Visiting the Covered Bridges of Sullivan County, Pennsylvania
Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, is one of the most rural and most beautiful areas of the state. Home to many great waterfalls, hiking trails, and quaint small towns, Sullivan County has a bit of something for every outdoor activity. And, for those that love covered bridges, Sullivan County has you covered too. In fact, the three remaining covered bridges in the county are some of the most scenic that you’ll find anywhere in the state.
The three covered bridges in Sullivan County are all very well maintained and can be driven across. They were all built in the 1850s, but have been repaired or rebuilt on several occasions. Interestingly enough, all three bridges were designed and built by the same man, Sadler Rodgers of Forksville, who was only 18 when he built the bridges.
Two of the bridge are located close to the small town of Forksville, near both Loyalsock State Forest and Worlds End State Park. The third bridge is located in the southern part of the county, just off a major road. However, even though there is bit of a distance between the bridges, visiting the covered bridges of Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, is quite easy. Total driving time is only around 35 minutes over 22 miles to see all three bridges.
The bridges below are presented east to west, which makes a logical order for visiting the bridges. If you are coming from the west, simply do the bridges in the reverse order.
Sonestown Covered Bridge
Sonestown Covered Bridge is located just off of Route 220, a relatively busy road that runs north-south through Sullivan County and into New York. If you are driving along the road, you’d be hard-pressed to miss the bridge, as it is located less than 50 feet off the road.
The bridge crosses Muncy Creek and is 110 feet long, the shortest of the three covered bridges in Sullivan County. It is also known as Davidson Covered Bridge after the name of the local township. It has been refurbished many times over the years, most recently in 2011 after being damaged by a flood.
Given that the bridge has had to be repaired four times in the last 20 years, it’s possible that the county may eventually decide to not continue repairs along the flood-prone creek. This is especially compounded by the new bridge just a few hundred yards downstream, which makes Sonestown Covered Bridge unnecessary.
Getting to Sonestown Covered Bridge: Sonestown is located just off Route 220, 1.7 miles east of where Route 220 and Route 42 split.
Parking at the bridge is quite limited because of the busy road nearby and private property signs. However, on the side of the bridge that’s opposite Route 220, there are several places where a car can pull off the road.
Coordinates for Sonestown Covered Bridge are 41.346457, -76.555161.
Forksville Covered Bridge
The most well-known covered bridge in Sullivan County is also the most beautiful. Forksville Covered Bridge spans 152 feet over the Loyalsock Creek at the borough of Forksville. Given the quaint small town next to the bridge, the beautiful church bells that fill the valley, the the hills that surround the area, the Forksville Covered Bridge has undoubtedly one of the most beautiful settings for any covered bridge in Pennsylvania.
The bridge was built in 1850 by a local resident, and was repaired in 1970 and 2004. It still sees a significant amount of traffic as it’s the shortest route into the town. Personally, after visiting the covered bridges of Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, Forksville Covered Bridge stands out as my favorite.
While visiting Forksville, make sure to stop in the amazing Forksville General Store. The restaurant inside is one of the few in the area and serves great food (the cheesesteaks are some of the best you’ll find outside of Philadelphia). In the store, you can pick up supplies, but I usually just opt for a few pieces of their amazing beef jerky for my next hike.
Getting to Forksville Covered Bridge: The Forksville Covered Bridge is located off of Route 154, and only about a quarter mile south of Route 87. It sits just outside the boundaries of World’s End State Park and is also quite close to Loyalsock State Forest.
The best place to park is at the Forksville General Store, if you are going to be patronizing the shop. Otherwise, street parking is available throughout the small town.
GPS coordinates for the bridge are 41.488409, -76.599899, or you can use the address for the Forksville General Store which is 22 Bridge Street, Forksville, PA 18616.
Hillsgrove Covered Bridge
Of the three covered bridges in Sullivan County, Hillsgrove Covered Bridge is the least visited, simply because it isn’t located along a major road. However, the bridge is quite easy to get to if you know where it is.
Hillsgrove Covered Bridge crosses the Loyalsock Creek, five miles upstream of the Forksville Covered Bridge. It is 186 feet long and was built in 1850. It has undergone three major repairs in recent years, 2001, 2011, and 2013 to repair flood damage. Today, though, the bridge has been restored to its original beauty.
Given the setting, this, like the other two covered bridges in Sullivan County, is a bridge that is worth seeing for its stunning setting.
Getting to HIllsgrove Covered Bridge: Hillsgrove Covered Bridge is located on Covered Bridge Road, only about a quarter mile off of Route 87 near Loyalsock State Forest.
If you are coming from the Forksville area to the Northwest, the turn off onto Splash Dam Road is very sharp and comes up quickly, so make sure to use caution when driving to the bridge.
Parking at this bridge can be tricky due to private property signs, but there seems to be a small pull-off area on the far side of the bridge. It’s worth noting that Hillsgrove Covered Bridge is probably the loudest covered bridge I have ever driven across.
GPS coordinates for the bridge are 41.460777, -76.670833.
[Click here for information on how to use coordinates to find your destination.]