Picturesque Covered Bridges
Sussex is known as the 'covered bridge capital of Atlantic Canada' because there are 16 of these bridges located within Kings County and 8 of these bridges are within a ten minute driving distance of the town. The Kennebecasis valley has long been a preferred route for travellers between Saint John and Nova Scotia because of the natural shelter it provided as compared to the still rough and unsettled land between there and the frigid coastline along the Bay of Fundy. Part of that road network consisted of covered bridges, also known as 'kissing bridges', which were designed to keep the weather off the floor boards in order to prolong their life. During the winter, snow was spread on the floor to make it easier for sleighs to continue their journey. This particular bridge is located just on the outskirts of town and is known by its official Department of Transportation name of Kennebecasis #7.5 or as the 'Salmon' bridge by locals. It was built in 1908 and has a length of 112-ft (34-m). It was retired from service in 1985 when a concrete bridge was built beside it and the covered bridge now serves as a tourist stop with a small picnic area at one end. It was at this spot that I was canoeing with my father in 1975 (after returning from Zambia) when we spotted a Great Horned Owl in a large pine tree being harassed by a flock of Crows. My 3 years marvelling at the many plant and animal sights I had seen in Africa had awakened in me a desire to pay more attention to the natural surroundings of my home province, and it was after that Owl sighting that I took up bird-watching as one of my life-long pleasures!
In addition to the wooden covered bridges, ornate granite-constructed bridges were the standard design (1951-55) when they struck the fancy of the new Provincial Chief Bridge Engineer. Sussex happens to have one of them, at the Ward's Creek crossing in the middle of town (2nd and 3rd photos). I have always admired their beauty as well, just a bit more class than today's standard concrete and steel structures.