Last week I had to make a quick trip to Grand Falls. On the way up, we did a quick "detour" into Hartland to see the Covered Bridge. At 1,282 feet it holds the record as the World's Longest Covered Bridge. It was originally constructed by the Hartland Bridge Company (formed by citizens from both sides of the river who were tired of waiting for the Government to make up their mind on bridge construction) and officially opened on July 4, 1901. It spans the beautiful St. John River. The side walkway, also covered, was added in 1945. The bridge is both a National and a Provincial Historic Site.
When crossing the bridge, tradition dictates that you must make a wish, close your eyes (NOT if you are the driver), cross your fingers and hold your breath. If you can do this for the entire length of the bridge, your wish is likely to come true. The bridge is also known as a kissing bridge. Back in the days of horse and wagon, there was great opposition when they first talked of covering the bridge. (It was not covered when it was first built.) It was thought by some, that a
|You can see the covered walkway on the right side of the bridge|
When the bridge opened in 1901, it was funded by tolls: three cents for pedestrians, six cents for a single horse and wagon, and twelve cents for a double team. A strip of twenty tickets could be purchased for fifty cents. The tolls were dropped when the government purchased the bridge in 1906. In the early years, snow had to be hauled in the winter and placed on the "floor" of the bridge so that horse-drawn sleighs could easily travel through. How times have changed!!
Looking back at the covered bridge from upriver a little ways gives the best view to really appreciate its length. It's a lonnggg way across!
There you have it- the WORLD'S Longest Covered Bridge. You had better visit it the next time you are in New Brunswick!
We weren't in Grand Falls for long, but we were lucky to have a few minutes to view the Falls as well. I've never been in GF in the spring when the snowmelt is really making the Falls spectacular and all gates are open. It's on my Bucket List though. I was impressed with the amount of water pouring through the two gates at this time of year, but I was told by a lifelong resident that "This is nothing in comparison.." Guess I'll have to return in April...
I was quite surprised at the noise from the falls, nothing like Niagara of course, but pretty loud just the same. It is an impressive sight though, even now, don't you think? Below the falls is what's known as the Gorge, where you can take a quiet (NO noise from the Falls) guided pontoon boat ride on the St. John River, or you can kayak it too! The Gorge is 1.5 km. long and the rock walls rise to heights of up to 70 metres (230 feet!) See those cables across this photo? What do you suppose they're for....
Look closely...They are for thrill seekers who want to get their adrenaline pumping... lol You can ride a Zipline across the Falls! Do you see the two gals? They are just left of centre in the photo. Too bad they were both wearing dark clothing. I think their red helmets show up better in the next photo.
We watched several people come across on the Zipline- it takes less than a minute.. It would take a whole lot more time than that to convince me to do it!! No thanks- I'll stay on solid ground and be the photographer, thank you very much! It does look like fun... but I'll pass... for now.... But YOU can do it, and tell me all about it.... Let me know your plans and I'll even come to take your photo...
You could "dangle" like this gal...
These photos were all taken from the Malabeam Tourist Information Centre. It is where the Gorge Quilters' Guild will hold their Quilt Show this fall- what a spectacular setting!!
Yes, New Brunswick has many wonderful sights and experiences for tourists and locals alike. Below is a Tourism N.B. video, from Youtube - I couldn't resist including it for you to view and enjoy. (You can see the Grand Falls Gorge at 0.52.) If you are reading this from outside the Maritime provinces and are planning a visit to N.B. this summer, it will give you an idea of the spectacular natural beauty to be found here (do I sound like a proud Maritimer?) and the many attractions you could visit. Let me know when you're coming and I'll try to be of help!
"An understanding of the natural world and what's in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment." ~ David Attenborough