Scenic USA - Virginia

Humpback Bridge

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Humpback Bridge - Covington, Virginia

Photo by Amanda Haddox
Amanda Haddox Photography

     Virginia's famous Shenandoah Valley extends for a few hundred miles along the northwest border of the state. Followed by Interstate 81, the valley is hemmed in by the Allegheny Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains. Here in the northwest, along the West Virginia border in the Allegheny Highlands, covered bridge fans will find the Humpback Bridge.
     Thought to be the only arched covered bridge in existence, the Humpback Bridge Wayside Park, located three miles west of Covington, features one of Virginia's few survivors. Built in 1857 to serve the James River and Kanawha Turnpike, the 120 foot span rises about four feet higher in the center from each end. Built over Dunlap Creek, a tributary of the Jackson River, the Humpback Bridge is the oldest of Virginia's covered bridges.
     The bridge was bypassed in 1929 and lingered until 1954 when the state highway department provided half of the dollars of a restoration project. Covington clubs and business organizations raised the other portion of the funds needed, hoping to preserve their unique structure. At the same time, a five acre parkland was created, featuring fireplaces, picnic tables and restrooms. The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places and designated a Virginia Historic Landmark in 1969.

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