Pennsylvania is often recognized as the birthplace of covered bridge building. From the 1820’s to 1900 there were about 1500 covered bridges built in Pennsylvania. Because many state residents realized the importance of these historic bridges, Pennsylvania has the largest number of covered bridges in the nation. Today 219 bridges remain in 40 counties (Pennsylvania has a total of 67 counties). Lancaster County has 28 covered bridges and has more than any other county. While covered bridges are sometimes called kissing bridges, the real reason for the covering is to protect the bridge’s truss design from the weather.

One covered bridge is on the way to Paradise, a small village east of Lancaster City. Built in 1893, the Paradise Bridge is supported by the Theodore Burr arch and crosses over the Pequea Creek on Belmont Road. Located in the heart of Amish country, bridge traffic includes buggies as well as cars. So, slow down, take a deep breath and listen for the clip-clop of horses’ hooves crossing the bridge surface. It’s like being in another country and another time.

The longest covered bridge in the world was built in Lancaster County in 1814. It crossed the Susquehanna River between Columbia and Wrightsville, a distance of over a mile (5,960 feet). Ice and high water destroyed it in 1832.

For visitors and guests at one of our Authentic B&B Association members, you will find at least one covered bridge nearby. To get an in-depth background to the history, descriptions, statistics, locations and driving tours of the 28 covered bridges in Lancaster county, you can put these words into Google or Yahoo “covered bridges Lancaster county pa”, and then enjoy reading and seeing beautiful pictures of one of our County’s treasures.

An example of a nearby covered bridge is the Neffs’s Mill Bridge, a single span Burr Arch with a total length of 103 feet. It lies at the bottom of Bridge Road and Penn Grant Road and carries your auto over the Pequea Creek.
The bridge has excellent areas to take photographs especially from the south side of the bridge.

The Innkeepers at each of the Bed & Breakfast Inns of the Authentic Bed & Breakfast Association will help you find your way around the County to enjoy some of the most fascinating structures built by our ancestors.

Submitted by Tom and Sarah Murphy, Walnut Lawn Bed & Breakfast