Covered bridges are a blast from the past -- back before the big metal and concrete bridges were common... and the oldest covered bridge is only a relatively short drive from the Southern Tier!

When they first started making roadways, the bridges were made out of wood. Wood was easy to find and inexpensive to build but they didn't last very long. The bridges would last less than 15 years because of the exposure to the wind, rain, and the rest of the elements of nature.

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So to help them last longer, they were built with a roof and covered on the sides and the covered bridge was born. Many of them were replaced as the vehicles got bigger and the traffic increased. Estimates on the number of covered bridges left in the United States is around 850.

One of the things that my daughter, Tara LOVES to do is to find covered bridges. She believes that many of them are haunted and she wants to find out for herself if they are or not. I think a ghostly gust of wind picked up when I took this picture...maybe not.

Glenn Pitcher

We have traveled to see the Bath Covered Bridge and the Downsville Covered Bridge, just to name a few. So I was thrilled to find out that there is a covered bridge that's only about an hour away and it's the oldest covered bridge in America.

The Oldest Covered Bridge In America

It's the Hyde Hall Covered Bridge on the grounds of Glimmerglass State Park in Cooperstown. It was built by George Clarke in 1825 on the private property (at the time) of Hyde Hall.

The Hyde Hall Covered Bridge has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1998 and is 53 feet long. It goes across Shadow Brook and you can only walk across the bridge today.

When you plan on going to Cooperstown, you think about the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Brewery Ommegang, and The Farmers' Museum. Now you can add the Hyde Hall Covered Bridge in Glimmerglass State Park to the list.

I don't know if it's haunted or not but I can't wait for Tara and me to find out.

Here are some more covered bridges that you can find that are just a short drive away.

Covered Bridges Of The Twin Tiers

Small Towns In the Southern Tier and Central NY