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Hemlock Covered Bridge, Fryeburg

#3 of 6 in Things to do in Fryeburg
The Hemlock Bridge is a covered bridge in a rural part of Fryeburg, Maine. Built in 1857, it carries Hemlock Bridge Road over the Old Course Saco River, near the western shore of Kezar Lake in eastern Fryeburg. It is the last surviving 19th-century covered (of seven built) in Fryeburg. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.
The Hemlock Bridge is a single-span Paddleford truss bridge with a total length of 116ft. Its total height, from deck to gable peak, is 20ft, with an internal clearance of 14ft. The roadbed is 16ft wide. The bridge rests on granite block abutments at a mean height of 15ft above the river bed. The Old Course Saco River, which the bridge spans, is a remnant of the original course of the Saco River, which was bypassed by canal-digging in the early 19th century.
The bridge was one of seven covered bridges erected in Fryeburg in the 19th century, all crossing the Saco River, whose original course meandered across the plain in a nearly circular arc. In 1815 local residents successfully petitioned the state to bypass this large meander which locals described as "thirty-six miles of river and six miles of country". At this time five bridges crossed the Saco; the Hemlock Bridge was built in 1857. It is the last of the seven bridges still standing. It is maintained by the state.
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Hemlock Covered Bridge Reviews
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18 reviews
  • Enveloped on quiet, located on a dirt road away from modern traffic, and without nearby homes, the Hemlock Bridge crosses the Saco River in western Maine. On my recent visit the river flowed slowly an...  more »
  • This scenic and historic covered bridge (built 1857, rehabilitated 1988) was on the easily driven, compact dirt-surfaced Hemlock Bridge Road off US 302. It was simple to find it. The unpainted, Paddle...  more »
  • Classic mid-19th c. Covered Bridge spanning the original course of the Saco R. - off the beaten track!
  • Mom and I had a great ride on hemlock bridge ride

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