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North America's most charming covered bridges

By: Matt Hickman on Oct. 23, 2015, 10:30 a.m.
Powerscourt Covered Bridge in Elgin, Quebec

Photo: nissanman2009/Wikimedia Commons

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Powerscourt Covered Bridge

Sure, New Brunswick, home to the longest covered bridge in the world and a line of covered bridge potato chips (mmmm … ketchup chips), can rightfully claim much of Canada’s covered bridge glory. But Quebec, a province with more that just un peu covered bridge action, is home to the oldest of the country's remaining ponts couverts.

Built in 1861 using a technique employed exclusively in the construction of railroad bridges, the two-span Powerscourt Covered Bridge (aka the Percy Covered Bridge) continues to carry traffic (both vehicular and foot) across the Chateauguay River to and from the rural farming communities of Hinchinbrooke and Elgin in southwest Quebec. A majority of Quebec's other historic covered bridges were built with the popular lattice truss design conceived by Connecticut-born civil engineer Ithiel Town. Designed by Scotland-born railroad engineer Daniel McCallum as a rigid ached truss bridge, the Powerscourt Covered Bridge, with its unique curved roofline and single traffic lane flanked by pedestrian walkways, was unusual back then — and still is today. For covered bridge nuts, it's a not-to-miss destination.