By: Mission Healthy Living
November 14, 2019
Covered bridges and autumn seem to go together. A charming link to our past, these structures offer a chance to take a trip down the road less traveled and appreciate the natural beauty of the area.
Once there were dozens of covered bridges over the creeks and rivers of the Pottstown area, but now only a few remain. In close proximity to one another are the bridges along French Creek. A visit to this group of bridges has the added opportunity of hiking along East Pikeland Township’s French Creek Trail.
In Berks County, two more bridges will take you off the beaten track. Greisemer's Mill and Pleasantville covered bridges cross the Manatawny within a mile of one another and getting there entails a pleasant drive through vast corn and soybean fields.
A destination all its own, the Wertz covered bridge near Reading is closed to traffic, allowing visitors to appreciate the structure inside and out. On both sides of the bridge, green space allows visitors to access both the Union Canal Trail and the Berks County Heritage Center.
Others within a half-hour drive include the Knox Bridge in Valley Forge National Park, and the relocated Larkin Bridge, which is now part of a multiuse path.
For a longer drive outside of the Tri-County area, Lancaster County and Bucks County offer dozens more covered bridges to explore.
Since the 1800s the number of covered bridges in Pennsylvania has decreased from over 1,500 to around 195. When they were ubiquitous covered bridges were generally regarded as hiding places for wild animals, ghosts, and criminals—dangerous spots, especially to travelers passing through them at night. Today, however, they’re a marker of places where traffic moves at 19th century speed.