Nelson Hollow Covered Bridge, New Brunswick


If you’re on the hunt for covered bridges, New Brunswick is a great place to visit.  The province has 60 of them — and almost by accident, I stumbled upon the oldest one — the Nelson Hollow Covered Bridge — on my way to my hotel.


From Miramichi, New Brunswick, take Highway 8 southwest towards Fredericton.  Once you’ve passed Doaktown, keep an eye out for Lyons Lane.  There should be a covered bridge sign that points you in the right direction.  Take Lyons Lane down to the covered bridge.



I’m sure glad I spotted that covered bridge roadsign on Route 8, and also happy that I decided to check it out.  Nelson Hollow Bridge is just a short drive down a dirt road, and as of 2016, it’s almost lost in a tangle of overgrown brush.

There are a couple of really cool things about the Nelson Hollow Bridge.  One, take a look at the roof.  It’s different than most covered bridges you’ve ever seen — it’s a “cottage” roof (meaning it has four sides instead of two).  Only one other bridge in New Brunswick is built this way.


A small sign on the bridge provides a history lesson.  It was first built in 1870, rebuilt in 1899, and restored in 1970.


Also, notice the sign above the entrance.  It warns “$20 fine for driving on this bridge faster than a walk.”  I’ve read that this is based on a very old law, which was based on the belief that a fast-moving vehicle could create a “standing wave” vibration — which could cause the structure to collapse.

At first, I wasn’t completely sure if it would be a good idea to drive over the bridge — either faster or slower than a walk.  So, I first crossed on foot…


… and admired the evening light streaming between the boards — which have fallen into disrepair.


I made my way down to the creek, to see the bridge from below.  It looks a bit scary from this angle as well.


The far side of the bridge is even more overgrown.  It’s tough to tell from this picture, but there’s also a steep hump to climb, right after you get back on solid ground.

I walked back to my car and decided to try driving across it.  The bridge itself held firm, but getting up that hump was difficult — even with a 4-wheel-drive Jeep SUV.

Once I was on the other side, I found another surprise.


At some point, long ago, the Nelson Hollow Covered Bridge was replaced with a more modern, concrete structure — but the old wooden bridge actually out-lasted the newer one!


Concrete pillars still remain, but the “new” bridge is long gone.


I parked here for a few minutes and checked out the old bridge, the even older bridge…


… and the view of the Southwest Miramichi River.  The covered bridge and the concrete bridge both crossed Betts Mill Brook, a stream that empties into the larger river.

You can’t cross the Miramichi River here, but I soon discovered another bridge that allows you to cross the river on foot.  I’ll show it to you on the next page.




Here’s a look at the drive from Miramichi to Nelson Hollow Bridge:

[su_youtube url=””]< video >[/su_youtube]


It takes just a few minutes to detour off Route 8 to see the Nelson Hollow Bridge – and driving across it is a real adventure.  If you’re in the area, check it out!

No comments

You might also enjoy this...

Toccoa Falls, Georgia

One of northern Georgia’s most impressive waterfalls isn’t on National Forest land, or inside the boundaries of a Georgia State Park.  Instead, you can find ...