Tag 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.


Stratton Brooks State Park (Simsbury, CT)

***WordPress ate my original post (either that or I goofed up).  So, I have reposted my blog post.  Thank you for reading!***

Date Of Visit: September 9, 2017

Location: 149 Farms Village Road (Route 309), Simsbury, CT

Hours: open daily, sunrise to sunset

Cost: On weekends and holidays, admission tot he park costs $9 for residents of Simsbury and $15 for non residents.  There is no charge during weekdays and during the off season.

Parking: There are a few parking areas with ample parking

Trail Size/Difficulty: The main hiking and biking trail is 1.2 miles (2.4 round trip).  The trail is easy.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes
Website: Stratton Brooks State Park

Map: Stratton Brooks State Park Map

Highlights: trails, covered bridge, beach, lake, swimming, fishing, cycling trails

Tips:

  • admission to the park is free during the weekdays and after Labor Day (or at least it was free during my visit the week after Labor Day)
  • Stratton Brooks is considered the first “completely wheelchair accessible” park in Connecticut
  • The nature center is open on certain days (it was closed during my visit)

 

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There’s a reason why the Connecticut tourism website calls September the “second summer.”  With the last vestiges of summer lingering and the sparks of autumn blooming, this is perhaps the best time of the year to visit the parks and attractions of New England.

 

The trails at Stratton Brooks are easy and level with hardly any inclines.  The main trail goes past some residential homes.  So, it’s important to stay on the trail.

 

Brooks Stratton, originally called Massacoe State Forest, was originally used to demonstrate forest fire control adjacent to railroads. The railroad tracks have since been replaced by a biking and hiking trail.  White pines line the main hiking trail.

The covered bridge at the park was built in 1985, spans 45″.  It offers pretty views of Stratton Brook.

 

The beach at the park is a popular destination during hot summer days.  It has a decent sized beach area and enough room for everyone to splash around.

 

In 1996, this park became Connecticut’s first state park that is completely accessible by wheelchair.  But, I think some areas, such as the main hiking trail which can be rocky and the beach area, may be hard to maneuver around.

Besides hiking, cycling, running and swimming, the park also offers an area for fishing, trout is the main fish people catch.  During the winter ice fishing, cross country skiing, snow shoeing and ice skating are popular activities at the park.   Besides the trout that swim in the pond, there are other inhabitants of the pond such as ducks and a few frogs.

 

There is lots of room for dogs to roam around and play.  I saw quite a few cute dogs during my visit at Stratton Brooks.

Adisson is a playful one and a half year old Terrier mix,

 

Juju (short for Jujube) is a Chihuahua mix.  Fun fact: Juju doesn’t care for other dogs but she likes cats and people!

 

Sage is a rescue dog.  His guardian wasn’t sure what his breed or age is.  But, he’s a sweetheart!

 

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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,

 

 

 


Ware-Hardwick Covered Bridge (Hardwick-Ware, MA)

Date Of Visit: December 26, 2016

Location: Bridge St (no really, it’s called Bridge St) and Old Gilbertville Rd, Ware – Hardwick, MA

Cost: Free

Hours:Open everyday, 24 hours a day

Parking: Despite the signs to the contrary, you can park on the side of the road on Bridge St.  Parking isn’t available on the other side which leads to Old Gilbertville Rd.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: Covered Bridge in Central Mass

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Many years ago, wooden bridges, particularly covered bridges used to dot the landscapes of Massachusetts.

Now, Massachusetts only has about a dozen covered bridges that you can drive on.  Although it may not seem sturdy, the Ware-Hardwick Bridge, also known as the Granville Bridge because the bridge is in the unincorporated village of Gilbertville which is considered part of Hardwick,  is one of the few remaining traffic worthy covered bridges in Massachusetts.

The Ware-Hardwick Bridge, or Hardwick-Ware Bridge depending on which way you’re traveling, is 139.1 feet long and is 130.9 feet at its largest span. It is  19.7 feet wide and 14.4 feet tall.  I suspect trucks would have to seek alternate routes because of the low clearance.  But, according to the state Department of Transportation, there currently is no weight limit for vehicles passing through. Trucks wouldn’t typically use this bridge, in any event, since it is located on a side road.

 

The Ware-Hardwick Bridg crosses the Ware River which was relatively calm and iced over in some parts during my visit.

The bridge, which is a covered through lattice wooden single-web, double-chord truss design, was originally built in 1887 according to public records, despite the sign bearing the year 1886 just above the entrance on the Ware side.  It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 8, 1986, roughly 100 years after it was originally built.

The original bridge only had a capacity of 6 “short tons” (5.4 tons).  It was closed down in 2002 to restore the structural integrity of the bridge due in part to an insect infestation.  The bridge re-opened in October, 2010 after a $1.9 million restoration project.

Fun fact: the bridge was one of the few bridges to survive a major flooding on the Ware River in 1936.

Below is a video of us driving over the bridge.

 

 


Emilie Ruecker Wildlife Sanctuary (Tiverton, RI)

Date Of Visit: December 14, 2016

Location: Seapowet Ave, Tiverton, RI (about an hour south of Boston and about 30 minutes  southeast of Providence, RI)

Cost: Free but donations are appreciated

Hours: Trails are open dawn until dusk

Parking: There is a lot which can accomodate about 5-10 cars

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Trail Difficulty/Size: 50 acres of easy but narrow trails, I couldn’t find a description of the trail lengths but it can’t be more than 4 or 5 miles total

Handicapped Accessible: No

Dog Friendly: No, Audubon sanctuaries are not pet friendly

Highlights:easy trails, blinds to hide behind bird watch, wildlife, streams and bodies of water, birds, scenic

Web Site: Emilie Ruecker Wildlife Sanctuary

Trail Map: Emilie Ruecker Trail Map

As a preface, I am trying to post about as many of my trips from earlier this year before the end of the year.  So, I may be posting pretty much every day until the new year and into the beginning of the new year to catch up and start fresh in 2017.  Lucky you… ( :

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Tucked away just over the Massachusetts and Rhode Island border is a serene little trail with lots of surprises.

One of the cutest surprises are these blinds that you can hide behind to photograph or observe birds.

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The trails at Emilie Ruecker are easy enough to navigate and they are mostly loops so it is easy to stay on the trail. There are also maps displayed throughout the sanctuary.  The trails can be narrow in some areas.  Also, if you go on the red trails, it’s easy to go off track.  Just keep looking for the color coded trees to stay on track.

One of the cool things are the openings along the trails that allow you to get closer to the water so you can view the ducks and other birds.

You’ll also find the occasional bench to rest at.

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Although there is lots of wildlife at the sanctuary, the highlight for me was the beautiful scenic views.

If you look closely, you may see the outline of a deer just behind the branch of this tree.  Unfortunately, my camera couldn’t focus in time to get a better photo.

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Much like this deer, the birds at Emilie Ruecker were hard to photograph.

The birds in the water proved more easy to photograph.

These birds were very easy to photograph, as long as I kept my distance.  They were hanging out on the other side of the road across from the sanctuary on some farm land.

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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)