Barn red is a striking contrast to the lush green Minnesota landscape. Creaking sounds beneath my feet releases the distinct thud that echos from wooden surfaces. Once inside, it is easy to imagine horse and buggy clipping across the boards. Several rectangle openings down each side offer unparalleled views of the river and the the sound of rushing waters.
Considering the plethora of waterways in Minnesota, one would think that covered bridges would be sprinkled throughout the state, however only one has survived. Today, the bridge spans the Zumbrota River in Covered Bridge Park just a 100 yards from its original location. Built in 1869, the 123 ft. long structure replaced its predecessor that was destroyed by flood earlier that same year. The cover was added in 1871. Between 1932 and 1970 the bridge was on display at the Goodhue County Fairgrounds and was finally moved to its present location in 1997.
February 2019, part of the roof succumbed to the weight of nine inches of snowfall.. You may notice irregularities of the roof line and some damage near the upper edge of the walls. The bridge is the focus of a community celebration held each June. It’s 150th year was honored August 3rd and 4th, 2019.
The bridge welcomes pedestrians to Covered Bridge Park at the southern entrance that includes camping accommodations, rv parking with amenities, playgrounds and plenty of flat, open lawn for pets.
The park is the trail head for Goodhue Pioneer State Trail that covers 10 miles. When complete, the trail system will connect the cities of Red Wing, Goodhue, Zumbrota, Mazeppa, Bellechester, and Pine Island for a distance of 47 miles.