Wakefield Covered Bridge, the Fairbain House Museum and Hendricks Park Trail with a Dog
A few weekends ago, the bipeds decided it was high time we discovered another local gem. We have a big trip coming up this summer but July still feels so far in the future; we felt the need to explore now!
We had no real plan. We decided we would just drive out toward Wakefield and see what we could find. We would have a light lunch at the dog friendly pub there and then see where our steps would lead.
As we drove into Wakefield, Mom saw the bright red painted beams of the Wakefield Bridge shining in the warm, late spring sun. We had heard about the bridge’s past – how it had burned, how the town had rallied for years to have it rebuilt, and more.
“It’s really rather pretty, isn’t it?” Mom said to Dad as we parked the car. Dad looked up and nodded. Mom then added, “Do you realize I’ve never seen the bridge up close or crossed it?” …
Aaaaaand, that pretty much settled our after lunch plans.
After a lovely meal, we found a spot to park at the newly opened Fairbain House Museum. The museum was really new – so new, in fact, that although the doors were open, most of the exhibits were not yet hung or in their display cases. But that did not stop us from being nosy “busy bodies” and taking a look.
The Fairbain House Museum is really a wonderful testament to the hard working past of local residents. Please take the time to read the museum’s history and the amazing commitment to its restoration. Fairbairn House, located in Hendrick Park beside the Covered Bridge, is still being renovated with the goal of it becoming a regional Heritage Centre. The museum was supposed to open in spring of 2012. Although it did open in the spring, it was the spring of a year later.
As we left the museum, we took the two minute stroll over to the covered bridge. As we arrived, I saw a bride and groom. They were going to have their wedding photos taken at the bridge. It really is a very picturesque backdrop.
The bridge is truly lovely. It has that great smell of wood that sees all seasons. It’s not new anymore, but it’s still new enough to display stunning colour. There is a serene vibe on the bridge. The play of light and shadow inside was mesmerizing; people naturally dropped their voices in the same way one does when entering a place of worship. The bipeds held hands and I ran around, off leash (no cars allowed). The lovely little garden at the front entrance is, in my opinion, a huge improvement on the old bridge. Altogether, it’s more a river spanning park than a bridge. It is a great place to just spend a few quiet moments.
To our delight, the Fairbain House Museum (Hendricks Park) also has a small trail that starts near the bridge and takes you up a little hill, into a lovely meadow, then through a forested area and back to the museum. The walk was absolutely charming! There’s a nice variety of scenery in a short walk – from rocks and small waterfalls to large orchard-like spaces and hills in the background, to the cool, heavy pine-scented pathways below the forest canopy. In all, the little trail takes about 25 minutes. Dogs should be on leash (although I was not and no one said anything). The trail does climb at steep angles in parts, so I would not recommend it for anyone with knee, joint or back trouble, although there are lovely benches placed here and there and the trail is new and well cleared. The stone steps well anchored.
So there it was – a day without any real plans but a goal of finding a local gem, and the universe delivered with the Wakefield Covered Bridge and the Fairbain House Museum. We arrived home sun kissed with lungs full of fresh air, happy to have discovered yet another little gem. Once again, I was reminded that you don’t have to go far to discover something utterly new and charming to see.
When was the last time you ventured out to find something new to you in your neck of the woods?