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).
Dog Friendly: Yes
Highlights: flowers strategically placed on a bridge, scenic, historical landmark
Website: Old Drake Hill Flower Bridge
- 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
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 section 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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