Located along Interstate 81, Franklin County often gets overlooked by travelers. However, if you love the covered bridges of Pennsylvania, you won’t want to make that mistake.
The two historic covered bridges in Franklin County are both easily accessible while traveling the interstate and offer a great glimpse into the region’s history and the opportunity to see some of the rural beauty of the area.
Take a few minutes to read about these two historic bridges, and then take the time to visit them for yourself.
Martin’s Mill Covered Bridge
Martin’s Mill Covered Bridge is the most easterly of the two historic covered bridges in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. It is located next to Antrim Township Community Park near Greencastle and just a few miles north of the Maryland border.
Built in 1849, it utilizes the Town truss, which is rare in Pennsylvania outside of the covered bridges of Bucks County. The bridge was rebuilt after being destroyed by Hurricane Agnes in 1972 and raised five feet to help keep it from being destroyed by another flood.
It was completely refurbished again just a couple of years ago.
Today, the bridge is closed to traffic, but visitors are allowed to walk across it. It spans the Conococheague Creek and is 205 feet in length, making it the second-longest covered bridge in Pennsylvania.
Getting There: Martin’s Mill Covered Bridge is located near Greencastle Pennsylvania. It is a 10-minute drive off of Interstate 81. The bridge can be found at the following coordinates: 39.764884, -77.775690.
It is best to approach the bridge from the east off of East Weaver Road as there is no easy place to park on the western bank of the creek. Visitors can park in several locations in Antrim Township Community Park. If the park gate is closed, park along the road, but make sure not to block the gate.
Witherspoon Covered Bridge
Witherspoon Covered Bridge, called Red Bridge in some sources, is the more westerly over the historic covered bridges in Franklin County. Unlike Martin’s Mill Covered Bridge, cars are allowed to drive across this covered bridge.
Witherspoon Covered Bridge was built in 1883 and uses a Burr arch truss like most of PA’s covered bridges. It is 87 feet long and spans Licking Creek, just a few feet upstream of its confluence with the West Branch of the Conococheague Creek.
One highlight of visiting this bridge is the beautiful stone arch bridge located on the nearby Anderson Road. If you don’t drive over it, take some time to appreciate it by looking upstream on the West Branch of the Conococheague Creek from near Witherspoon Covered Bridge.
Getting There: Witherspoon Covered Bridge is located near Route 16, about halfway between Greencastle and Mercersburg. It can be found at the following coordinates: 39.787392, -77.854539.
There is space to pull a car off of the road on the northeastern side of the bridge.
Want to see more Pennsylvania covered bridges? See the covered bridges in Cumberland County and the covered bridges near Gettysburg. You can also check out our PA Covered Bridges page.
[Click here for information on how to use the coordinates in this article to find your destination.]
1 thought on “Visiting the Covered Bridges of Franklin County, Pennsylvania”
My dad began his bridge building when he was in his teens living in New Franklyn, Pa. Be it a way of life he continued building homes to restoring bridges, churches and barns in Franklin County. The last time the bridge was flooded it was scattered from Greencastle to points downstream in Maryland. The Corps of Army Engineers was engaged to locate the pieces of the bridge, bring them back and rebuild the bridge. The first two parts were easy but reconstruction replacing lost timber with native timber proved to be something the engineers had never worked with. My dad was called into service and the reconstruction of Martin’s Mill Bridge was his last major construction. The stamp of my father’s skill was his family home built in Greencastle. When it was finished it became the highest taxed private home in the county. He enjoyed telling my mother she was the highest tax paying woman paying home taxes in Franklin, County. Dad was on the board of Citizens Bank in Greencastle. That home was my home when I graduated from Shippensburg University. My mother graduated from Shippensburg in 1917. This part of the Gipe Family sent and graduated every student sent to the university of their choice. This includes one dentist, one
masters degree in marine biology. This of course is not to bad being fathered by a builder who could not read or write.