Monday, January 23, 2012
Bulls Bridge, Kent, CT
Bulls Bridge is the second of Connecticut's three remaining covered bridges. It bridges the Housatonic River (HOOS-a-ton-ic) in Kent, near the New York border. The Appalachian Trail crosses this bridge on its way out of New England; the trail also comes near the last covered bridge in the northwestern part of the state.
The bridges that cross the Hudson are enormous. The ones that cross the Connecticut, utilitarian. The bridges that cross the Housatonic are as different as the river they cross. The Housatonic is a deadly river, and people lose their lives in it every year. Many right here, at the Bulls Bridge.
The bridge is just south of a dam (the Bulls Bridge Dam...) and the water that crosses the dam flows into extremely dangerous rapids that last for several miles before settling down to a fast but gentler flow. Tourist towns (like Kent) dot the northern stretches of the river, especially where it flows through the Berkshires.
It wasn't easy to get a picture of the full length of the bridge. The banks of the river are rocky and steep and the river is going by so fast, I didn't want to get all that close. This picture was taken from a trail that formed a short loop from the parking area up to some rocks and back. The river curves a lot. The best pictures would be taken from a boat.
There were "no trespassing" signs all over the hydroelectric power plant at the dam. I'm sure there's a spot to take a better picture of the bridge, but I don't know when I'll get back. Kent isn't close to ANYTHING, which I guess is one of its attractions.
There's a small parking lot just over the bridge. From there you can follow the Appalachian Trail into New York, head down the river to a small picnic area that continues in a steep path to the water; or follow a path upriver to a canoe launching area. It's on the upper side of the dam so you won't be able to get under the bridge from there, but you might get a better picture of the bridge from the water.
The Bulls Bridge Inn is just on the east side of the bridge, and during the season, the entire area is open to boaters, fishers, hikers or just people who want to enjoy the beauty of the Berkshires.
I went in November. Not the best time.