Updated: Sep 13, 2022
On hot summer days, it's good to know about Babb's. This covered bridge spans one of the best swimming holes near Portland. It's also Maine's oldest covered bridge, built in 1840. It crosses the Presumpscot River between Gorham and Windham and is located on Hurricane Road (parking is on the side of the road before arriving at the bridge). The original bridge was burned by vandals in 1973 and an exact replica was built with lumbar milled locally in Gorham.
The water is clear and warm, yet cool enough to be refreshing. The older I get, the harder it is for me to embrace cold water and I rarely brave the ocean without a wet suit. At Babb's, I'll launch myself into the river over and over with little hesitation. It's that pleasant.
There are some ropes hanging off of the bridge and a larger rope swing on the other side of it (pictured here). Grab hold of the rope above the large, white knot. Swing out as far as you can, then let go!
This river is also great for fishing and kayaking...or just floated on a raft. Enjoy this idyllic spot and the life giving energy of launching yourself into the air before plunging into the cool, clear water. After a long week, Babb's brought the life right back into me.
If you're finding it hard to fit in larger hiking adventures amidst the craziness of summer (and believe me, I'm right there with you), this could be your answer. Rope swings and swimming holes are a quick, easy option for some outdoor love. Trust me. Just drive to Babb's, grab hold of that rope swing and let me know how much fun you had!