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Kentucky: a road trip through the state- Part 41 - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Travelling

Covered Bridges

Kentucky' s ' Timbered Tunnels' are rare and scenic view of past times. These covered bridges are remarkable combinations of both engineering and architecture. Now days they provide a weathered reminder of earlier times and are also star attractions in scenic photos. They are mostly to be found along back roads like hidden jewels, they are the perfect excuse for a not taking the Interstate on your next journey.

In case you have not read all the previous articles in this series I would just like to quote a small section from part 25.

“Many people will recall a book of a few year ago that was made into a film called ‘The Bridges of Madison County’. The iconic image that was shown on both book and film was of the ' timbered tunnelled bridges' . So it’s interesting to note that there are no such bridges in Madison County. There is however still 13 original bridges that remain to this day in the state. “

The 13 ' timbered tunnels' that remain are just a sample of what were more than 400 covered bridges that spanned the state' s waterways in the 1800s. At the peak of covered bridge development in America in the mid 1800’s it was almost impossible to travel anywhere without coming across one.

Kentucky' s surviving covered bridges come in a variety of different sizes and also use a number of different construction techniques but most are within an easy drive of Lexington.
Four of the covered bridges are still open to traffic and there are others that you can walk through. If you drive across in your car make sure that the windows are down and listen to the creaking timbers held together with wooden pegs. If you walk through a bridge then run your hand across what were roughhewn timbers but are now worn smooth by the years of people doing exactly what you are doing.

Kentucky has a Madison County but as I said earlier it has no bridges; that was until Bob Minerich built one. After the popular movie Bob decided to build a bridge over Silver Creek and to paint it red to match the rest of the buildings on his farm near Richmond. It’s not open to the public but can be seen from Bogie Mill Road.

If you like pub quiz’s then get ready for a question. How many original covered wooden bridges remain in Kentucky? Well that was an easy point, I just told you there are 13; but the correct answer is 14.

There is a 14th surviving Kentucky covered bridge which is truly is ' covered' . It is at the bottom of Herrington Lake and it is the King' s Mill Covered Bridge. When the lake was created in 1925, the old mill and bridge were left in place. They were slowly covered by the waters of the lake as they built up behind the new dam. As the bridge has been completely immersed in cold fresh water it is fairly certain that the 175-foot span remains intact to this day.

Covered Bridges continues in part 42.

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