Covered bridges are becoming less common every day. While there are still a few littering the state of Ohio, pack up the vehicle, grab a camera and use this experience to educate your children on the history of covered bridges. Be sure to talk to your child’s school in advance as many school systems will allow parents to take their children on educational field trips and the child will not be counted absent.
History of Covered Bridges
Before the first bridge was built, early settlers would cross rivers and streams by boats or ferries. As time passed, log bridges were built, then wooden bridges. When weather conditions proved to rot the wood on the bridges quickly, covered bridges began to make their appearance to help keep the elements from destroying the wood as fast.
In 1808, the first partially covered bridge was built. It stretched across the Mohawk River in New York and took more than 15 years to complete. Thus, the first covered bridge was born and soon many more began being constructed across the land.
When traveling Ohio, what better way to experience all its history than with the many covered bridges that are still standing today. Although covered bridges are still built today, most are not for practicality, but for their uniqueness and good looks. Below is a list of several covered bridges in Ohio that travelers can check out.
Old Covered Bridges in Ohio
South Denmark Road Bridge. This old covered bridge was built in 1890 and stretches 81 feet across Mill Creek. If you will be traveling in the springtime, you’ll be able to capture a glorious photo of this bridge as the wildflowers will be in full bloom and they surround it giving an old-time feel of the era for those who take time to stop and enjoy it.
Root Road Bridge. Built in 1868, this Town lattice covered bridge stretches 114 feet across the Ashtabula River and is beautiful to admire. The only thing that does take away from its looks is the reconstruction done in the 1980s when the bridge needed to be raised and concrete was added.
Doyle Road Bridge. Although a laminated arch was added in 1987, the Doyle Road Bridge is the perfect bridge for wintertime pictures. Stretching 94-feet across Mill Creek, this Town lattice white structure, originally built in 1868, sets the scene for snow covered photos.
Harshaville Bridge. Built in 1855, the Harshaville bridge spans 110-feet across Grace Run and is located in Adams County, Ohio. It has an 11-foot 6-inch clearance for travelers to pass through.
Not-So-Old Covered Bridges
Caine Road Bridge. Constructed in 1986 to honor the county of Ashtabula’s 175th anniversary, the Caine Road bridge stretches 124 feet across one area of the Ashtabula River. This was the first Pratt truss covered bridge built in Ohio.
Mohican State Park Bridge. Located in Ashland County, the Mohican State Park Bridge was built in 1969, has a cement deck and spans 150 feet across Clear Fork Mohican River. Visitors wishing to walk across the covered bridge and still enjoy the breathtaking view can cross the walkways on either side of the bridge.
Ken Reed Bridge. Although not one of the longest covered bridges in the area, the Stringer-style Ken Reed bridge, built in 1988, stretches 28 feet across a pond outlet south of Montgomery Township.
Indian Fork Bridge. Built in 1996, this four panel MKP covered bridge spans 30-feet across Dry Fork Creek in Carroll County, Ohio. Keep in mind when viewing this covered bridge as it has private access.
History of Covered Bridges. Georgia Department of Transportation.