49 Tranquil Backyard Garden Bridge Ideas and Designs

49 backyard garden bridge ideas and designs includes wooden garden bridges, Japanese garden bridges, small bridges, red bridges and more.
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Arched wooden bridge over an algae filled pond.

Welcome to our gallery featuring a wide variety of bridges in large ornamental gardens.

The above featured bridge is a picturesque wooden arch over a shallow, still stream. The water is edged by small rocks and greenery, including hostas and water-tolerant grasses.

This collection features a wide variety of styles, including zig-zagged flat bridges without railings to enormously sturdy concrete and plaster bridges.

Keep an eye out for the way these bridges are adapted to fit the need. For longer expanses, you may see flatter bridges, while for small expanses, each bridge may have a steeper arch.

Some bridges in this collection are entirely wood, while others are stone or plaster. Still others have wrought iron railings.

Many of the bridges we’ve gathered together span the gap over a small stream or a pond, but a few are purely decorative, an are placed where there is no gap, or where a gap could easily be stepped over.

As you peruse this gallery, keep an eye out for Japanese style bridges, Chinese bridges in a bold red, and more country bridges in white. We’ve gathered together some of of the most beautiful and creative garden bridges for your enjoyment.

We particularly enjoy the bridges that are surrounded by bold, bright flowers, or the ones near a waterfall.

We hope you love these ideas as much as we do!

Find more backyard ideas in our definitive guide to backyards!

This zig-zagging garden bridge design carries visitors over a lengthy pond and across several small grassy island planting beds. The whole of the garden is covered in lush greenery.

This zig-zagging garden bridge design carries visitors over a lengthy pond and across several small grassy island planting beds. The whole of the garden is covered in lush greenery.

This lightly aged white wooden footbridge has a slight curvature as it rises above the calm flowing water. Brightly colored ornamental trees and bushes enshrine either side of the bridge.

This lightly aged white wooden footbridge has a slight curvature as it rises above the calm flowing water. Brightly colored ornamental trees and bushes enshrine either side of the bridge.

This lovely bridge is quite similar to the previous bridge, including a similar arrangement of ornamental maples. In the distance, we can see a large waterfall feature.


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This lovely bridge is quite similar to the previous bridge, including a similar arrangement of ornamental maples. In the distance, we can see a large waterfall feature.

A tranquil natural wood bridge crossing an algae-filled pond with a sheer waterfall behind it. Large leafed plants and vines trail down from the rocks.

A tranquil natural wood bridge crossing an algae-filled pond with a sheer waterfall behind it. Large leafed plants and vines trail down from the rocks.

A Japanese garden bridge arcing over a koi pond with a light green hue. Water fowl are visible on the surface.

A Japanese garden bridge arcing over a koi pond with a light green hue. Water fowl are visible on the surface.

A small red footbridge without railings is caught in a sudden snowstorm. Soft white flakes are piling up on the traditional Japanese stone lantern.

A small red footbridge without railings is caught in a sudden snowstorm. Soft white flakes are piling up on the traditional Japanese stone lantern.

The ornate swirls of stone along this arched stone bridge adds a whimsical element to this quiet, natural Japanese garden.

The ornate swirls of stone along this arched stone bridge adds a whimsical element to this quiet, natural Japanese garden.

The carved wooden railings along this bridge are painted a bold Chinese red that looks almost orange in the failing light.

The carved wooden railings along this bridge are painted a bold Chinese red that looks almost orange in the failing light.

This is an example of a small garden bridge in wood. Rather than bridging the expanse over a water feature, this structure crosses a small natural ditch.

This is an example of a small garden bridge in wood. Rather than bridging the expanse over a water feature, this structure crosses a small natural ditch.

Another traditional Chinese red bridge connecting two sets of concrete path through a very naturally-growing ornamental garden. A waterfall peeks out from beneath heavy foliage.

Another traditional Chinese red bridge connecting two sets of concrete path through a very naturally-growing ornamental garden. A waterfall peeks out from beneath heavy foliage.

This longer bridge has several arches in it instead of one single long arch. From across the water, this gives the bridge a unique shape.

This longer bridge has several arches in it instead of one single long arch. From across the water, this gives the bridge a unique shape.

This incredible white footbridge bridges an enormous gap with no supports in the center. The style brings to mind a country cottage, which is complemented by the lovely shutters on the windows of the home behind the bridge.

This incredible white footbridge bridges an enormous gap with no supports in the center. The style brings to mind a country cottage, which is complemented by the lovely shutters on the windows of the home behind the bridge.

Another instance of a smaller wooden garden bridge in bold Chinese red. The bridge spans the gap between two higher points over a narrowing stream connected to a pond.

Another instance of a smaller wooden garden bridge in bold Chinese red. The bridge spans the gap between two higher points over a narrowing stream connected to a pond.

A small garden bridge spanning a small drainage ditch between two gravel walkways. While much of the garden is sunny and open, this small section is tucked into a small wooded area.

A small garden bridge spanning a small drainage ditch between two gravel walkways. While much of the garden is sunny and open, this small section is tucked into a small wooded area.

Yet another Chinese red bridge, this time with concrete steps and a walkway. The bridge seems to disappear into a lush, thick forest.

Yet another Chinese red bridge, this time with concrete steps and a walkway. The bridge seems to disappear into a lush, thick forest.

A delicate and sweet white bridge over a small pond filled with lilypads and water-loving grasses. Rocks piled up on the edges of the pond help support the bridge and also add a natural feel.

A delicate and sweet white bridge over a small pond filled with lilypads and water-loving grasses. Rocks piled up on the edges of the pond help support the bridge and also add a natural feel.

A dark bridge with slim posts and large rocks on either side. The bridge is surrounded by grasses and wildflowers on either end, and spans over a gently moving stream.

A dark bridge with slim posts and large rocks on either side. The bridge is surrounded by grasses and wildflowers on either end, and spans over a gently moving stream.

Thick grasses along one side of this wooden bridge completely cover one of the railings.

Thick grasses along one side of this wooden  bridge completely cover one of the railings.

This astoundingly rustic footbridge is made out of branches and connects to stone pathways.

This astoundingly rustic footbridge is made out of branches and connects to stone pathways.

A simple, low footbridge crosses a still lily-filled pond in a Japanese Zen garden.

A simple, low footbridge crosses a still lily-filled pond in a Japanese Zen garden.

Wooden bridges add a quaint feeling to any garden, regardless of whether or not they are needed to cross a stream.

Wooden bridges add a quaint feeling to any garden, regardless of whether or not they are needed to cross a stream.

This incredible and ornate white bridge stands out against the backdrop of thick ornamental trees and is reflected in the still surface of a large pond.

This incredible and ornate white bridge stands out against the backdrop of thick ornamental trees and is reflected in the still surface of a large pond.

This small red bridge serves to span the gap over a small waterfall. If you were to stand on this bridge, you would be able to enjoy the soft sounds of running water.

This small red bridge serves to span the gap over a small waterfall. If you were to stand on this bridge, you would be able to enjoy the soft sounds of running water.

This incredible and unique bridge is made out of artificial stone and untreated pine, connecting two sides of a mosaic walkway over a man-made canal and pond.

This incredible and unique bridge is made out of artificial stone and untreated pine, connecting two sides of a mosaic walkway over a man-made canal and pond.

There is something so elegant about the smooth arches of a wooden bridge. This one has an aged stone path over mossy rocks and a shallow stream.

There is something so elegant about the smooth arches of a wooden bridge. This one has an aged stone path over mossy rocks and a shallow stream.

The pressed dirt pathways on either side of this elegant dark wood bridge are edged with wood. Off the path, small stones lead to the edge of the water.

The pressed dirt pathways on either side of this elegant dark wood bridge are edged with wood. Off the path, small stones lead to the edge of the water.

The pattern of the stone walkway gives way to a sturdy tread over wooden planks. The bold red railings are topped with glossy black balls.

The pattern of the stone walkway gives way to a sturdy tread over wooden planks. The bold red railings are topped with glossy black balls.

There are no signs of weathering on this gorgeous red arched bridge. Even more stunning are the magenta flowers on an ornamental tree hanging over the water.

There are no signs of weathering on this gorgeous red arched bridge. Even more stunning are the magenta flowers on an ornamental tree hanging over the water.

The transition between path and bridge is utterly seamless over this still, reflective pond.

The transition between path and bridge is utterly seamless over this still, reflective pond.

The rustic wooden railings and tire-like tracks along the bridge, in addition to the thick ferns inspire a jungle fantasy.

The rustic wooden railings and tire-like tracks along the bridge, in addition to the thick ferns inspire a jungle fantasy.

Simple light and dark stones are set in a mosaic pattern along this bridge. The railings are a light burgundy wrought iron, and the spaces between each stone are filled with moss.

Simple light and dark stones are set in a mosaic pattern along this bridge. The railings are a light burgundy wrought iron, and the spaces between each stone are filled with moss.

This is an unusual style of bridge. Typically, bridges with high railings are the most ornate, but this lovely bridge's curvaceous design is just as stunning.

This is an unusual style of bridge. Typically, bridges with high railings are the most ornate, but this lovely bridge’s curvaceous design is just as stunning.

The simple, rustic design of this Japanese bridge invokes the image of a wagon wheel. The bridge crosses a man-made pebble-bottom stream.

The simple, rustic design of this Japanese bridge invokes the image of a wagon wheel. The bridge crosses a man-made pebble-bottom stream.

A single red railing stretches on one side of this simple wooden bridge. The bridge crosses a small man-made stream and pond.

A single red railing stretches on one side of this simple wooden bridge. The bridge crosses a small man-made stream and pond.

Many of these garden bridges span an algae-filled pond, and this one is no different. Ferns on either side frame the walkway.

Many of these garden bridges span an algae-filled pond, and this one is no different. Ferns on either side frame the walkway.

Although Chinese red bridges are, as the name implies, Chinese in origin, they have become a popular part of Japanese zen gardens.

Although Chinese red bridges are, as the name implies, Chinese in origin, they have become a popular part of Japanese zen gardens.

This slim bridge might look less sturdy than other bridges, but the sleek design doesn't weaken it.

This slim bridge might look less sturdy than other bridges, but the sleek design doesn’t weaken it.

Some of the most gorgeous bridges are those with a contrasting upper railing. This image is particularly stunning due to the reflection in the still water.

Some of the most gorgeous bridges are those with a contrasting upper railing. This image is particularly stunning due to the reflection in the still water.

Ornate railings are a hallmark of an ornamental garden, particularly in Japanese gardens.

Ornate railings are a hallmark of an ornamental garden, particularly in Japanese gardens.

A simple fence-like bridge leads through tulips to a small cottage. The bold white with orange tips plays off the color of the tulips.

A simple fence-like bridge leads through tulips to a small cottage. The bold white with orange tips plays off the color of the tulips.

A narrow bridge transitions from stone to wood and then back to the stone path on the other side. Lovely bushes line either side.

A narrow bridge transitions from stone to wood and then back to the stone path on the other side. Lovely bushes line either side.

A thick, sturdy rope acts as a center railing on this wooden bridge. The bridge appears to be located far from civilization, on a quiet hiking trail.

A thick, sturdy rope acts as a center railing on this wooden bridge. The bridge appears to be located far from civilization, on a quiet hiking trail.

Carved wooden bridges are remarkable and unique, particularly ones like this, where each line and crevice is visible.

Carved wooden bridges are remarkable and unique, particularly ones like this, where each line and crevice is visible.

This bridge adopts more of a picket fence design, and lets the light aging give the structure character.

This bridge adopts more of a picket fence design, and lets the light aging give the structure character.

A slight arch keeps this bridge from feeling flat, but allows it to blend in with a quiet, subtle environment.

A slight arch keeps this bridge from feeling flat, but allows it to blend in with a quiet, subtle environment.

A slim, flat, white bridge expands over a simple pond and stream through a shady park. A wonderful place for an afternoon or evening walk.

A slim, flat, white bridge expands over a simple pond and stream through a shady park. A wonderful place for an afternoon or evening walk.

The dusty red of the railings perfectly blends in with the brick pathway leading to and away from the bridge.

The dusty red of the railings perfectly blends in with the brick pathway leading to and away from the bridge.

The striking woodgrain of this honey oak garden bridge allows it to stand out in a subtle way against the grass and flowers.

The striking woodgrain of this honey oak garden bridge allows it to stand out in a subtle way against the grass and flowers.

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