Category Archives: bridge

Creamery Covered Bridge (Brattleboro, VT)

Date Of Visit: August 6, 2017

Location: 9 Guilford St, Brattleboro, VT (Guilford Street off Route 9 west, over Whetstone Brook, VT-13-01)

Cost: Free

Parking: There is a small free parking lot to the left side of the bridge

Hours: Accessible all day, everyday

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Creamery Covered Bridge

Highlights: covered pedestrian bridge

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As I  have been going through my photos and getting ready for next year’s adventures, I have come across quite a few photos from photo shoots from weeks and in some cases months ago that I have not posted yet.  So, in my effort to play catch up, you may see some photos in my posts from places I have visited during the summer and early fall.  It will be nice to see what green leaves and pretty flowers look like since they are no longer with us.  O.K, so next year’s there’s another resolution for next year: get more organized!

Vermont is known for maple syrup, snow and more snow.  Oh, and they also have a few covered bridges.

In fact, covered bridges are a staple of Vermont.  They have the most covered bridges per square mile than any other state in the country.

There are over 100 (109 to be exact) covered bridges in Vermont.  But the Creamery Covered Bridge in Brattleboro, VT,  is no ordinary bridge.

The Creamery Bridge so called after the old Brattleboro Creamery which stood beyond the bridge is Brattleboro’s last surviving 19th-century covered bridge.

The bridge, which only allows pedestrian traffic, is 80 feet long and 19 feet wide, with a 15-foot roadway; the attached sidewalk is 5.5 feet wide.

The sidewalk attached to side of the bridge offers some pretty views of the Whetstone Brook below.

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The bridge was built from spruce lumber 1879 and it had been used be vehicles until it was closed to vehicle traffic in 2010.  It now only allows traffic from cyclists, joggers and other pedestrians.  The sidewalk was added in 1920.

To the side of the bridge there is an area with benches where you can sit and admire the bridge.

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This marker was located near the bridge.  I could not find any reference to it on the internet.  If anyone has any information on it, I would appreciate it if you left a comment about it.  Without making too many assumptions, it appears as though it may have been dedicated to someone who was a covered bridge enthusiast.

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Below is a video of the inside of the bridge.


The Old Drake Hill Flower Bridge (Simsbury, CT)

Date Of Visit: September 10, 2017

Location: 1 Old Bridge Rd, Simsbury, CT (about half an hour northwest of Hartford, CT)

Hours: Available 24 hours a day

Cost: Free (but donations are appreciated)

Parking: There is room for about a dozen or so cars in the parking lot off Old Bridge Rd

Handicapped Accessible: No, There are some poles at the entrance to the bridge to prevent vehicles from driving onto the bridge and I am not sure if wheelchairs could get past them (see photo below).

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Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: flowers strategically placed on a bridge, scenic, historical landmark

Website: Old Drake Hill Flower Bridge

Tips:

  • parking is located on located on Old Bridge Rd off Drake Hill Rd.  There’s no parking located at the entrance by Riverside Rd
  • popular place for weddings, engagements and portrait photography

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There’s more than one “bridge of flowers” in New England.

Inspired by the Bridge Of Flowers in Shelburne, MA, the Old Drake Bridge Of Flowers, is by no means as long or as flowery as the Bridge Of Flowers in Shelburne, MA.  Yet, what it lacks in length and variety of flowers it makes up for in charm.

Each panel of the bridge is decorated with various flowers.  The bridge has 32 baskets and 48 boxes, some of which were built and added by an Eagle Scout, filled with flowers of an array of colors. The flowers bloom from late May to October.

During my visit, I met a woman who stops by every other day to water, trim and keep after the plants.  Clearly, she’s doing a wonderful job.

The bridge, originally built in 1892,  is an example of 19th century metal-truss bridge construction.  It spans 183 feet and includes a 12-foot roadway suspended 18 feet over Farmington River.  And it has been much traveled over the years.

The Old Drake Flower Bridge was originally built to be a one lane, one way bridge for vehicular traffic.  It was later replaced by a 2 lane bridge in 1992.  Finally, in 1995, it was restored as a pedestrian bridge.   It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984

There are also plants and flowers by the sides of  each entrance to the bridge.

At the entrance to the bridge, off to the left side, there is a memorial dedicated to the original bridge (the Weatogue Bridge) that was built there before it was replaced by the Old Drake Flower Bridge.

The inscription on the historical marker reads reads:

A toll bridge was built here 
in 1734 by order of 
the General Assembly 
it was the first 
highway bridge across 
the Farmington River

The Old Flower Bridge is a popular place for weddings, portrait photography shoots and engagements.  In fact, I turned around from the parking lot the first day I went there because there was a wedding or wedding shoot taking place and I didn’t want to disrupt them.  The second day I went I ran into a couple who had just gotten engaged.  The beaming couple asked me to take their photo and went on their merry way of future bliss.

The Old Flower Bridge is dog friendly.

Lisa (on the right) is a 5 year old Havanese.  I love seeing how happy and proud dog guardians are in their photos.

Tucker Jones is a 2 year old Corgi.

Leila is a 9 year old Bernese and Beagle mix.

Below is a link to The Flash Lady Photography.  The Flash Lady Photography conducted an engagement photo shoot on the bridge in 2015.  You may notice many of the flowers are not on the bridge when these photos were taken as it was the end of October when the photos were taken.  I hope they’re both very happy now!

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Northampton Street Art (Northampton, MA)

hDate Of Visit: May 27, 2017

Locations: Main St & Pleasant St, Northampton, MA (about 30 minutes north of Springfield, MA and an hour and a half west of Boston, MA)

Parking: Metered street parking and 15 minute parking is available throughout the area but it is limited, particularly during the weekend.  Parking rules are strictly enforced in this area.  There is also a parking garage on Main St.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, everywhere I visited during this trip was handicapped accessible

Highlights: bridge art, murals, architecture

One of the more culturally and artistically rich areas in Western Massachusetts (and there are a lot of them out there), Northampton is a great place to walk around and take in the street art.

This art is on Main St on a bridge along the Norwottuck Bike Trail in the heart of Northampton.

You can find art around just about any corner in Northampton.  This mural was located in an alley off Pleasant St.

This mural is on the side of Millennium Liquors, also on Pleasant St.  I noticed it on the drive into Northampton and I also noticed it is fading.  So, I wanted to photograph it while I still had the chance.

It was a beautiful day outside and Smith College was holding their commencement the day I was visiting so the city was bustling.   It always makes me smile when I see a new crop of students graduating.  To me, it seems liek it’s not officially summer until the graduations and weddings start. People were also enjoying the warm weather bt dining outside or sitting on a bench.

Dogs like to look at the street art, also.  Katama is a two and a half year old Samoyed.  This beautiful can be found on Instagram at katamadog,

 

 

 


Bridge Of Flowers (Shelburne Falls, MA)

Date Visited: September 6, 2016

Location: 22 Water St, Shelburne Falls, MA (1 hour west of Springfield, MA, 1.5 hours east of Hartford, CT and about 2 hours west of Boston)

Hours: Open April 1 – October 30, 24 hours a day

Cost: Free

Parking: There is available off street parking (the 2 hour unmetered parking limit on Bridge St is strictly enforced) and a free parking area off Baker Ave with about 30 -40 free spots (take care not to park in the spots reserved for businesses and other tenants in the area) and additional off street parking.  Parking is difficult during peak times.

Size: 400 feet long, 18 feet wide

Time To Allot For Visit: 30 minutes an hour.

Dog Friendly: No

Highlights: pretty flowers, scenic views, memorials, works of art, a master gardener is available on the bridge during peak weekends to ask questions about your own plants and gardens

Lowlights: bridge can get congested since it is narrow

Website: Bridge Of Flowers

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Built in 1908 for a measley $20,000 (roughly $500,000 in current day’s money) by the Shelburne Falls and Colrain Street Railway, the Bridge of Flowers is now home to a wide variety of flowers, trees and even some works of art.

Originally, the bridge was used as the main mode of transportation for the community.  However, once cars became more popular, the train was used less and the company went out of business.   Since the bridge could not be destroyed because it carried a water main between the towns of Colrain and Shelburne Falls, it was decided to do something with the bridge. Then, in 1929, the Shelburne Women’s Club sponsored Antoinette Burnham’s idea to transform the bridge into a garden.

More than 35,000 people visit the bridge ever year.  Yet, it is still something of an unknown attraction, even in New England.

Much to the consternation of my company, I can be very particular about my photos (although my guest on this day didn’t complain).  I tried my best to take photographs of the bridge without any visitors on the bridge or with as few people as possible on it and wow did it take a while to get those shots which just goes to show how much foot traffic it can get.  But, I did eventually get my shots of an empty or close to empty bridge.

This post is photo-heavy.  As much as I tried, it was very hard to choose flowers to include and which ones to not include.

The hardest part of this photo shoot was selecting the best photos to post.  The flowers are so pretty and the view nothing short of jaw dropping.  The flowers are also beautifully arranged.  I especially liked how the flowers complimented the landscape.

 

Birds and bees like the flowers, too.

Flowers and trees aren’t the only attractions at the Bridge Of Flowers.  Memorials and art are scattered throughout the bridge.

One of the works of art at the Bridge of Flowers is a stained glass window designed by Nancy Katz and created by Mark Liebowitz at the Garden House.  It is illuminated during the evening.

 

This water fountain is also at the area past the bridge.

I noticed this in one of the flower beds.  What is it?  A coded message?  A plan for a secret rendezvous?

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Also, and not least, there are war memorials on the bridge.  This memorial honors the veterans of World War I and World War II of the Buckland and Shelburne areas.  While it honors all of the veterans of these wars, the names of those made the supreme sacrifice from these areas are engraved on the plaque on the stone.

This memorial honors the veterans of Korean and Vietnam wars.  The names of the peolpe from the community who lost their lives in these wars are engraved on the plaque on the stone.

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Another great thing about the bridge is they plant flowers each month and it is “peak season” for different flowers at different times (their planting schedule is on their web site).  So you’re sure to see something new and pretty any time you go.  However, I would suggest going during the summer or, preferably, the fall.

Similar Places I Have Visited In New England:

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Glacial Potholes And Salmon Falls (Shelburne Falls, MA)

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Eindsor-Cornish Bridge (Windsor, VT and Cornish, NH)

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Wiggly Bridge (York, ME)

 


Colt State Park (Bristol, RI)

Date Visited: June 19, 2016

Location: Rte 114 (off Poppasquash Rd – yes that is the real name of the road – or Hope St depending which direction you’re coming from), Bristol, RI

Cost: It was free when I visited, according to the new parking fees it is $7 for residents and $14 for non residents to park at beaches in Rhode Island (lawmakers in Rhode Island recently cut the costs in half)

Parking: There are several parking areas.  But, they fill up quickly.  Arrive early to ensure you get a good spot, especially during the summer weekends.  There are also electric vehicle charging stations available for 4 hours max while enjoying the park or other facility.The EV station does not guarantee a space on full capacity days

Hours: open daily dawn to dusk.

Time To Allot For Visit: This can vary depending on what you’re doing there (kayaking, running, cycling, barbecuing, etc.)  If you’re just going for a walk or jog an hour to two hours should be enough time.  I spent three hours there but I was stopping a lot to take photos

Size of Park: 464 acres

Highlights: scenic waterscape, various wildlife, walking/running/biking trails, fields and picnic areas, beach, bridge and pretty architecture and well kept trails

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Named after Samuel P. Colt who owned the property in the early 1900’s where he built his home the Casino, Colt State Park has been considered the “gem of Rhode Island.”  With its pretty views, teeming wildlife and peaceful setting it lives up to its name.

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The park is surrounded by water for people to launch their boats, kayaks and other types or watercraft.

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One of the best things about Colt State Park is the abundant wildlife.  There are birds aplenty.

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Egrets

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Red Winged Blackbird

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American Black Crow

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Mallard Duck

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Robin

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??????

There are many other animals at the park like this chipmunk

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I even saw lions at the park

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Off the beaten path, I found these top bar bee hives.  And they get nasty when you get too close and I had a bee sting to prove it!  I suppose I wouldn’t like it if someone came into my home and started taking photos either.

And, of course, there were dogs at the park.

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Butch, a Lab mix, is a shelter dog from South Carolina.  His mommy wasn’t sure of his age (either 3 or 4 years old probably).

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Max is a 6 year old English Lab.  He is also an AKC (American Kennel Club) dog.

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River Works Park (Greenfield, MA)

Date Visited: May 13th 2016

Location: 250 Deerfield Street, Greenfield, MA

Hours: Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Cost: Free

Parking:  There is a lot that can accommodate about 30 or so cars behind the waterfall off Meridian St (a side road off Deerfield  St where the bridge is) or you can park in one of the lots of the local establishments and walk to the park, after patronizing them of course.  You can’t park on Deerfield St.

It’s not often that you see a silver fish on a pole while you’re driving down the main streets of a busy suburb.  So, when I saw Brookie, the mascot of River Works Park, I had to stop and check it out.

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The River Works Park is a quiet place (if you can ignore the passing traffic on Deerfield Rd) where residents and visitors can sit on the benches or walk along the sidewalk or bridge and admire the Green River below.

For a roadside attraction, the River Works Park is full of surprises and beauty.  One of these surprises is the walk way along the sidewalk that is blocked off by a fence.  Of course, there was an opening in the wire fence.  The views from the walk way weren’t so great though and I only managed to get a few scratches when I walked along it.

The walkway, which was dedicated in November of 1999, has several memorials and plaques along the sidewalk.  This bench was dedicated to Barbara Tillmanns, Greenfield’s “#1 cheerleader.”  Tillmanns was a town councilor for Greenfield and very active in the community.  She passed away in 2014 at the age of 72.  One of her endeavors was to begin an initiative to establish a series of commemorative benches throughout Greenfield.  Here’s one:

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A sign remains where the J. Russell Co once stood.  The company made Green River Knives.  Greenfield Tap & Die also stood there once upon a time.  The J. Russell Co and Greenfield Tap & Die were the main employers of the area for much of the 1800’s and the J. Russell Co made the highly touted Green River Knife.

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If you look closely at Brookie, the mascot of River Works Park, you can see the forks, spoons, cutlery and other utensils collected from the residents of Greenfield and Franklin County that make up the shape of the fish as a tribute to the J. Russell Cutlery Co. (you may have to zoom into the photo).

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The aptly named Green River, runs through the park.  There were some modest waves and ripples in the river.  The reason for this will soon be evident.

I thought made for a pretty backdrop.

However, just beyond the bridge, we found this pretty waterfall.

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There is no sidewalk on the side of the road where the best views of the waterfalls are so I had to keep the video short since I shot it during a red light.

There is a lot of interesting historical information about the J. Russell Co and the area which you can access in the links below

J. Russell Co

John Russell Manufacturing Co

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Windsor-Cornish Bridge (Windsor, VT & Cornish, NH)

Date Visited: May 13, 2016

Location: Bridge St, Windsor, VT/ Cornish, NH

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If there is one thing Vermont and New Hampshire are known for, besides moose and lakes, it has to be covered bridges.  But, of the 164 covered bridges listed for Vermont and New Hampshire one stands alone.

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The Windsor-Cornish Bridge (or Cornish-Windsor if you like) is the longest covered bridge in all of New England.  At 449 ft and 5 inches, the Windsor-Cornish Bridge is not only the longest covered bridge in New England it is the second longest wooden covered bridge in the entire United States just behind the Smolen-Gulf Bridge in Ohio (613 ft) which opened in 2008.  It is, however, the longest wooden covered bridge as well as the longest two span covered bridge in the United States.

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The bridge was originally framed at a nearby meadow northwest of the site and later moved to its proper location.  As an aside, I didn’t see anyone cross it on a horse.  But, if they did, they had better walk it across or be ready to pay their two bits.

It has been through three constructions and repairs due to being transported from another location and after being repaired due to flood damage and ice in 1977.  In July, 1987, the bridge was closed to traffic due to deterioration and reconstructed in 1989.  The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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The Windsor-Cornish Bridge holds another unique distinction.  It is one of the few bridges that used to be a toll bridge but no longer has a toll (usually it works the other way around in new England).  The bridge was purchased by the state in 1936 and operated it as a toll bridge until June 1, 1943.  The bridge does have two lane traffic but pedestrians traffic is not allowed.

The Windsor-Cornish Bridge is one resilient bridge.  Previously, there have been three bridges built on this site in 1796, 1824 and 1828. All of these bridges were destroyed by floods.  For now, though, the bridge still stands proudly.

The videos below show what driving through the tunnel (both ways) feels like.

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