The Floating Bridge on Sunset Lake - Happy Vermont

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The Floating Bridge on Sunset Lake


The small town of Brookfield is probably best known for the Floating Bridge across Sunset Lake. Built in 1820 and replaced six times since, it’s the only floating bridge east of the Mississippi.

The one-lane bridge was last reconstructed in 1978 and relies on 380 floats to remain on top of the water (the lake is too deep to support a pillared span). Unfortunately, the bridge has been closed to vehicles since 2008 because of needed repairs.

Even though cars are prohibited indefinitely, you can still easily cross the bridge on foot and get a wide view of the lake’s natural beauty (although your feet might get a little wet in the process because the mid-section is partially submerged).

The 320-foot-long bridge is also a popular spot for fishing and is the main attraction during the town’s annual ice harvest festival in late January.

Sunset Lake, south of the Floating Bridge.
Brookfield, History, Orange County, Travel Tips
  • elvira pajarola
    Posted at 18:40h, 11 November Reply

    LOVELY this wooden bridge; certainly even more beautiful because one has to go by foot!
    ciao elvira

  • A New England Life
    Posted at 02:55h, 18 November Reply

    What an interesting bridge! Even in it’s hey day I still wouldn’t have had the courage to drive across it though. I’d be too freaked out it might sink!

    I have to tell you Erica, I have dreams like that, where I’m trying to walk across a bridge and it’s collapsing beneath me. I’m looking both ways trying to find a way back to land, then I usually wake up. Your photo reminded me of that dream. Don’t feel bad though ; )

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 18:54h, 24 March Reply

    When I was a youngster in the 1950s, we vacationed in a cabin up in the hills in the summer and drove over the bridge to the post office and general store. There was a raft attached to the bridge and we enjoyed jumping into the lake and swimming around. It was cool and very refreshing on a hot summer day!
    Jan Brinton

  • Erica Houskeeper
    Posted at 01:02h, 25 March Reply

    Hi Jan,

    That sounds wonderful. The village probably looks the same as it did when you visited in the 1950s. It’s such a nice spot.

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