Saturday, October 29, 2016

Covered Bridges, Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Last Wednesday, on a crisp, sunny day, Jack and I headed off to Bucks County, just north and east of Philadelphia.  I'd seen a self-guided tour of covered bridges that looked interesting.  The weather was gorgeous and adventure was in the air.

We started at Washington Crossing, which is where General George Washington made his famous and icy  Christmas night crossing of the Delaware River in 1776.  We didn't spend any time there because there's no covered bridge.  But we'll go back someday.

Our first bridge was the Van Sant covered bridge, built in 1875 and 86' long.

Next up was Loux covered bridge, 60' long and built in 1874.

Then on to Cabin Run, built in 1871 and 82' long.

As we left Cabin Run, we turned onto Dark Hollow Road.  Wouldn't you want to live in a creepy old house on Dark Hollow Road?  I would.  There was a huge, deep hollow behind the road, so I understand how it got its name.

Next up was Frankenfield covered bridge, built in 1872, 130' long.  Are you getting a sense of mystery?  Dark Hollow Road?  Frankenfield?  Late October, just before Halloween, seemed like a good time for a stop here.

Then to Erwinna covered bridge, the shortest in the county at 56', built in 1832.

When I pulled the car to the side of the road to look at the Erwinna bridge, we spied three deer browsing beside the creek.  It appeared to be a doe and two fairly large fawns.  The doe kept a close eye on us until we left.  You can see the doe (which looks sort of like a kangaroo), to the left, but I can't even see the fawns.

The Uhlerstown covered bridge was next, built in 1832.  I thought this one was interesting because of the huge cliff behind the bridge.  Very dramatic.

On to Knecht's bridge.  We debated about how this should be pronounced.  I voted for a silent 'k'.  There was no one around to ask.  The map said that this bridge is set on the route of the Penn family's famous Walking Purchase.  

Sheard's covered bridge was next on the map, built in 1873.  It's 130' long.

Then there was Mood's covered bridge.  The original was built in 1874 but burned down in 2004.  This reproduction was built in 2007.  This was a fairly common fate for covered bridges.  I'm happy that people care enough about them to rebuild them.

South Perkasie covered bridge was  moved in 1959.  There's a wall of photos of the move, which was quite an undertaking back then.  It would still be an undertaking today, but we laughed when we saw the 'large cranes' used to move it.  Cranes are part of our business and today's giant cranes make those look like erector sets.  This was one of the two bridges not still in use.

How about this sign above the Perkasie bridge?  Don't you be smokin' yer segar on the bridge!

Nearing the end of the tour, we came to Pine Valley.  It was built in 1842 and is sometimes also called the Iron Hill Bridge.

The other bridge not in use is the Schofield Ford covered bridge.  It's in Tyler State Park.  The bridge was destroyed by fire in 1991 but was rebuilt.  At 150', it's the longest covered bridge in Bucks County.

And now we're done.  I drove the whole time because I can't read in the car.  Jack was a terrific navigator.  There were a few times when I had to yell 'Left or right, quick!'  There are small pull offs near most of the bridges.  Many of the bridges were in very rural areas, so traffic wasn't a concern.   Here's a map of the route:

We left Philadelphia at 10:30AM and got back at 5:30.  We stopped briefly at a park to eat lunch.  We had most of the bridges to ourselves, an advantage, I'm sure, of doing this trip on a weekday.  It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed being out in the country.  If you're in the area and are interested in covered bridges, I highly recommend it.  You can find more details of the tour here.


  1. What a fun day and it looks like perfect weather too!

    1. Bucks County is very picturesque. I was surprised at how many covered bridges were still standing. And the weather that day was spectacular.