These 7 Majestic Covered Bridges in Virginia Are Stunningly Picturesque
A stop in beautiful Virginia is made even better when you add a visit to a picturesque covered bridge to your trip. If you live in Old Dominion, one of these bridges might be right in your backyard. Some are open for vehicles while others are strictly pedestrian-only. Either way, you can explore these amazing bridges and capture photos of your adventures.
#1 Humpback Bridge
This is one of the oldest and most photogenic of Virginia’s historic covered bridges and often makes the list of most picturesque covered bridges around the entire United States. Dating back to 1857, this bridge crosses over Dunlap Creek. Prior to the Humpback Bridge, three other bridges were up on this site. Flooding in 1837 and 1842 washed away two of its predecessors. The final fell apart in 1856 and the current Humpback Bridge was built the following year. Amazingly, it has lasted for more than 150 years!
The bridge is 100 feet long. The center portion is higher by 4 feet than either end, giving it a humpback appearance and its name. It supported vehicle traffic until 1929. Now, only pedestrians are allowed on the restored bridge. It fell into disrepair over the years but was restored thanks to local conservation efforts and civic organizations.
#2 Jack’s Creek Bridge
This historic bridge crosses the Smith River. It is located on Route 615 in Patrick County, Virginia. The bridge was built in 1914 and is 48 feet long. It is made of historic oak planks, making it a great place for a photo shoot. The entire area is a great place to visit if you like simpler experiences and a small-town feel. Jack’s Creek Bridge was designed by Walter Weaver, a resident of nearby Woolwine, Virginia in the early 20th century. Even today, some of his descendants still live in the area.
Patrick County is home to multiple bridges on our list. It is in the southern part of Virginia and right along the Virginia-North Carolina border. The Blue Ridge mountains dominate the landscape in that area, making it even more picturesque for a leisurely drive.
#3 Meem’s Bottom Bridge
This is one of the longest and best-known covered bridges in the state of Virginia. It spans 204 feet over the river. Built in 1894, Meem’s Bottom Bridge was able to support vehicle traffic all the way until the mid-1970s. Vandalism shut the bridge down to vehicles in 1976. It was reconstructed after the damage using many of the original timbers, now reinforced with steel and concrete for structural stability. It opened for vehicles again in 1979 after reconstruction. You can drive under the covered bridge even today as you travel along Route 11.
One of the most notable things about this bridge is that it was built with arches made from stone from a nearby quarry. The abutments, also made of the same stone, go down 10 feet into the riverbed below. An abutment connects the bridge to the ground and provides stability as well as supports the weight. Not only is this an important part of the bridge’s construction, it also offers another nice detail that incorporates the stone from the area.
#4 Link’s Farm Bridge
This 1912 bridge has dark red siding, giving it a unique appearance in the Virginia countryside. The bridge was open for vehicle traffic for over 35 years until it closed in 1949. After that, only pedestrians were able to cross the bridge. It went through two restorations over the years, one in 1995 and one in 2004. Amazingly, photos of the original construction and structure remain. These helped restoration efforts stay true to the original plans and design.
Link’s Farm Bridge is located in Giles County. On some maps and references, it is called the Mountain Lake Bridge or the Bradley Covered Bridge. All three names refer to the same iconic red-covered bridge in this part of Virginia. It has a dark green tin roof that adds to the look. While the bridge may not be as long as some others on our list, it sure makes up for it in charm.
#5 Sinking Creek Bridge
Less than 30 minutes from Link’s Farm Bridge is another covered bridge, Sinking Creek Bridge. This 70-foot-long bridge in Giles County is one of four covered bridges that have crossed over Sinking Creek over the years. Beginning in 1912, four bridges were constructed over 7 years to allow pedestrians and vehicles to get over the creek. Three of them are still standing and in use, although only one, Sinking Creek Bridge, is accessible to the public.
The bridge was built in 1916 and later restored in 1963 due to the structure needing replacement. Improvements and restoration were made again in 2000. You can get to the bridge today via Route 601 in Giles County. It is popular for photos as well as for weddings and other special events. Like many of the historic bridges on this list, Sinking Creek Bridge offers shelter and protection from the elements as well as distinct historic charm.
#6 Natural Bridge
This stunning natural formation is the most-visited spot at Natural Bridge State Park. It is 200 feet tall and made of limestone. The land was originally purchased by Thomas Jefferson in 1774. Other famous founding fathers, including George Washington, visited the area. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988 and made into a state park in 2016. The bridge formation was likely a cave or other similar feature. It was carved out over many years by Cedar Creek.
You will need to climb 137 stairs to get to the bridge. Strollers generally aren’t recommended but some accommodations are available for those who request ahead of their visit. While you’re in the park, check out the 10 miles of hiking trails and the 50-foot waterfall at Lace Falls. This is truly a beautiful part of Virginia. The entire park is just over 1,500 acres.
#7 Bob White Bridge
This covered bridge actually isn’t in existence anymore but plans are underway to restore it to its original look after flooding in 2015 washed it away. Located in Patrick County, the reconstructed bridge will use timber and a design that matches the original. A few remnant pieces recovered from the original bridge will be used to make a special kiosk at the bridge detailing its history. Patrick County is home to other covered bridges as well, including some that are still standing. This new addition will add another picturesque location for photos or general exploration. It also ties into the historic preservation that is so important to residents in this area.
|1||Humpback Bridge||Alleghany County|
|2||Jack’s Creek Bridge||Patrick County|
|3||Meem’s Bottom Bridge||Shenandoah County|
|4||Link’s Farm Bridge||Giles County|
|5||Sinking Creek Bridge||Giles County|
|6||Natural Bridge State Park||Natural Bridge|
|7||Bob White Bridge||Patrick County|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Johnnie Laws/Shutterstock.com