While I typically visit the Ithaca area to check out its many great waterfalls, I’m always on the lookout for other special places to check out. One such spot is Newfield Covered Bridge, the last historic covered bridge remaining in the Finger Lakes.
Newfield Covered Bridge is located in a forested area in the town of Newfield, eight miles southwest of Ithaca. And, despite being located just off of the busy Route 13 (Elmira Road), it’s tucked off the road, so you could drive down the road hundreds of times and never know that it was there if it wasn’t for the small sign along the roadway.
However, if you love historic spots, this is a great place to check out when visiting Tompkins County, New York.
Newfield Covered Bridge was constructed in 1853. While it’s not the oldest covered bridge in New York, that would be Hyde Hall Covered Bridge near Cooperstown, it is the state’s oldest covered bridge that you can still drive across.
The bridge was constructed by local craftsmen and cost a mere $800 to originally build.
The bridge is set in a beautiful spot just off the main road in Newfield and crosses a gorge created by the West Branch of the Cayuga Inlet. The bridge is 115 feet in length and uses a Town lattice truss.
Since the bridge is located near Ithaca, it’s quite easy to visit, and there are several paved parking spots adjacent to the bridge. The bridge can be found at the following coordinates: 42.362892, -76.590430.
If you’d rather navigate using an address, the address for the Covered Bridge Market, which is less than 100 yards away is your best bet: 176 Main Street, Newfield, NY 14867. (Note that the bridge is on Bridge Street, not Main Street if you use this address.)
When visiting the Newfield Covered Bridge, you can simply enjoy it from your car, either by driving through and/or parking in the parking spots adjacent to the bridge. However, you can also park and walk around the area if you’d like.
If you opt to do this, remember that the bridge is on an active roadway, so make sure to keep your eye out for passing cars.
While it’s not possible to get down into the gorge to explore the bridge from below, it’s interesting to walk through the bridge and look at its construction and to view it from various points outside the bridge.
A stairwell next to the parking area leads down towards the Newfield Court building and provides nice views of this bridge.
There are also several signs nearby that are worth reading as they offer information about the bridge and the town’s history.
Overall, Newfield Covered Bridge is definitely a great spot to check out when exploring Ithaca. Not only is it only about 15 minutes from the city, but it’s an even shorter drive to other popular spots such as Buttermilk Falls State Park and Treman State Park.
So, the next time you find yourself exploring this corner of the Finger Lakes, make sure to take a few minutes to check out the beautiful and historic Newfield Covered Bridge.
[Click here for information on how to use the coordinates in this article to find your destination.]