ops!
Start your tour with a delicious breakfast here at A Newfound B&B before heading out on a delightful day trip. I’ll be happy to help you plan your route to see the following four bridges.
Squam Covered Bridge in Ashland is just a 15-minute drive from the B&B. This relatively new bridge—it was built in 1990—is 61 feet long and has a sidewalk on one side. A town lattice truss bridge, it is located on River Street and crosses the Squam River at the south end of Little Squam Lake.
Built 121 years prior to the Squam Bridge, Durgin Bridge in Sandwich is also more than one and one-half times its length, at 96 feet. The Paddleford truss bridge with added arches, named for James Durgin who had a grist mill in town, replaced three other bridges that were washed away by floods. It crosses the Swift River and is claimed to have been part of the Underground Railroad.
The Whittier Bridge is Ossipee Village (30 minutes southeast of Sandwich) is a Paddleford Cross construction with an added arch. It was built in 1870—a year after Squam Brige—and spans 132 feet, 7 inches across the Bearcamp River. Steel telltales were added in 1958 to secure the upper bracing.
Back on the west side of Lake Winnipesaukee, in Tannery Hill, you’ll find Gilford Bridge. This is a pedestrian-only bridge, just 42 feet long. Built in 1995 of local spruce, pine, and hemlock, it crosses a deep gorge and connects the town center with town hall.
Plan to linger a bit in each location, as the towns themselves are picturesque settings with local artisans, fun shops, and nice cafes for lunch or a snack.