Driving into the Ohio Covered Bridges Scene.

Spending so much time in the Midwest, it’s kind of remarkable that covered bridges and I have never crossed paths. That changed recently as I drived (dived) into the covered bridges scene while roaming around the extremely rural roads of north-central Ohio.

My first stop was the Parker Covered Bridge just north of Upper Sandusky. Getting there involved going onto one remote county and township road after another, each one usually less kept up than the last. I actually didn’t see another car or person either to or from the bridge once I got off the main highway.

Wyandot County, Ohio, rural country road

Upon arriving at the bridge I quickly realized many were one way and built back in the 1800’s and early 1900’s.

The Parker Covered Bridge, a part of Township Road 40, was originally built-in 1873 by J.C. Davis and spans 172-feet over the Sandusky River. It is one of two bridges in the county on the National Register of Historic Places.

Parker Covered Bridge, Ohio

Parker Covered Bridge, Ohio

I turned around to look back at the countryside route that brought me here and then walked through the wooden bridge to checkout the other side. Some say these bridges were built and covered so that horses wouldn’t here the river underneath and be scared to cross.

Parker Covered Bridge, Ohio

Parker Covered Bridge, Ohio

Parker Covered Bridge, Ohio

About fifteen miles away sits the other covered bridge in Wyandot County that is historically registered, the Swartz Covered Bridge. I was out on the open road approaching the bridge along County Road 130A.

Swartz Covered Bridge, Ohio

Swartz Covered Bridge, Ohio

This covered bridge also sits over the Sandusky River, being originally built-in 1878 by Moses Weymouth. The average daily traffic in the 1970’s was just over hundred. The fact that no cars went by while I was there leads me to believe that the people passing through is still minimal.

Swartz Covered Bridge, Ohio

Shot overlooking the Sandusky River. Due to the recent snow meltage, lots of rain, the muddy waters and nothing blooming yet, didn’t really check out the riverfront at either stop. πŸ™‚

Swartz Covered Bridge, Ohio, Sandusky River

Covered bridges definitely bleed romance. I don’t know if it’s the river that flows underneath, the history behind them, the remoteness and privacy of the timber built structures or the surrounding colors of Spring and Autumn (which I need to see), it’s just a beautiful scene up close. Besides romance, back in the day they were also used for meetings, rallies and dances.

Swartz Covered Bridge, Ohio

Swartz Covered Bridge, Ohio

This covered bridge, like the one before, naturally has a weight limit due to how it’s constructed.

Swartz Covered Bridge, Ohio

I look forward to uncovering more historic covered bridges in the future. Look how many this map of Ohio highlights! The Buckeye State is only second to Pennsylvania.

Any recommendations on covered bridges to checkout in Ohio, the Midwest and beyond?

14 responses to “Driving into the Ohio Covered Bridges Scene.

  1. Fascinating. I’ve visited Iowa once before, long in the past, and apparently drove past some covered bridges without knowing they existed. If I ever get back I want to see them so thank you for this primer! Lovely images, lovely road trip!

    • No problem, thanks for checking it out. It was a very warm, sunny Spring day. Actually made some updates to post, publishing earlier by mistake before finishing. πŸ™‚

  2. There are so few original covered bridges left in the United States. I love the ones in rural New England as well, especially in Vermont.

    • Very cool! Want to get back to New England sometime. Thanks for checking out post. It’s complete now, accidentally published before finishing. πŸ™‚

  3. Ooh those covered Bridges look lovely πŸ™‚ I’ve not seen any of those in ages but I will this summer when I hit the road!

    • They do! There are dozens upon dozens of them, each with a story. πŸ™‚ Cool beans. Lots in nearby states Pennsylvania and Ohio. πŸ™‚ Hope to hit some more up on road trips myself.

  4. Ashtabula County in northeast Ohio has 13 or 14 covered bridges. It’s a beautiful part of the state to begin with and the bridges make it all the more better. I think they provide a tour map online.

    • Heard about the Ashtabula area. Going to have to check the area out once everything blooms or in Autumn.Thanks for the tip! πŸ™‚

  5. I’ve yet to see these! Thanks for the preview πŸ™‚ Like Mike, I’d suggest visiting Ashtabula County, which has 18 (at last count) covered spans. I’ve written about all of them at least once, and the group includes one of the longest covered bridges…and the shortest covered bridge! We visited a couple of years ago specifically to visit the bridges, and found a restaurant in a covered bridge in the county as well!

    • A restaurant?! Will have to look that up. I go to Cleveland all the time as you know, so shouldn’t be too much trouble to make a day trip out of that area. Thanks for the tips and info. πŸ™‚

  6. Scenic bridges are a slice of Americana like a great blue grass tune from Ralph Stanley, a Norman Rockwell painting, or watching a classic movie from the 50s. They evoke the gold old days of America.

    • Most definitely! I’ve only seen these two so far, but it seems each one tells a story of the past and the area surrounding. πŸ™‚ The scenery surrounding is beautiful too.

  7. Aaron: It’s always nice to read something about my hometown, or home state in this case. I too enjoy tracing these covered bridges as there are so few left. Your photo’s and maps make it difficult to find an excuse not to get out and drive.

    When you get another opportunity to drive the buckeye state, you have a few more options for bridge viewing. You can go further south to Mohican State Park,

    (Covered Bridge – Ohio Barns
    http://www.ohiobarns.com/covbri/oh/ashl/35-03-A.htmlβ€Ž
    Mohican State Park. Covered Bridge. Notes: 35-03-A. Location: In Mohican State Park. North of Rt 97 by 1.3 miles. Ashland Co OH. Latitude: N40 36.80)

    or head to the northeast corner and Ashtabula County for the 16 bridges in this area.

    (Ashtabula County Ohio Covered Bridge Festival
    http://www.coveredbridgefestival.org/β€Ž
    Visit our sixteen covered bridges any day of the year here in Ashtabula County, Ohio, or join us each year in October for our Covered Bridge Festival).

    However, if you decide that Ashtabula County is your destination you may want to make time for a few winery visits along the way.

    • Seeing those two makes me want to get out and see a lot more soon, especially once Spring is in full swing. Thank you for the great information. Could try to time seeing the ones around Ashtabula with the festival. πŸ™‚

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