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Posted by on Jan 28, 2015 in Road Trip Archive | 5 comments

Visiting the Covered Bridges of Somerset County, PA.

Frozen Waterfalls Beneath Pack Saddle Covered Bridge - January 2015.

This past weekend I had a chance to visit 6 of Somerset County, PA's 10 covered bridges.

My bridge run started on Friday afternoon, as I returned from Ohiopyle State Park in Fayette County (which you can see photos of HERE). Driving north on Route 281 from Confluence, I made a left onto Humbert Road/State Road 3007 and traveled the short distance to the Lower Humbert Covered Bridge.

Lower Humbert Covered Bridge - winter side view.

The Lower Humbert Covered Bridge (126 feet long), also known as the Faidley Bridge, is open to vehicle traffic and is owned and maintained by the county.

Originally built in 1891 by an unknown builder, it was rebuilt in 1991. It crosses over Laurel Hill Creek and utilizes Burr Arch truss construction.

Returning to Route 281 and continuing north, I cut across Whipkey Dam Road to Route 653 near Sculton, where Kings Covered Bridge is located.

Kings Covered Bridge - winter front view.

Kings Covered Bridge (127 feet long) is privately owned and not open to vehicle traffic. Originally built in 1906 by an unknown builder, it was rebuilt in 2009 and is in excellent condition. A picnic pavilion adjacent to the parking lot makes for a nice creek side lunch spot in warmer weather. The bridge crosses over Laurel Hill Creek and utilizes Burr Arch truss construction.


Kings Covered Bridge - winter side view.

Cutting across Ream Road and then making a right on Covered Bridge Road brought me to the Barronvale Covered Bridge.

Barronvale Covered Bridge - winter front view.

The Barronvale Covered Bridge is privately owned and no longer open to vehicle traffic. The longest covered bridge in Somerset County (162 feet), its nameplate indicates a construction date of 1830, but the World Guide to Covered Bridges lists the construction date as 1902. In either case, it is an impressive sight to see.

The Barronvale Covered Bridge crosses over Laurel Hill Creek and utilizes Burr Arch truss construction.

Barronvale Covered Bridge - winter side view.

Running low on battery life due to the cold weather and the many photos I had taken that day, I resumed following the bridge trail on Saturday morning.

First stop - the Glessner Covered Bridge.

Glessner Covered Bridge - winter front view.

The Glessner Covered Bridge (90 feet long) is open to vehicle traffic and is owned and maintained by the county. Originally built in 1881 by Tobias Glessner, it was rehabilitated in 1998. The bridge crosses over the Stoneycreek River and utilizes Burr Arch truss construction.

My next stop took me down Route 31, over White Horse Mountain, to the Pack Saddle Bridge near Fairhope.

One of the most scenic spots in all of Somerset County, I spent over an hour here exploring the photo-ops from a wide variety of angles.

 

Pack Saddle Covered Bridge - downstream view.

The Pack Saddle Covered Bridge (48 feet long), also known as the Doc Miller Bridge, is open to vehicle traffic and is owned and maintained by the county. Originally built in 1870 by an unknown builder, it was heavily damaged by flooding on Jan 19, 1996. It was restored in 1998.

The Pack Saddle Covered Bridge crosses over Brush Creek and it utilizes Multiple Kingpost truss construction.

Pack Saddle Covered Bridge - winter front view.
Pack Saddle Covered Bridge - winter side view.

My final bridge visit of the weekend took place near my hometown of Berlin at the Burkholder Covered Bridge.

Burkholder Covered Bridge - winter front view.

The Burkholder Covered Bridge (52 feet long), also known as the Althouse Bridge or the Beechdale Bridge, is open to vehicle traffic and is owned and maintained by the county. Originally built in 1870 by an unknown builder, it was rehabilitated in 1990.


The Burkholder Covered Bridge crosses over Buffalo Creek. It utilizes Burr Arch truss construction, and is located along Burkholder Bridge Road in Brothersvalley Township.

So that's the recap of my weekend covered bridge safari. I hope you enjoyed the photos and found the information useful. If you haven't already, be sure to check out my website dedicated to all 10 Somerset County Covered Bridges HERE and bookmark it in your web browser for future reference.

5 Comments

  1. Rusty–Jim Glessner here from Monroe WI. I was searching for info on the Glessner covered bridge and found your photos. My great uncle Tobias built the bridge. I’m interested to inquire if we might be related. I can trace back to Jacob Glessner who immigrated to US with his brother Heinrich (Henry) from Germany.
    Making trip to SW PA last week of August with son and grandson to see bridge and also to locate and see cemetery where my ancestors rest. Any info would be appreciated.

    Thanks Jim

    • Hi Jim – yes Jacob is on my family tree as well, so we are somehow distantly related. My family has been in the Berlin area since the late 1700’s. A good resource for your questions related to genealogy/burial sites is the Berlin Historical Society. Their website/contact info is http://berlinpa.org/. It’s an active association and their museum is worth checking out. Also, the Somerset Historical Society grounds/museum should be on your itinerary to learn more about the area. C.S. Glessner, local historian and my aunt, has numerous photos on display there. Hope you have a great trip. I might be in that vicinity that week doing senior portraits. If so, maybe we could meet up. Can’t promise anything as that schedule is dictated by the weather, but we can play it by ear and see.

    • I was just at the Glessner better today. Great sky and perfect creek level. My ancestors are from Buckstown and I made a new friend there that actually bought the Williamson homestead just a month ago.
      I made a watercolor of the bridge but it didn’t turn out good, I will do in the studio.
      Happy Travels,
      Jack

  2. I really like your Covered Bridge images. My parents are from the Somerset area, after seeing your images of the area I would like to come up and do some photographing myself.

    • Thanks Robert – the Laurel Highlands are a photographer’s paradise. You’ll have no trouble staying busy!

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