Covered bridges are some of Bucks County’s oldest and most treasured gems. More than 50 bridges once stood in its history, however only 12 remain. Spread throughout the County, these bridges are a must-see for tourists and locals alike. Those interested in participating in an easy adventure can put together a picnic, hop in the car and get ready to embark on a self-guided tour to see 12 beautiful pieces of Bucks County history.
The Visit Bucks County Covered Bridge Driving Tour lays out the easiest path with turn-by-turn directions. The first bridge on the list is the Van Sant Covered Bridge (1875) in New Hope that spans across Pidcock Creek. For lovers of haunted history, this bridge is also known as “Cry Baby Bridge.” Legend has it that a young mother that was shunned by her loved ones threw her baby off the bridge and then hung herself from the rafters. If you listen closely while at the bridge, you may hear the cries of a young baby. Drive your car through the bridge and you may find yourself listening to the sound of the young woman’s feet slip back and forth across your car roof too.
Next up is the Loux Covered Bridge (1874) and Cabin Run Covered Bridge (1861), both in Plumstead running over Cabin Run Creek. Northwest of Cabin Run is the Stover Myers Mill, which is a fun little side venture if time permits!
We then head up to two bridges in Tinicum: Frankenfield Covered Bridge (1872), which crosses the Tinicum Creek and the Erwinna Covered Bridge (1832), which covers the Lodi Creek. (Note: drivers are currently unable to drive through the Frankenfield Covered Bridge due to construction April 22 – late June).
The Uhlerstown Covered Bridge (1832), also in Tinicum crosses the Delaware Canal and serves as a picturesque backdrop to a quaint little town. Fun fact: it is the only Bucks County covered bridge to include windows on both sides. (Note: drivers are currently unable to drive through the Uhlerstown Covered Bridge due to construction April 22 – late June).
Knecht’s Covered Bridge (1873) over Durham Creek in Springfield is along the path of the Walking Purchase that claimed the land from the Lenape in 1737.
Sheard’s Mill Covered Bridge (1873) crosses over the Tohickon Creek near Quakertown and at one time serviced the local community alongside Clymer’s Mill. Today, the bridge is owned by the State and the Tohickon Family Campground owns the mill, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mood’s Covered Bridge (1874) in Perkasie sits over the Perkiomen Creek near Upper Bucks campus of the Community College. After being destroyed by arson in 2004, the bridge was rebuilt using parts of the original structure in 2008.
South Perkasie Covered Bridge (1832) is the oldest covered bridge in Bucks County and originally sat over the Pleasant Spring Creek. In August 1958 the bridge was saved from demolition after being deemed a traffic hazard and was moved to Lenape Park.
Pine Valley Covered Bridge (1842) sits on Iron Hill Road in New Britain. It is the second oldest covered bridge in the County and has been the victim to several damaging events in its history. Covered Bridge Park sits alongside the bridge, which allows for beautiful views of its side, where you can also relax at a wooden table for a quick bite to eat.
We finish up our tour at Tyler State Park in Newtown to visit the Schofield Ford Covered Bridge (1893). Schofield Ford crosses the Neshaminy Creek and is the longest covered bridge remaining in Bucks County. The original bridge was destroyed by a fire in 1991 and was rebuilt in 1997. It is located off of a trail in the park and is only accessible by foot.
These are the last bridges that stand to represent Bucks County’s history. Many of them have required normal wear-and-tear maintenance throughout the years. Some have required some additional renovations due to damaging incidents. Currently, the Perkasie and Pennridge communities are fundraising to complete a renovation on the South Perkasie Covered Bridge. In order to keep this beloved landmark accessible to the public, it needs some important updates. In addition to making these renovations, the bridge will be turned into a museum that will host tours, informational panels and special events regarding all of Bucks County’s covered bridge history. Free Will Brewery released a cream ale called “Benjamin 1832” that features the bridge during its move to its current location, which was first released during a fundraiser for the bridge. To date, the community has raised over $109,000 to put towards renovations of the South Perkasie Covered Bridge.
If you’re looking for something to do this weekend to get out of the house safely, plan your route along the Covered Bridge Driving Tour! To find out more ways to help save the bridges, visit www.SaveTheBridge.com.