Visiting the Covered Bridges of Northwestern Columbia County, Pennsylvania
Columbia County, Pennsylvania, is home to the third most covered bridges of any county in the state (behind Lancaster County and Washington County). Their 19 covered bridges are scattered throughout the county, with roughly half of them located north of the Susquehanna River and half of them south of it.
Today, I’m going to cover the four northwestern-most covered bridges in Columbia County. These four bridges are located near Route 42, close to the border with Lycoming County. The bridges below are listed from southernmost to northernmost. Coincidentally, they are also listed from west to east. That means, you can very easily visit the bridges either in the order listed or in the opposite order.
Shoemaker Covered Bridge
Shoemaker Covered Bridge is located just off of Route 442 in Pine Township. This bridge is 49 feet long and crosses over West Branch Run. It was designed using the Queen post truss and was built in 1881.
Shoemaker Covered Bridge was rehabilitated in 2008, but now only carries foot traffic. A few picnic tables have been set up inside the bridge. Unfortunately, at the time of my visit, a large road sign was blocking the bridge to traffic. Hopefully in the future, a less obtrusive design will be used.
Getting There: Shoemaker Covered Bridge is located just a short distance from the intersection of Route 42 and 442. It can be found at the following coordinates: 41.151372, -76.536121.
Parking here is easy enough, as long as there is no one else at the bridge. Simply go until the end of the road and park your car. Note that there is a house directly next to the bridge and do not block their driveway when visiting Shoemaker Covered Bridge.
Sam Eckman Covered Bridge
Sam Eckman Covered Bridge was built in 1876 and also uses a Queen post truss. It is the furthest downstream of the three covered bridges to cross Little Fishing Creek. It is 66 feet long.
This covered bridge was built in 1876 and named after local farmer, Sam Eckman. It is located in a very beautiful part of Columbia County, with one side of the bridge facing the forest and the opposite side facing open farmland.
Getting There: Sam Eckman Covered Bridge is located 2.5 miles off of Route 42. It can be found at the following coordinates: 41.177478, -76.490308.
To park at the bridge, simply find somewhere wide enough to pull off to the side of the road.
Jud Christian Covered Bridge
Jud Christian Covered Bridge (sometimes called Jud Christie Covered Bridge) is the second covered bridge on this list that crosses Little Fishing Creek. It is 55 feet long and was built in 1876 using Queen post trusses. It was named after Jud Christian, a local lumberman and farmer.
When I visited the bridge, it was undergoing some major repair work. By the time this article is published, the work should have been finished. I can’t wait to revisit this bridge to get some better photos of it.
Getting There: Just like Sam Eckman Covered Bridge, Jud Christian Covered Bridge is located just off of Sereno Hollow Road. It can be found at the following coordinates: 41.195912, -76.473029.
There is room for a car or two to pull off the side of the road here after crossing through the bridge.
Creasyville Covered Bridge
Creasyville Covered Bridge is the furthest upstream of the three covered bridges that cross Little Fishing Creek. As with the other four bridges on this list, this bridge uses Queen post trusses. It is 44.5 feet long and was built in 1881.
Of the four bridges on this list, Creasyville Covered Bridge was located in the most beautiful location, being surrounded by beautiful farmland.
Getting There: Creasyville Covered Bridge is located in a narrow valley roughly 4.5 miles south of Route 118. It can be found at the following coordinates: 41.212338, -76.461399.
There is ample room for cars to pull off at this bridge. Make sure that you don’t block the driveway of the nearby house when you park, however.
Other Nearby Destinations
If you are looking to continue your travels around Pennsylvania before or after visiting these four Columbia County covered bridges, there are a few good options. Relatively close to Shoemaker Covered Bridge is Lairdsville Covered Bridge in Lycoming County. You can also head north after visiting Creasyville Covered Bridge to the covered bridges of Sullivan County, with Sonestown Covered Bridge being the closest.
[Click here for information on how to use the coordinates in this article to find your destination.]