This isn’t your typical ride report where one goes for a trip/ride and writes about it. Instead, it is a ride report that was four years in the making (July 2008-Oct 2011) as I went around my home Province of New Brunswick taking pictures of covered bridges on a bike.
According to the book “Life in the Slow Lane” published in 1998, there were 30 States with covered bridges still standing and four Canadian Provinces at that time. According to the book, Pennsylvania was the State that had the most with approximately 225 while in Canada it was the Province of Québec with just under 100. My home Province of New Brunswick had 70 of them standing at the time. As of today there are 61 still standing in New Brunswick.
When I set out to go around my Province with the bike there were 64 remaining. Since then 3 were burned by arsonists. I managed to get one of them before it got torched so that I have 62.
Why would I go around my Province to take pictures of old covered bridges? The answer is very simple. It is an excellent excuse for a ride and you get to see areas of your Province that you would not otherwise see. Put another way, it is an excellent way to explore your Province on your favourite mode of transportation.
The bridges we have in New Brunswick were pretty well all built the same way as you will see by the pictures.
Some of those that are still standing are very much in use, some see very little use and others are no longer in use. Those that are no longer in use usually have a newer bridge and road next to them.
Some of them are on roads that are major roads in the areas where they are found. However, many are located on dirt roads of varying accessibility.
When I first started in 2008 I had a Honda ST1300. I added a Wee Strom in April 2009 and my present bike is a 2010 BMW K1300GT bought in May 2010 after I sold both the ST1300 and Wee Strom. You will see pictures with anyone of those three bikes.
I am arranging them by county. I know I am posting a lot of pictures but there are a lot of bridges. To keep the numbers down I’ll only post one picture of some of them but for others I’ll post more if I think that they are worthy.
So here goes. ALBERT COUNTYCoverdale River No. 3 (Bamford Colpitts)
Although the first bridge in this report it is actually the last one that I got. It is located close to home behind a private residence. Technically it is still in use but nobody other than the farmers who own the cows in the pictures would use it as it is a bridge to a cow field.
Of all the bridges this is the only one that showed signs that the trusses were used as advertisement space in the old days. It looks like they left it there on purpose. Crooked Creek No. 3
This one was the most difficult to get to. I had been warned by a fellow rider not to try it with the ST1300 and he was right. Even with the Wee Strom it wasn’t easy. The bridge is mostly used by people on ATVs and snowmobiles. Lower Forty Five No. 1
This bridge is located within the boundaries of the Fundy National Park. Point Wolfe
Another bridge located within the boundaries of Fundy National Park. It was rebuilt in 1992 after the original bridge was blown up by mistake when Park employees were trying to dynamite a big boulder next to it. Oooops! Saw Mill Creek No. 1
Although the bridge is no longer in use for the passenger vehicle it is very much in use by horses. Shepody River No. 3
Built 1903Turtle Creek No. 4
This ones life is in danger as the City of Moncton wants to flood the area to make another water reservoir for the city. They are now saying that if they do flood the area it will be moved somewhere else.
The pictures were taken in April 2009 just after I bought the Wee Strom. You can see that there was still snow. Weldon Creek No. 3 (Hartley Steeves)
Built 1923William Mitton
The 2nd picture is not very good but it is the best I have with a bike in it. CARLETON COUNTYBecaguimec River No. 3
I got this bridge on Aug 1st, 2011 and someone torched it on Aug 13, 2011. This is how it was reported in a local newspaper. On Aug 13, during the early morning hours, a pickup truck stolen from downtown Hartland was driven onto the bridge and set on fire. Flames spread to the structure and the bridge was completely destroyed.
Sadly, many covered bridges have been taken down by arsonists over the years.
This is what was left on Sept 18, 2011. Florenceville
This bridge has the particularity of having only one span covered. I couldn’t get a nice picture with the bike in it because there was too much traffic. It is very busy bridge. Hartland
Built 1901, covered 1921 according to DOT or 1922 according to the sign at the bridge.
This one is the longest in the world and to my knowledge nobody has ever challenged that claim. North Becaguimec River No. 4 (Ellis)
Built 1909CHARLOTTE COUNTYCanal
The reason for the hole on the side of this and some of the other bridges coming up is that the locals take the boards out to be able to jump off.
A little bit of fun on the river. Dennis Stream No. 3
Built 1910Digdeguash River No. 3
Who’s the squid in the 2nd picture? Digdeguash River No. 4
Built 1938Digdeguash River No. 6
No I did not own the ST1300 and K1300GT at the same time. The ST1300 is my old bike that was bought by a friend who happened to be with me on the day I took these pictures. Little Lepreau River No. 1
Built 1910Madaguavic River No. 7 (Flume Ridge)
No I did not write the graffiti