The Covered Bridges of Bucks County, PA
Covered bridges are significant historic structures that symbolize small-town America. Something from the nineteenth century, a little archaic and strange to modern eyes, picturesque, and sentimental, "kissing bridges" recall a time when life was simpler and closer to the land -- if only in our dreams. Covered bridges complement autumn leaves and autumn emotions. Photogenic and often remote from the interstate highways and cities of the twentieth century, covered bridges lure the explorer to find the little streams and dirt roads that the twentieth century has almost passed by.
The covered bridge is an important and significant historic structure in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Bucks County at one time had 36 covered bridges, 13 of which still stood at the time of the first Covered Bridge Ride in 1981. Most have been well-maintained by the County and several have been restored (proceeds form the ride have gone towards maintenance of the bridges). The following are the 13 covered bridges of the original CBBC Covered Bridge Century.
Cabin Run Covered Bridge * ^
Location: Covered Bridge Rd., Plumstead Twp.
Height Limit: 11 ft. 10 in. Width: 15 ft.
Length: 82 ft. Weight Limit: 3 tons
BUILT in 1871, this bridge crosses the Cabin Run Creek, so named for the small houses that dotted its banks in the 19th century. It is located a short distance downstream from the Loux Covered Bridge and just down the road from historic Stover-Myers Mill.
Frankenfield Covered Bridge * ^
Location: Hollow Horn and Cafferty Rd., Tinicum Twp.
Height Limit: 11 ft. 3 in. Width: 12 ft.
Length: 130 ft. Weight Limit: None
BUILT in 1872, the Frankenfield Covered Bridge crosses Tinicum Creek in an area once known for its abundant turtle population and only two miles upstream from where the creek flows into the Delaware River. This bridge is one of the longest covered bridges in the County.
Erwinna Covered Bridge ^
Location: Geigel Hill Rd., Tinicum Twp.
Height Limit: 11 ft. Width: 15 ft
Length: 56 ft. Weight Limit: 29 tons
ALTHOUGH the National Historic Register lists the date built as 1871, county records suggest this bridge was built in 1832. The Erwinna Covered Bridge, which crosses Lodi Creek, is a good example of the lattice-type construction and is Bucks County's shortest covered bridge.
Knecht's Covered Bridge * ^
Location: Knecht's Rd., Springfield Twp.
Height Limit: 11 ft. 6 in. Width: 15 ft.
Length: 110 in. Weight Limit: 3 tons
BUILT in 1873, this bridge is also known as "Slifer's Bridge". Built of hemlock, it crosses Durham Creek, which was once known as "Cook's Creek".
The Loux Covered Bridge * ^
Location: Wismer Rd., Plumstead Twp.
Height Limit: 11 ft. Width: 15 ft.
Length: 60 ft. Weight Limit: 15 tons
BUILT of hemlock in 1874, you'll find this bridge is one of two bridges to span the Cabin Run Creek. Nestled in a scenic valley, it was built at the insistence of local residents who complained about the dangers of crossing the creek.
Mood's Covered Bridge * ^
Location: Blooming Glen Rd., E. Rockhill Twp.
Height Limit: 11 ft. 2 in. Width: 15 ft.
Length: 120 ft. Weight Limit: None
BUILT in 1874 and spanning the Perkiomen Creek just outside Perkasie, Mood's Covered Bridge is one of the most used bridges in Bucks County. Its timbers were damaged by a truck in 1993 and it was subsequently restored, but was struck again by another truck in January 2004 and then was almost completely destroyed by arson in June of 2004. Due to repairs, the bridge is closed until further notice and its future is in doubt.
Pine Valley Covered Bridge
Location: Old Iron Hill Rd., New Britain Twp.
Height Limit: 11 ft 10 in. Width: 15 ft.
Length: 81 ft. Weight Limit: None
BUILT in 1842 of native hemlock and pine, the bridge is also known as "Iron Hill Bridge". The bridge crosses Pine Run Creek, which was named after the hardy neighboring pine trees.
Schofield Ford Covered Bridge
Location: Tyler State Park, off Swamp Rd., Newtown Twp.
Height Limit: 13 ft. Width: 16 ft.
Length: 170 ft. Weight Limit: No Vehicle Access
ORIGINALLY built in 1873, it burned down in 1991, and was rebuilt in 1997. Built of native hemlock and oak, this town truss bridge is the longest in Bucks County. Also known as "Twining Ford Bridge", it crosses Neshaminy Creek.
Sheard's Mill Covered Bridge * ^
Location: Covered Bridge Rd., on the border of Haycock and E. Rockhill Twps.
Height Limit: 12 ft. 1 in. Width: 15 ft.
Length: 130 in. Weight Limit: None
BUILT in 1873, this bridge spans Tohickon Creek and is one of several bridges built to aid farmers transporting grain to local mills.
South Perkasie Covered Bridge *
Location: Lenape Park, Walnut St., Perkasie
Height Limit: No Vehicle Access. Width: 15 ft.
Length: 93 ft. Weight Limit: No Vehicle Access
BUILT in 1832 of pine and oak, this bridge once crossed Pleasant Spring Creek until it was condemned to traffic and is now owned by the Perkasie Historical Society. It was moved to Lenape Park near the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek in 1958.
Uhlerstown Covered Bridge ^
Location: Uhlerstown Rd., Tinicum Twp.
Height Limit: 11 ft. 3 in. Width: 15 ft.
Length: 101 in. Weight Limit: None
BUILT in 1832, this bridge is built of oak and has windows on both sides. It is the only covered bridge that crosses the Delaware Canal.
Van Sant Covered Bridge
Location: Covered Bridge Rd., Solebury Twp.
Height Limit: 12 ft. 6 in. Width: 15 ft.
Length: 86 ft. Weight Limit: 7 tons
BUILT in 1875, and also known as "Beaver Dam Bridge", this bridge crosses Pidcock Creek. You'll find this bridge is close to Bowman's Hill and the Thompson-Neeley House, part of Washington Crossing Historic Park.
Haupt's Mill Covered Bridge
Location: Kellerman Rd., Springfield Twp.
Height Limit: ? ft. ? in. Width: ? ft.
Length: 107 ft. Weight Limit: ?
BUILT in 1872, this bridge over Cook's Creek was destroyed by fire in 1985 and was not rebuilt.
The Covered Bridge ride now also visits the only remaining covered bridge in New Jersey:
Green Sergeant's Covered Bridge ^
Location: Rosemont-Ringoes Rd., Delaware Twp., Hunterdon County, NJ
Height Limit: ? ft. ? in. Width: ? ft.
Length: 84 ft. Weight Limit: ?
BUILT in 1866, the Green Sergeant Covered Bridge, a classic whitewashed structure spanning the rocky Wickecheoke Creek, is the only remaining covered bridge in New Jersey.
* denotes bridges on the 1993 Covered Bridge Ride metric century
^ denotes bridges on the present (since 1997) Covered Bridge Rides
Bridge pictures courtesy of william-king.www.drexel.edu