The State of Virginia has a cool collection of historic and covered bridges, all of which are well worth a visit if you’re traveling in the area.
Many of the stunning VA bridges on this list date back to the 1800s, with the oldest bridge in Virginia built in 1857.
But no matter how old they are, each one has a unique aesthetic and backstory that make it a famous bridge in Virginia.
Unfortunately, many of the covered bridges in VA have been lost to time and/or weather events. For example, the beloved Bob White Bridge, which was constructed in 1921, washed away in a flood back in 2015.
Some historic bridges included on this list are not intended for motorized transportation.
I personally think railroad trusses and bridges are often exquisite. And the swinging bridges in Virginia often wow me, even if they’re only designed for foot traffic.
In this instance, we have stuck with only human-engineered structures. But the Natural Bridge in Virginia would certainly warrant inclusion amongst the best bridges in the state to visit!
Read on for our varied list of the 10 best historic and covered bridges in Virginia, including some history and descriptions of each bridge as well as a handy VA bridges map for your road trip-planning pleasure.
Historic & Covered Bridges in Virginia Guide
- Humpback Bridge (Covington)
- Jack’s Creek Covered Bridge (Woolwine)
- Link’s Farm Covered Bridge (Newport)
- Meem’s Bottom Covered Bridge (Mount Jackson)
- Sinking Creek Covered Bridge (Pearisburg)
- The Bowstring Arch Truss Bridge (Elliston)
- CSX A-Line Bridge over the James River (Richmond)
- Valley Railroad Stone Bridge (Jolivue)
- The Buchanan Swinging Bridge (Buchanan)
- High Bridge (Farmville)
Covered Bridges in Virginia
There are only a handful of covered bridges remaining in Virginia, and few are still open to the public.
But the ones that are still around are truly remarkable in their design and engineering.
Many can be visited in a single day, particularly for those moving north through the Shenandoah Valley from I-77 near North Carolina towards Luray, or heading south from Luray.
The covered bridges in Virginia map is pretty straightforward, and is filled with great scenery.
READ MORE: 10 Best Virginia Mountain Towns to Visit
1. Humpback Bridge
Midland Trail, Covington VA
The current iteration of Humpback Bridge, Virginia’s oldest covered bridge, was built in 1857.
But there were three previous bridges on the same site, dating back to the 1820s. Two of those were washed away, and one simply “gave way”.
Humpback Bridge is special for being an arched covered bridge, meaning it is 4 feet higher at the center than it is at the ends. That explains how it got the handle of Humpback.
The 100-foot wooden bridge was closed to traffic in 1929, and eventually replaced by a steel truss bridge.
It was left in disrepair until the 1950s, then restored to become a wayside attraction. The National Historic Covered Bridge Program did more restoration work in 2013.
Humpback Bridge is located on Route 60, just west of Covington, and can be accessed via I-64’s exit 10. It’s a sensible detour when visiting the mountain towns of Lexington, Natural Bridge, or Roanoke VA.
2. Jack’s Creek Covered Bridge
1274 Jacks Creek Road, Woolwine VA
Designed by Woolwine local Walt Weaver and built by Charles Vaughn in 1914, Jack’s Creek Covered Bridge is a 48-foot bridge constructed entirely of oak.
It crosses the Smith River in Patrick Country VA, and it is well-maintained despite having been replaced (for traffic) by a modern structure.
Jack’s Creek Covered Bridge is located on VA-615, two miles south of Woolwine and not far from Route 8.
It’s a good find for those visiting Floyd VA, Fairystone State Park, or Meadows of Dan.
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3. Link Farm Covered Bridge
100 Covered Bridge Lane, Newport VA
Established in 1912, the Link Farm Covered Bridge is clad with beautiful red lapped siding and covered with a green tin roof.
The bridge was closed to traffic in 1949, and ultimately restored in 1995. After being damaged in Tropical Storm Gaston in 2004, it was restored again.
On the northwest end, it still sits on abutments made of mortared natural stone.
This bridge is sometimes called Mountain Lake Covered Bridge, or Bradley Covered Bridge. It’s one of three covered bridges in Giles County VA.
Link Farm Covered Bridge is located in Newport VA near the intersection of VA-604 and VA-700, so it’s a quick day-trip from Blacksburg or Pearisburg.
This is one of a couple of covered bridges that cross Sinking Creek. The equally attractive Sinking Creek Covered Bridge is just a 5-minute drive away!
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4. Meem’s Bottom Covered Bridge
Wissler Road, Mount Jackson VA
Meem’s Bottom Covered Bridge was constructed in the early 1890s, with huge abutments and arched supports that were built with materials quarried nearby.
Spanning over 200 feet, the bridge was deeded to the Virginia Highway Department in the 1930s, with the stipulation that the state must maintain it. Traffic moved over the bridge until vandals burned it in 1976.
Many of the original wooden boards were salvaged, and the bridge ultimately reopened in 1979. But this time it was reinforced with steel beams and concrete piers, and it is still used by cars today.
Meem’s Bottom Bridge is located on Wissler Road, near Mount Jackson VA. It’s not far from I-81 via US-11 N, so it’s easy to visit for those staying in Luray or Harrisonburg VA.
The bridge is also part of the Wilderness Trail in Shenandoah County.
5. Sinking Creek Bridge
101 S. Main St, Pearisburg VA
The largest and most recognized of three covered bridges in Giles County VA, the Sinking Creek Bridge measures over 70 feet long.
Beloved for its colorful red lapped siding and green roof, this is the only one of the area’s bridges that’s open to the public.
Also known as Clover Hollow Bridge, the structure dates back to 1916, but it was replaced for traffic by a bridge further upstream in 1963.
Giles County still maintains the Sinking Creek Bridge, which underwent a 2-year restoration in 2000. It has since become a very popular roadside attraction and wedding venue.
The bridge is located just off Route 601, just 1.6 miles east of the Link Farm Covered Bridge. So it’s another good stop for those visiting Blacksburg or Pearisburg VA.
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Other Amazing Virginia Bridges
Beyond the covered bridges of Virginia, there’s also a nice collection of beautiful historic bridges dotting the commonwealth.
What follows is an eclectic look at some of the best historic bridges in Virginia to visit.
But the bridges in this section tend to tilt more towards historical significance and sheer beauty rather than impressive feats of modern-day engineering.
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6. The Bowstring Truss Bridge
I-81, Elliston VA
Considered the oldest metal bridge in Virginia, The Bowstring Truss Bridge dates back to 1878. It was originally built to replace a wooden bridge over the Stony Fork River, which was destroyed in a flood.
This structural design– a 12-foot wide, 55-foot long bridge a distinctive arch on each side– was a popular choice in the 19th century. Using iron helped the bridge withstand flooding.
The Bowstring Truss Bridge was constructed by the King Iron Bridge & Manufacturing Company out of Cleveland.
It was initially located in Bedford County, near where the Peaks of Otter Lodge & Campground is today. Then it was relocated within the county in 1930, and stayed there until 1971.
Despite remaining a stout specimen, this bridge is no longer in use.
Now it has been retired at the Ironto Rest Area in Montgomery County VA, where bridge aficionados can appreciate it. The rest stop is off I-81, just south of Roanoke.
READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Roanoke VA
7. CSX A-Line Bridge Over the James River
The century-old James River Railway Bridge is a concrete bridge for railroad crossings, and it is famous for the stunning arches used in its design.
Its unique look has made the photogenic bridge an iconic symbol around Richmond VA.
Officially named the CSX A-Line Bridge, this structure is a double-track crossing over the river.
It was actually built next to the remnants of another rail crossing for the RF&P (Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac) Bridge, which was torn down about the same time the James River Railway Bridge opened.
This marvelous bridge in VA was one of the first to be made predominately of concrete rather than wood, stone, or iron.
There are views of the James River Bridge all around Richmond. It’s still in operation, used by trains running between Powhite Parkway and the Boulevard Bridge.
8. Valley Railroad Stone Bridge
VA-654, Jolivue VA
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1974, the Valley Railroad Stone Bridge is 130 feet long, 15 feet wide, and spans Folly Mills Creek in Jolivue VA.
This bridge was built in 1884 to service the Valley Railroad, which ran from Staunton VA to Lexington VA.
It was later absorbed by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which discontinued the branch in 1942.
With four semi-circular archways, the bridge was constructed of granite and then faced with ashlar. Each arch reaches down to a splayed pier, creating a four-span structure.
Adopted by the Virginia Department of Transportation in 1965, the Valley Railroad Bridge is a popular historic site located on I-81 at VA-651.
9. Buchanan Swinging Bridge
199990 Main St, Buchanan VA
Measuring 336 feet wide and standing nearly 60 feet high, the stone piers of the Buchanan Swinging Bridge (a pedestrian crossing) date back to the 1850s.
This was originally the Buchanan Turnpike Company’s Toll Bridge. The company charged 5 cents a person, 5 cents per horse or mule, and 5 cents for every wagon.
The covered bridge was eventually burned by a Confederate General in 1864, and a new bridge was built before being lost in a flood in 1877.
Then the R&A Railroad Company made another bridge on the site, but it was replaced by a steel bridge in 1897.
Eventually a concrete bridge was built nearby, and the pedestrian bridge became a wonderful spot from which to view the James River.
This bridge is a reasonably close day-trip from Roanoke, Lynchburg, or Lexington VA.
10. High Bridge
High Bridge Trail State Park, Rice VA
This bridge is a Virginia Historic Landmark and has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
High Bridge was first constructed in the 1850s as part of the Southside Railroad (linking Petersburg and Lynchburg), and played an important role in the Civil War.
In 1914, the bridge was entirely rebuilt, but the original masonry piers were left right next to the new ones.
In 2005, the Norfolk Southern Railway donated the bridge and 33 miles of rail line to the Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation.
High Bridge reopened to the public in 2012, completing the High Bridge Trail, which is a popular place for cycling, hiking, and horseback riding. –by Jonathon Engels; featured image of Humpback Covered Bridge via Canva