The Pier and Wright Bridges
Only two out of an original thirteen Concord & Claremont Railway Co. covered railroad bridges still exist in Newport, New Hampshire, and are known as the Wright’s Bridge and the Pier Bridge. These bridges, which are located along the Chandlers Mills Road, cross the Sugar River and help create a portion of the ‘Sugar River Rail Trail’ – a rail trail owned by the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, Division of Parks and Recreation.
This 9.5 mile multi-use, recreational trail from Newport to Claremont is open year-round and is used by hikers, bikers, 4-wheelers, equestrians, runners, cross country skiers, snowshoers, snowmobilers and sled dogs.
The Pier Bridge, also known as the Chandler Station Bridge, is a double town/Pratt lattice truss bridge which spans the Sugar River at a length of 216′-7′. This makes it the longest covered railroad bridge in the world!
The Wright Bridge is named for S. K. Wright who owned the land and gave the Sugar River Railroad right-of-way through his property. The bridge is the last surviving railroad or highway covered bridge with double Town lattice truss with a laminated arch in between the trusses.
The arch goes the whole length of the bridge on each side and is heeled into the abutment at both ends. It is the arch that carries the live load.
Until 1915, Their were fifteen Claremont & Concord Railway Co. covered bridges crossing the Sugar River. But today, the Pier Bridge & the Wright Bridge are the only two remaining such bridges left in Newport and one of only eight remaining in the entire country.
Therefore, it is an important piece of our local, as well as national history! and because of all those who utilize it (joggers, walkers, four-wheelers, mountain-bikers, dirt bikers, hikers, snowmobilers, and cross-country skiers), it is an important part of our town character that needs to be preserved for future generations to enjoy.
From Route 10, take Route 11-103 West (toward Claremont) at the stop light near Irving gas station in Newport. Drive for 2.8 miles. Turn left onto Chandlers Mills Road. Note a small brown and white NH State covered bridge sign on the corner.
The Pier Bridge is 1 mile on the right side. You may park along the right side of the road. There are stairs down to the trail bed leading to the bridge. The bridge is 217’ long with a pier in the middle for which the bridge is named. It is the longest of the 8 surviving railroad covered bridges. At the other end of the bridge on the left is a granite block with some trees. You can access the underneath of the bridge when the water is low by descending here. The truss work under the decking is neat!
From the Pier Bridge to Wright’s trailhead is .8 mile down the road. There are 4 houses on the right side spaced apart between the Pier Bridge and Wright’s trailhead. When approaching the trailhead, you will see where the trail crosses the road from left to right.
At the beginning of the trail on the right is the trail gate followed by a long straight-away. You cannot see the bridge portal as the tree branches overhang the trail. The bridge is 1,250’ down the trail in the middle of the straight-away.
The Corbin Bridge
Corbin Bridge and Park is located on Corbin Rd. left off Route 10, 1 mile north of Newport High School.
Directions: West of N.H. Route 10 on North Newport Road, two miles north of Newport Village over the Croydon Branch of the Sugar River.
The park features picnic tables and fishing in the Sugar River. In 1993 arsonists destroyed the Corbin Bridge. It was rebuilt in 1994.
Click here for a map of Corbin Bridge and Park.