Experience Several Covered Bridges Throughout ILLINOISouth

Experience Several Covered Bridges Throughout ILLINOISouth

Posted on 10/22/2021 by Jordan Jackovich

Covered bridges are neat to look at, right? They are a quaint reminder of rural life, and very picture friendly. At one point, there were over 12,000 covered bridges in the United States alone. Now, according to agedwoods.com, only 1,600 covered bridges remain worldwide - 1,500 of them can be found in the United States. Believe it or not, covered bridges are also a tourist attraction. Folks drive from miles around to photograph them, drive or walk across them, and simply just to admire them. Below we have compiled a list of covered bridges that can be found in ILLINOISouth. Some of the bridges mentioned are drivable, while others are merely for show – but beautiful all the same. 

Mary's Covered Bridge, Chestermary red covered bridge in chester illnois

Mary’s Covered Bridge (also known as Little Mary’s Covered Bridge) is located just four miles northeast of Chester. This bridge was originally constructed in 1854 as part of the plank toll road which connected Chester to Bremen. This valuable upgrade allowed for agricultural products to be transported to Chester, which was a significant stop on the Mississippi River. As of 1930 the bridge is no longer used as a road. In 1936 the state of Illinois took over ownership of the bridge to help preserve it. All the timber in the bridge is original with the exception of the floor, roof, siding and floor joist. Today, you can enjoy a stroll across the bridge or a nice meal at the picnic tables nearby.  

Cumberland County Covered Bridge, Greenup

cumberland county covered bridgeThe longest covered bridge in Illinois resides right in our backyard. The Cumberland County Covered bridge spans a whopping 200 feet across the Embarass River. This bridge is 14.1 feet wide and is 16 feet tall. The original was said to be built in 1832 and was referred to as the Jackson Bridge. It was washed out in 1856 which led to the construction of a new truss-style bridge in 1875. While the bridge was under construction, a ferry was used to take people and goods across the river. The current bridge was completed on April 5, 2001, and the cost to build it totaled $2.8 million dollars. There is no current weight limit on the bridge, and it is still very much in use today. 

Governor's Run Golf Course Covered Bridge, Carlyle

governors run golf course covered bridge in carlyle illinoisCarlyle is known for its beautiful lake and scenic views, but this covered bridge is one of their best kept secrets. At Governor’s Run Golf course, you will find a covered bridge that takes you over the water hazard on hole 17. This happens to be the signature hole on the course because it is a 369-yard, par 4, with, you guessed it, a water hazard. Scottish links influenced the design of the course, which you will notice is also carried throughout the crest and design on the bridge. 

Olney City Park, Olney

olney city park covered bridgeOlney is home of the white squirrels and what better place to look for them than in the Olney City Park. Once you arrive at the park you can’t miss the bright red bridge. It spans over a drainage ditch, allowing every inch of the park to be used. It is in the center of the park, so it is only used for walking, but is a neat spot to look for our white furry friends. 


Columbia Bridges Golf Course, Columbiacolumbia golf course covered bridge in columbia illinois

If you’re not one for golf you would never know there are two covered bridges on the Columbia Bridges Golf Course in St. Clair County. You can find them on hole 4 and hole 7. They are both of similar color and design but have their own unique features. The bridge on hole 4 crosses over the man-made lake in Columbia, while the bridge at hole 7 gives you scenic views of the surrounding trees. 

Covered Bridge Estates, Freeburg

covered bridge estates bridge in freeburg illinoisTucked away in Freeburg, there is a subdivision called the Covered Bridge Estates, which indeed does feature a covered bridge. As you enter in the neighborhood you drive through the beautiful, covered bridge that takes you right up next to a pond. The bridge is about 40 feet long and 19 feet wide and was originally built in 1977. 

Hope Bridge in French Memorial Park, Fairfield

hope branch covered bridge in fairfieldLeo French Memorial Park in Fairfield is a great place to visit whether you are wanting to use their baseball fields or take a stroll around the pond. When visiting the park head to the west side of the pond and you will find yourself at Hope Bridge. It was built in July 2001 and is well maintained to keep it looking brand new. This bridge is just for walking but is one you don’t want to miss. 

Auburn Branch Covered Bridge, between Marshall and Martinsville

auburn covered bridge between marshall and martinsville illlinoisLocated between Marshall and Martinsville on the Historic National Road, Auburn Branch Covered Bridge was built in 2002 and is one of the newer covered bridges in our area. Its total length is about 54.5 feet long and is still very much in use today. It even has a unique toll sign which includes “neat creatures” having to pay 2 cents to cross. This toll sign of course is just in good fun and the bridge is free to use, but you’ll be sure to get a chuckle out of it when you see it in person.

Big Red Barn Covered Bridge, McLeansboromcleansboro covered bridge

If you have never been to the Big Red Barn in McLeansboro, it is a fantastic event venue. But one of the neatest things about it is the covered bridge that you can walk or drive across on the grounds. It is adorned with a ‘McLeansboro’ sign as you cross over before arriving at the Big Red Barn. It has been used for MANY photo opportunities and is simply a beautiful bridge to witness if you’re in the area.

Photo Credit: Dale J. Travis.

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