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Take a drive across Missouri, and discover the four remaining covered bridges in the state.

February 25, 2022

6 Slides

A missed turn led me down a gravel road in rural Ohio where I found myself on a one-lane, wooden, covered bridge feeling a little uneasy but in total awe. Actually, covered bridges in that state are fairly common, with 125 still standing.

It made me wonder — how many of these American icons still exist in Missouri?

Most of America’s covered bridges were built between 1825 and 1875, with many located in the East.

Builders of these wooden structures added cover to protect the trusses and decks from weather elements.

In Missouri, only four of the roughly 30 covered bridges erected during the 19th century still stand.

These historic bridges are all listed as state historic sites and are under the protection of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Each one offers a look at early bridge construction:

Sandy Creek covered bridge. Built in 1887, this covered bridge is approximately 76 feet long. It stands out in the landscape with its red barnlike appearance and uses the Howe-truss design that featured the use of vertical rods to draw wooden members tight against the top and bottom of the bridge.

The site includes interpretive displays on the history of Missouri’s covered bridges.

From Route 21, go east on Goldman Road, then south on Old Lemay Ferry Road. The address is 9090 Old Lemay Ferry Road, Hillsboro.

Locust Creek covered bridge. At 151 feet, it is the longest of the four surviving covered bridges in Missouri. Once spanning Locust Creek, it carried Route 8, the nation’s first transcontinental highway.

Take Route 36, 3 miles west of Laclede; north on Danube Drive, 1 mile; then east on Dart Road. The address is 16597 Dart Road, Meadville.

Union covered bridge. Built in 1871, this is the last surviving covered bridge in Missouri using Burr-arch truss construction. The bridge served travelers on the road through Monroe County for 99 years. It was built across the Elk Fork of the Salt River as a link in Paris to Fayette Road.

The address is 20700 Monroe County Road 962, Paris.

Burfordville covered bridge. Located at Bollinger Mill State Historic Site, the 140-foot bridge crosses the Whitewater River, which powered the mill. It is the oldest standing bridge in the state.

The address is 113 Bollinger Mill Road, Burfordville.

Consider taking a daytrip to one of these covered bridges and drive across a piece of Missouri’s history. Click through the photo gallery for a look at each of Missouri’s covered bridges, and learn more about their history.

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