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Hemlock Bridge In Fryeburg
You’ll Enjoy These 3 Authentic Covered Bridges In Maine

Explore These Historic Covered Bridges In Maine

July 25th, 2018 by Roy Forsberg

Looking for a genuine East Coast sightseeing experience? Look no further than these three authentic covered bridges in Maine. 30-45 minutes from the Wolf Cove Inn, a bed and breakfast in Maine, three wooden bridges stand wrapped in beauty and history. A single-day’s trip loop can cover all three. The journey takes one through the rolling, rural Maine countryside and charming small towns. In addition, along the way, check out some Saco River rapids, visit quaint, small-town antique shops, or go for a moderate hike on Burnt Meadow Mountain Trail. Then come home to our cozy lakeside inn for a well-deserved sleep.

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Hemlock Covered Bridge In Maine

Hemlock Bridge In Fryeburg Maine

Your Exclusive Covered Bridge Tour

Your tour of covered bridges in Maine begins at Wolf Cove Inn, where overnight guests enjoy a delicious Maine comfort breakfast consisting of a savory or sweet entree, breakfast meats, homemade breads and muffins, fruit, juice, and coffee. Once you’ve had your fill, it’s time to hop in your car!

First, you’ll visit Babb’s Bridge in Standish, Maine.

From there you’ll proceed to the Porter-Parsonsfield Bridge in, you guessed it, Parsonsfield, Maine. Along the way you can stop at the Limington Rapids rest area and relax by the Saco River rapids.

Following your trip to the Porter Bridge, it’s onto to the Hemlock Bridge in Fryeburg, Maine. For the hiking-minded, you may visit the Burnt Meadow Mountain Trail to stretch those legs before hitting that last bridge.

Babb's Bridge In Windham Maine

Babb’s Bridge over The Presumpscot River in Windham Maine

Babb’s Covered Bridge in Windham, Maine

Your first stop takes you to Windham, Maine, a town right on the shores of Sebago Lake. A scenic 30 minute drive delivers you to this queen post truss type wooden bridge.

The bridge spans an upper section of the Presumpscot River. Constructed in 1976, the bridge is a reconstruction of a previous covered bridge originally built in 1864. Fire/arson claimed the original bridge in 1973. The towns of Windham and Gorham petitioned the state to rebuild the bridge as a replica rather than just building a functional steel and concrete structure. The original bridge was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

Directions: Exit the Wolf Cove Inn parking lot and turn right onto route 11 south and proceed for 6 miles. Then turn left on route 85 and drive 8 miles until intersecting route 302. Note that these two stretches of road are through the country side and offer especially spectacular views during foliage season. Turn left onto route 302 east for 4.9 miles. Then turn right onto River Road and follow for 4.4 miles until you see Covered Bridge Road on your right. Turn there and bingo, the bridge is just down the road. Watch for a small parking lot on the right just before the bridge.

Tunnel view at Babb's Bridge

Tunnel View at Babb’s Bridge

While there in June I spotted signs that warned folks to take care as turtles were nesting along the river. Take a walk across the bridge and you’ll find rope swings that area kids use to plunge into the river. Did you bring your bathing suit?

Rope Swings Into The Presumpscot River.

Rope Swings Deposit Kids in The River

From here we’ll proceed to the Porter-Parsonsfield Bridge.

Porter-Parsonsfield Covered Bridges In Maine

Porter-Parsonsfield Covered Bridge

Porter-Parsonsfield Bridge in Parsonsfield, Maine

Next, you’ll travel approximately 40 minutes through the towns of Standish, Limington and Cornish to reach the second stop on your personal covered bridge tour.

In 1858, engineers built a Paddleford and arch truss-type bridge to span the Ossipee River between Porter and Parsonsfield. Two other bridges preceded this third bridge at this site, the first built in 1800, then the second in 1808.

The building of the third bridge resulted in a conflict between the two towns over the roofing material. Because of the dispute, the roof of the bridge contained two different types of shingles.

The bridge enjoyed a restoration in 1999 during which cedar shingles replaced the disparate existing roof. The bridge closed to vehicular traffic in 1960 with the construction of the adjacent steel and concrete bridge.

Porter-Parsonsfield Covered Bridge

Porter-Parsonsfield Covered Bridge

On your way to the bridge you may want to avail yourself of the “facilities” at the Limington Rapids rest area. While there, cross the wooden bridge to access views of the rapids on the Saco River. Another stop along the way might be in Cornish where I spotted a few antique shops that could hold hidden treasures.

Wooden bridge at Limington Rapids Rest Area

Wooden Bridge at Limington Rapids Rest Area

Directions: To get to the Porter-Parsonsfield Bridge, cross the Babb’s Bridge and drive 1/2 mile and take a left onto Wilson Road. Proceed 1.2 miles then turn right onto route 237 north, then 2.1 miles and a left onto route 35 south, then 3.7 miles to a right onto route 25 west. Settle in route 25 for the next 22 miles. A couple of miles after route 25 joins route 160 in South Hiram, those two routes diverge in Porter. Follow route 160. After crossing the Ossipee River (you’ll see the covered bridge to your left), turn left onto Kezer Mountain Road and find the bridge 0.2 miles on the left.

After you explore this covered bridge, we’ll head to the Hemlock Covered Bridge in Fryeburg Maine.

Photo of Hemlock Covered Bridge in Fryeburg Maine

Hemlock Covered Bridge in Fryeburg Maine

Hemlock Covered Bridge in Fryeburg, Maine

The last covered bridge on your tour takes you to Fryeburg, home of the Fryeburg Fair.

The last of seven 19th century covered bridges built in Fryeburg, the Hemlock Bridge spans the Old Course Saco River. This section of the Old Course Saco River meandered on a thirty-six mile almost circular arc. In 1815, residents successfully petitioned the state to bypass the loop, referred to as “thirty-six miles of river and six miles of country” by the locals. Sometime after that, canal digging bypassed the loop.

Built in 1857, engineers chose a Paddleford truss design 116 feet in length. 1970 saw the bridge listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Hemlock Covered Bridge Photo

Hemlock Covered Bridge Is Drivable

If you’re like me, you’ll love the ride to Fryeburg. Winding through hilly, rural countryside, the route treats travelers to nice views and spectacular scenery during foliage season. Shortly before making the Pig Street turn in Brownville, you may opt to stretch out those legs and go for a hike on the Burnt Meadow Mountain Trail. Find the trailhead of this 3.6 mile, lightly traveled loop trail at a well-marked sign on the left. It’s time to continue your tour of covered bridges in Maine.

Directions: Depart the Porter-Parsonsfield Bridge and take a right back onto route 160. Follow route 160 north for 13 miles, then turn right onto Pig Street in Brownfield and follow for 0.9 miles. Turn left onto route 113 north/5 north and follow 7.1 miles into Fryeburg. Then turn right onto Main Street / route 5 and follow 6.7 miles to Frog Alley on the right. Finally turn right and follow Frog Alley (it shortly becomes a well-maintained dirt road) for two miles to Hemlock Bridge.

Watch for the colorful painted frog on your right along the way.

Note that after about the first mile on Frog Alley, the road comes to a “T”. Take a left to stay on Frog Alley, now Hemlock Bridge Road as well.

Old Course Saco River Photo

Old Course Saco River

Be sure to get out and walk across the bridge. You’ll enjoy the views of the Old Course Saco River from the bridge portals. When you’ve had your fill of history and beauty hop back in the car one last time and come home to the Wolf Cove Inn.

Directions: To get back, cross the Hemlock Bridge and follow the road for three miles until meeting up with route 302. Take a left and follow 302 east about 19 miles over Moose Pond, through Bridgton and into Naples where you’ll intersect route 11 north. Take a left onto route 11 north and follow for approximately twelve miles to the Wolf Cove Inn.

Sunset over Tripp Lake photo.

Sunset Over Tripp Lake at Wolf Cove Inn

Return to Wolf Cove Inn for A Beautiful Sunset

Following your day of exploring these covered bridges in Maine, do make sure you get yourself back to the Wolf Cove Inn in time for sunset. Grab some pizza at the Inn at Tripp Lake Pizzeria. Then grab a bottle of wine, cozy up by the fire pit, grab some complimentary s’mores and enjoy a really spectacular sunset with that someone special. If you’re looking for something extra memorable check out our specials and packages for an unforgettable romantic getaway in Maine.

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Fire Pit Sunset At Wolf Cove Inn

S’mores and Gorgeous Sunsets By The Fire Pit

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