Union Covered Bridge is a 0.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Paris, Missouri that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Union Covered Bridge, built in 1871, is one of only four remaining covered bridges left in the State of Missouri. It was built using the Burr-arch truss design. It served Monroe County for 99 years and is a peaceful spot to visit on your way through the area. Covered bridges are a reminder of days gone by, representing slower-paced times and an era of fine craftsmanship. Union Covered Bridge, one of only four standing covered bridges in Missouri, is an example of these nostalgic structures. Between 1849 and 1870, two uncovered bridges across the Elk Fork of the Salt River on the Paris-to-Fayette road failed. In 1870, four months after condemning the second bridge, the Monroe County court ordered a covered bridge to be built on this location, allocating $5,000 for it and a similar structure across the North Fork of the Salt River. Joseph C. Elliot built the bridge, which is the only covered bridge left in Missouri representing the Burr-arch truss system, in 1871. The Burr-arch design, which Elliot doubled, was named for its creator, Theodore Burr. Burr had built so many bridges using that design that he is called by many the father of American bridge building. The other remaining covered bridges in Missouri used the Howe-truss design. There were many different truss designs, but only these two types have survived in Missouri. The timbers in Union Covered Bridge are fashioned from local oak and fastened together largely with treenails or trunnels, with a few bolts and nails added for strength. Hand-riven clapboard siding and wooden shingles enclosed the bridge. It was completed approximately a year-and-a-half after the project began. The bridge is 120 feet long, 17 1/2 feet wide and has an entrance 12 feet high - high enough to admit a wagonload of hay.