Discovering the Local Covered Bridges of Central PA
The covered bridges of Juniata County, with their rugged beauty, are long-standing landmarks of the peaceful Central Pennsylvania landscape. Whether it's for that perfect Instagram shot or to appreciate these touchstones to local history, the three local covered bridges are great way for you and the family to step into natural scenes that look like a Norman Rockwell painting come to life.
The Three Bridges of Juniata County
First off, let's travel to the Academia Pomeroy Covered Bridge. This big beauty still holds the record for longest covered bridge remaining in the state at 278 feet across the Tuscarora Creek. Cars aren't permitted on the bridge, but truthfully, walking across it is the best way to experience it. You appreciate the workmanship of the bridge even more, and it allows you to read the signposts with the bridge’s history. A guest book even awaits you there so you can record that you visited the bridge.
Next, the Port Royal Covered Bridge (or Lehman’s Cover Bridge, as it is better known) is another gorgeous relic of years gone by. Nestled into the natural beauty of the area, this bridge is privately owned, so please be respectful during your visit... cars are not permitted, but visitors are generally welcomed to look, walk, and admire the craftsmanship of the bridge. Partially destroyed by Hurricane Agnes in 1972, the bridge has since been restored to its former glory and is on the National Registry of Historic Places.
The East Oriental Covered Bridge spans the 90 feet gap across the Mahantango Creek between Juniata and Snyder Counties, making it the shortest covered bridge in the county. It also is known as Meiser’s Covered Bridge and Sheaffer Covered Bridge. While in a slight state of disrepair, the bridge still makes for picturesque viewing against the backdrop of the Juniata countryside. It's recommended to view this bridge from a nearby public area, as it is privately-owned and there is no public access currently to walk it.
When is the Best Time to Visit?
Covered bridges are worth seeing all year round, but in our opinion, fall is the absolute best time to go see all three. A carpet of orange leaves leads your footsteps up the path to the wooden planks of the bridge. The sunlight falling through the surrounding trees creates slanted beams to light your way as you cross the historic walkways. There's a scenic beauty to all three bridges no matter the season, so any time you're here is the right time to visit.
Where Can I Find Them?
Exploring any of the covered bridges around Juniata County is relatively easy, and no matter what order you visit them in, the drive there is often as scenic and enjoyable as the bridges themselves:
--Port Royal Covered Bridge sits right outside of Port Royal on Memory Lane, easily within walking distance of downtown Port Royal.
--The Academia Pomeroy Covered Bridge is a bit more secluded; you can find it just off of 3013 on the Covered Bridge Road.
--The East Oriental Covered Bridge is just outside East Oriental proper on private property. Remember to be mindful of the private ownership and view the bridge from a safe distance on public land.
Covered bridges are a key part of our American story, and they remain a testament to our history and heritage. As the perfect complements to Juniata County's natural beauty, the covered bridges are a great way to spend an afternoon during your stay at Buttonwood Campground and enjoy the sights and scenery of the local area. Make sure to incorporate them into your vacation with us in Central Pennsylvania!