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Many people flock to see Indiana’s covered bridges. At one time, as many as four hundred covered bridges existed throughout the state. There are now only 98 remaining in Indiana, although Vermont has the most covered bridges.

 Covered Bridge.

(Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Indiana’s history with covered bridges began early in the 1830s when settlers decided to improve the infrastructure around their developing towns to allow for easier travel.

It was around this time the National Road (also known as the Cumberland Road) was created. It was the first major highway in the United States.  Built between 1811 and 1837, the 620-mile road connected the Potomac and Ohio Rivers and was a main path to the West for thousands of settlers.  The National Road crossed Indiana, ushering in the era of covered bridges.

Parke County consists of the most covered bridges in the Hoosier state winning the title of “Covered Bridge Capital of the World.”

Only In Your State posted the Covered Bridge Loop Trail. This covered bridge loop trail spans six Indiana counties and will take you by nine old bridges.

map of covered bridge loop

The Parke County Covered Bridge Festival is the largest festival in Indiana. For all things fall, this 10 day festival always starts on the 2nd Friday in October. This year the dates are scheduled for October 14th through the 23rd. The festival – showcases the county’s 31 historic covered bridges and features authentic arts and crafts, food, and  fall foliage.

Kutz Mill Covered Bridge in Greenwich Township.

Photo by Bill Uhrich 2/22/2019 (Photo By MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

Why Are The Bridges Covered?

The bridges were covered because they were made of wood and needed to be protected from the weather. In some communities, the bridges were the largest covered area available, so they were also pressed into service for meetings, weddings, and political rallies.

Over time, many bridges fell victim to the forces of nature, arson, traffic accidents and apathy.

For a complete list of covered bridges in Indiana, click here.


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