Learn about Rifton’s famous covered bridge this Sunday

Constructed in 1844 to cross the Wallkill River, Perrine's Bridge in Rifton is the second-oldest covered bridge in the state. (photo courtesy of Trish Kane)

Constructed in 1844 to cross the Wallkill River, Perrine’s Bridge in Rifton is the second-oldest covered bridge in the state. (photo courtesy of Trish Kane)

You don’t have to travel to New England to visit a historic covered bridge. Just four miles north of New Paltz on Route 213 in Rifton is Perrine’s Bridge, the longest standing Burr arch covered bridge in New York State. Constructed in 1844 to cross the Wallkill River, it is the second-oldest covered bridge in the state – after Hyde Hall Covered Bridge in Otsego County, which was built in 1825. While other important covered bridges at New Paltz and Gardiner are long gone, Perrine’s Bridge remains a revered part of Ulster County’s history.

Perrine’s Bridge is a 154-foot-long single-span timber structure using a truss system patented in 1817 by Theodore Burr of Torringford, Connecticut. The truss comprises a relatively simple kingpost truss ingeniously augmented with an arch that helps stabilize the structure.

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The bridge is named for French Huguenot immigrant James W. Perrine, a descendant of Daniel Perrin, who owned a tavern/hotel near the bridge site. James was the official “bridge snower,” since his establishment was conveniently located nearby. It was his job to keep the bridge floor covered with snow in the winter so that sleds could cross – thus the term “snowing the bridge.”

On Sunday, October 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., join knowledgeable members of the New York State Covered Bridge Society at Perrine’s Bridge to inspect its outstanding timber structure and marvel at the beauty of the site. There are many wonderful photo opportunities.

This event is part of Ulster County’s Cultural Heritage week. Mounted displays and brochures will be available.

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