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RIVERSIDE, N.B. — The sign at the entrance to the weatherbeaten structure along Highway 114 south of Moncton hearkens back to a simpler time.
"Walk Your Horse and Save a Fine."
Constructed in 1905, the Sawmill Creek covered bridge is no longer in use but is one of the oldest among an abundance of covered bridges along the Fundy Coastal Drive, which eventually leads the traveller down to Fundy National Park.
There are 64 covered bridges in New Brunswick - 28 in Kings County alone. They're so popular that they have spawned the annual Covered Bridge Festival to celebrate "Canada's Covered Bridge Capital," Kings County, each July.
If the city of Moncton is your starting point, then the Fundy Coastal Drive is an excellent day trip - dozens of picturesque villages, picnic and hiking areas and, of course, the covered bridges.
"Why are they covered? It's just because back when there was horse and carriages - they had to be covered because when there is snow and rain the wood can deteriorate," explained Keltie Ryan, the supervisor at the Covered Bridge Visitor Information Centre in Kings County.
"However they would put snow on the bridges so horse and sleighs could be used," she added.
About 200 visitors a day drop into the information centre, including many who were fans of the 1995 movie "The Bridges of Madison County," starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep.
"A lot of people come around looking for covered bridges - it's almost like the lighthouse fad where people come and see how they are still being used today," Ryan said.
The most obvious attraction for the 2.6 million annual visitors, though, is the world-famous Bay of Fundy, which records the highest tides in the world.
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Picture Credit: Canadian Press