The Swing Bridge – Milford, New Hampshire - Atlas Obscura

The Swing Bridge

This historic mini-suspension bridge was swept away once but is now here to stay. 


In Milford, New Hampshire a 200 foot iron cable suspended footbridge, known as the Swing Bridge, built in 1889, spans the Souhegan River and is still used for pedestrian traffic to this day.

The original, wooden footbridge built in 1850 is where the Swing Bridge got its name as it was known to sway heavily under the foot traffic of mill workers crossing over it as they trekked to and fro from work and home. Some also refer to it as the Swinging Bridge.

The wooden bridge was swept away by high waters of the Souhegan River in 1869. It was replaced by the current iron and cable suspended footbridge built by the Connecticut based Berlin Iron Bridge Company in 1889. A product of its time, it bears the traits of the Victorian Era including a cross beam with elaborate finials that span between the nearly three story high support towers on each side of the bridge. Those towers have cables which suspend the 200 foot wood-plank walkway over the Souhegan.

An article from the September 24th , 2015 edition of the Milford Cabinet highlights the plight of the current state this historic artifact known as the Swing Bridge. Heavy use and environmental conditions are contributing to the need for a full restoration with a price tag estimate of half a million dollars according to Milford Town Administrator, Mark Bender.

Make your way to the Granite Town and check out the Swing Bridge before the sands of time take away another treasured piece of American history.

Know Before You Go

The Swing Bridge is located between Souhegan St. on the east side of town and crosses the river into downtown Milford near Pine St. The best approach is from Bridge St. to Pine St. just northeast of the center of town.

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