Visiting the Covered Bridges of Lancaster County: The Northeastern Bridges
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is home to 29 covered bridges, more than any other county in the state. In the past, I’ve covered the five covered bridges in southwestern Lancaster County, and today I’m going to take a look at the five bridges in the northeastern corner of the county.
These five bridges are located in close proximity to routes 222 and 322 east of Ephrata, Pennsylvania. They are also located just south of the Pennsylvania Turnpike near the Reading exit. Thanks to these major roads that traverse north Lancaster County, visiting these five covered bridges couldn’t be easier.
Each of these five bridges are well-maintained and well worth the short diversion to see them during your travels or even a dedicated trip. They are listed in this guide from east to west, but they are just as easy to visit by reversing the order shown here.
Pool Forge Covered Bridge
Pool Forge Covered Bridge is located just over a mile from Route 322 in northeastern Lancaster County. It is the easternmost covered bridge within the county. The bridge is one of three that crosses the Conestoga River, with Pool Forge Covered Bridge furthest upstream. It was built in 1859 and is 99 feet long.
Pool Forge Covered Bridge is located on private property and is part of Historic Poole Forge. Unlike many bridges on private property, this bridge is fully accessible and the park-like setting around the bridge makes access very easy for photos. The Historic Poole Forge area includes a 17th century iron master’s home, as well as a lime kiln and several exterior buildings. These historic buildings make for one of the most picturesque settings for a covered bridge in Pennsylvania.
Getting There: Pool Forge Covered Bridge is located near Route 23 in Caemarvon Township near the northeastern corner of Lancaster County. The bridge is located at the following coordinates: 40.129871, -75.976397.
Since this is a park, there is ample parking around the bridge. Parking spaces are available on the northern side of the bridge, and there is also space to pull off the side of the road along the southern side of the bridge.
More information about visiting Historic Poole Forge can be found on their website.
Weaver’s Mill Covered Bridge
Weaver’s Mill Covered Bridge (also known as Isaac Shearer’s Mill Covered Bridge) is located just a few miles west of Pool Forge Covered Bridge. Like Pool Forge, Weaver’s Mill Covered Bridge crosses the Conestoga River. It is 85 feet long and was built in 1878.
Weaver’s Mill Covered Bridge is located in a beautiful area filled with Lancaster County farmland. It’s just upstream from where the Conestoga River meets the Little Conestoga.
Getting There: Weaver’s Mill Covered Bridge is located in East Earl Township. It is located at the following coordinates: 40.141248, -75.997858. There is room for cars to pull off the side of Weaver’s Mill Road on either side of the bridge.
The land around Weaver’s Mill Covered Bridge is private property, but most of it was not posted when I visited. Be sure to always be courteous around these bridges so that access can continue to be allowed, and make sure to respect any no trespassing signs that you may see.
Red Run Covered Bridge
Red Run Covered Bridge (also known as Oberhaltzer’s Covered Bridge) is the only covered bridge on this list that no longer crosses water and is not open to vehicular traffic. While the bridge used to cross Muddy Creek, it now sits next to the creek on the property of Red Run Campground. Red Run Covered Bridge was built in 1866 and is 107 feet long.
I tried to find information on when this bridge was moved to its current spot and came across a curious note. According to this site, the bridge wasn’t moved. Instead, a new bridge was built over the creek in 1961 and the creek was rerouted to go under that bridge instead. Should anyone have any more information about this, please comment below and let me know.
Red Run Covered Bridge sits on private property and can only be viewed from a the roadway. However, it sits close to the road, and can be easily viewed from outside of the gate. It currently appears that the bridge is being used for storage, and while I’ve seen covered bridges in worse shape, it certainly appears that it’s seen better days. Hopefully, the owners will refurbish this bridge at some point in the near future.
Getting There: Red Run Covered Bridge is located in Brecknock Township, along the banks of Muddy Run. It can be found at the following coordinates on the grounds of Red Rock Campground: 40.175401, -76.081099.
There is room to pull off along the side of the road. Note that the land surrounding the bridge is marked as private property, and you will only be able to view this bridge from Martin Church Road. Fortunately, the bridge sits close enough to the road that this isn’t an issue.
Bucher’s Mill Covered Bridge
Bucher’s Mill Covered Bridge (also known at Butcher’s Mill Covered Bridge) is located just outside of Reamstown and is the northernmost covered bridge in the county. It crosses Cocolico Creek and is only 64 feet long, making it one of the shortest covered bridges in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
It was built in 1891, and repaired after flood damage a year later.
Getting There: Bucher’s Mill Covered Bridge is located just off of Route 272 in a residential area. It is located at the following coordinates: 40.208044, -76.134662.
Parking at this bridge is quite difficult, as there is little room to pull off to the side of the road when visiting. When I stopped by, I did my best to get off the road as much as possible and turned on my flashers. However, this may not be advisable depending on the amount of traffic along the roadway.
Keep in mind that since the area surrounding the bridge is residential, it is private property. Make sure to be respectful of landowners when visiting the bridge.
Bitzer’s Mill Covered Bridge
Bitzer’s Mill Covered Bridge has the distinction of being the oldest Lancaster County Covered Bridge that is still open to vehicular traffic. It was originally built in 1846 and was reconstructed in 1997. The bridge crosses the Conestoga River and is 98 feet long.
Like many covered bridges, the name of Bitzer’s Mill Covered Bridge changed over the years depending on the names of the nearby mill and landowners. This bridge is also known as Eberly’s Cider Mill Covered Bridge, Martin’s Mill Bridge, Fiand’s Covered Bridge, and Fiantz’s Covered Bridge.
Getting There: Bitzer’s Mill Covered Bridge is located southeast of Ephrata and just a few miles from the intersection of Routes 322 and 222. It is located at the following coordinates: 40.140415, -76.151942.
Parking here is a little tricky as the road is narrow. However, there is a bit of room to pull off on the northern side of the bridge, though it’s probably best to use your flashers.
Bitzer’s Mill Covered Bridge is surrounded by private property and fencing is located on all four sides of the bridge. This makes it hard to get a good look at the side of the bridge, but does make for a picturesque surrounding thanks to the farmland and many trees around the bridge.
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