The Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Tour

Sponsored article.

To all 19 covered bridges located in Ashtabula County.

Thank you for allowing me to spend time with each and every one of you. I will always remember the special sounds each of you made as I drove upon your timbers, the way the light streamed through your maze of wooden beam and truss patterns, the smell of your weathered woods, and the peacefulness you shared. Until we meet again.

This past year, I had the opportunity to take the covered bridge drive-it-yourself through Ashtabula County.  Although, I had toured the county previously visiting many of the area wineries, unique museums, sampling the local food, and enjoying Lake Erie sunsets, I never really took the time to hit the back roads of the county.

Doyle Bridge - Ashtabula County Photo: Diane Rock
Doyle Bridge #14 | Photo credit: Diane Rock MyOhioFun.com

For the first day of my covered bridge self-driving tour, I decided to start in the middle and head east.  With bridge map in hand and coordinates entered into my GPS; I set out to find my first bridge along the trail.

This might be a good time to let you know that you will see five different styles of truss patterns used amongst the 19 covered bridges; Burr Arch, Town Lattice Truss; Howe Truss; Inverted Haupt Truss, and the Pratt Truss.  (You can learn more about each unique truss pattern in the Ashtabula County Bridge map and/or app.)

Netcher Bridge Ashtabula County Ohio
Netcher Bridge Inverted Haupt Truss Pattern | Photo credit: Diane Rock

 

Ashtabula Covered Bridge Truss
Pratt Truss | Photo credit: Diane Rock MyOhioFun.com

THE BRIDGES

 

Netcher Covered Bridge
Netcher Covered Bridge | Photo credit: Diane Rock

 

Bridge #1: The Netcher Bridge

Truss pattern: Inverted Haupt 

Address: 1544 Netcher Rd., Jefferson

For many who take the trail,  the Netcher Bridge with its “Neo Victorian” design will find its way to the top of their favorite bridges. Opened to traffic in 1999, its charming red color and intricate arches and trusses, create a perfect spot to get out and take photos. It was such a sunny and peaceful day when I visited, I found myself spending quite a bit of time walking the bridge and taking an abundance of photos.

 


 

South Denmark Bridge Ashtabula County Ohio
South Denmark | Photo credit: Diane Rock

Bridge #2: The South Denmark Bridge

Truss pattern: Town Lattice

Address: 2670 S. Denmark Rd., Jefferson

The South Denmark Bridge was built in 1890 to span the Mill Creek.  When I walked the bridge, I could smell the weathered trusses.  The wildflowers against the weathered grey wood just added to the charm of this rustic bridge. Make sure you notice the additional boards on the floor as you drive over the bridge.

What I really liked about this bridge is that you could just keep driving around in a circle and keep going over the bridge. Okay, I did it five times. Hopefully, the neighbors didn’t think I was crazy.

South Denmark Bridge
South Denmark Bridge | Photo credit: Diane Rock MyOhioFun.com

The next two bridges are located in Pierpont Township.  One of the bridges you can drive through and one of them sits in a small park alongside the road.

Caine Bridge Ashtabula County Ohio
Caine Bridge | Photo credit: Diane Rock

Bridge #3: The Caine Bridge 

Truss pattern: Pratt

Address: 4699 Caine Rd., Pierpont Township

The Caine Bridge was built in 1986 and was the first Pratt Truss bridge in the state.  If you have the time, take a minute and look at the truss pattern. Depending on the position of the sun, the light from the windows creates a beautiful cast of light in the bridge.

 

Bridge #4: The Graham Bridge

Address: 4648 Graham Rd., Pierpont Township

In 1913 there was a flood that demolished many bridges.  The Graham bridge was built out of remnants from a bridge that was lost during the flood. The bridge also features one of the quilt art pieces that are part of the Ashtabula Barn Quilt Trail.

Fun Facts:

> Over 80 different covered bridges once called Ashtabula County home.
> Many of the covered bridges were lost in the Great Flood of 1913.
> Bridges were covered to protect their trusses.
> In 1980 there were only 14 bridges left in the county. Today there are 19.

 


 

Bridge #5 The Root Bridge.

Truss pattern: Town Lattice 

Address:  4680 Root Rd., Conneaut

Built in 1868, this bridge had to be raised 18 feet during its rehabilitation.  Just like the Caine Bridge, depending on the time of day of your visit and the brightness of the sun. the light that beams through the town lattice truss pattern is beautiful. The weathered wood just adds to the bridges charm.

 


The Middle Bridge Ashtabula County Ohio
Middle Bridge | Photo credit: Diane Rock

Bridge #6:  The Middle Bridge. 

Truss pattern: Howe 

Address:  910 Middle Rd., Conneaut

This beautiful old bridge was originally built in 1868.  Later on, it was rehabilitated by a group of volunteers. The Middle Bridge offers the visitor a chance to enjoy the peacefulness of the bridge as it sits quietly amongst its surroundings. The day I visited you could hear the birds chirping everywhere.  This bridge blends so well into its surroundings.  Of all the bridges, the Middle Bridge seemed to have more of that old, weathered smell, just adding to its charm.

Middle Bridge Ashtabula County - Photo Diane Rock
Middle Bridge – Ashtabula County | Photo credit: Diane Rock MyOhioFun.com

State Bridge Ashtabula County
State Bridge | Photo credit: Diane Rock

Bridge #7: The State Road Bridge.

Truss pattern: Town Lattice 

Address: 5899 State Rd., Conneaut

You will find both pine and oak in the construction of the State Road Bridge. Erected in 1983, the design of the bridge allows for optimal light, allowing visitors the opportunity to really see the bridges beautiful truss pattern. The dark stain of the bridge stands out during any season. For that reason, the State Bridge makes my top three Ashtabula County bridge list.

State Road Bridge - Ashtabula County
State Road Bridge – Ashtabula County | Photo credit: Diane Rock

 

Creek Bridge Ashtabula County Ohio
Creek Bridge | Photo credit: Diane Rock

Bridge #8: The Creek Bridge.

Truss pattern: Town Lattice

Address: 371 Creek Rd., Conneaut

Peaceful surroundings and benches. The perfect spot to enjoy a relaxing moment before heading off to your next bridge. I just wished I would have brought along a book; it was that peaceful. Parking is available. Watch out for cars coming through the bridge from above. In fact a polite beep is always welcome when approaching this bridge.

CONNEAUT

My Ohio Fun Road Trip notes:

Before I continued on the tour, I took a little detour to downtown Conneaut. There, I stopped at a famous outdoor drive-in called White Turkey Drive-In. The drive-in is open Mother’s Day through Labor Day. If you are lucky enough to be driving the trail during the summer season, I would suggest you stop and enjoy one of their famous turkey sandwiches or other classic sandwiches. Don’t forget to order a glass of their root beer. Still made the old-fashioned way in a barrel.  Address: 388 E. Main Rd., Conneaut

Sparky's Conneaut
Sparky’s Place Conneaut | Photo credit: Diane Rock MyOhioFun.com

If I had to suggest another place to eat in Conneaut, it would be Sparky’s Place.  A wonderful local restaurant with great owners, offering a nice selection of menu items. During a prior visit to the area, I sampled their flatbread and their salad topped with french fries. Really. They were topped with french fries.  I have a picture to prove it! Address:1001 Broad St., Conneaut.

Heavenly Creamery
Heavenly Creamery | Photo credit: Diane Rock MyOhioFun.com

What do you get when you cross a church and ice cream? A very “Heavenly Creamery”.  This divine seasonal ice cream stop offers small batch homemade ice cream. After one taste you will think you are in “heaven”.  The creamery is a perfect roadside attraction stop. How often can you say you had ice cream in a church? Flavors are updated on their Facebook page.  Address: 264 Sandusky St., Conneaut

If you love lighthouses, the Conneaut West Breakwater Light can be viewed from the shore at the harbor. 
Take Broad Street to the end.

Conneaut is also the place where every year thousands of World War reenactors converge for the reenactment of D-Day. “Since 1999, this annual recreation of the amphibious Allied landings upon the beaches of Normandy, France, has thrilled thousands of spectators. The event occurs within the beautifully kept grounds of Conneaut Township Park, Conneaut, Ohio, and assembles over 1,200 re-enactors from across the United States and Canada. Remarkably, the 250-yard-long beach and sloping adjacent terrain closely resemble Omaha Beach in Normandy, France.”  To learn more, see event listing here






 

Benetka Bridge - Ashtabula County Photo Diane Rock
Benetka Bridge – Ashtabula County | Photo credit: Diane Rock MyOhioFun.com

Bridge #9: The Benetka Bridge.

Truss pattern: Town Lattice 

Address: 4500 Benetka Rd., Sheffield Township

When visiting the Benetka Bridge you will find a little parking area off to the side.  What I liked about this bridge, unlike many of the others, you did not have to trek through wooded areas to view the bottom of a covered bridge. The day I visited the stream was low, allowing me to cautiously get up close to the underside of the bridge.


 

Olin's Bridge Photo credit Diane Rock
Olin Bridge | Photo credit Diane Rock MyOhioFun.com

Bridge #10 The Olin Bridge:

Truss pattern: Town Lattice

Address: 1880 Dewey Rd., Plymouth Township

Built in 1873, this rustic bridge spans the Ashtabula River below.  The Olin Bridge, once known as the Dewey Bridge, was renamed after the Olin Family, who lived on Dewey Road since the 1860’s and whose family had ties to the covered bridge.

Naomi Olin Bottorf, was born on Olin’s Hill and through her life she  fell in love with the area bridges and started to collect bridge items and artifacts. Today, you can visit the Olin’s Museum of Covered Bridges, as well learn about the Olin family’s history to one special covered bridge.  (Open June through October and year-round by appointment.)

My Ohio Fun Road Trip note:

Brant's Apple Orchard Ashtabula
Brant’s Apple Orchard | Photo credit: Diane Rock MyOhioFun.com

If traveling the trail in the fall, please swing by Brant’s Apple Orchard on your way to Benetka or the Olin bridge. Although they are known for their various varieties of apples and cider, they also have a bakery area.  My suggestion, try the Grilled Cheese Panini with the side of apple slices. So, good. And for home, purchase a dozen of their apple cider donuts.  Address: 4749 Dibble Rd, Ashtabula Seasonal (Open during apple season in mid-August.)


 

Bridge #11 The Smolen-Gulf Bridge.

Truss pattern: Pratt 

Address:  7001 State Rd., Ashtabula

The Smolen-Gulf Bridge was dedicated in 2008. The bridge is the longest covered bridge in the U.S. It measures 613 feet long.  For those who would prefer to walk the bridge and take in the views above the Ashtabula River, may do so. There is a special parking area near the bridge, as well as a special pedestrian walkway that runs the length of the bridge.  If you visit in the fall, the views are spectacular. Make sure you look down to spot the next bridge on the trail.

Riverview Pedestrian Bridge Ashtabula County Ohio
Riverview Bridge | Photo credit: Diane Rock

Bridge #12 The Riverview Bridge.

Truss pattern: Pratt 

Address: 4761 State Rd., Ashtabula

Located under the great Smolen-Gulf Bridge, the Riverview Bridge is located in Indians Trail Park. The bridge was dedicated in 2016 and only carries park foot traffic across the Ashtabula River.  To access the bridge, you will need to park in the Indian Trails Park parking lot. (This is the same parking lot that you parked in to visit the Smolen-Gulf Bridge.) Google Map.

Dedicated in 2016, the Riverview Bridge is the most recent bridge to be added to the trail.


JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP
The Giddings Bridge | Photo credit: Diane Rock | MyOhioFun.com

Bridge #13: The Giddings Bridge.

Truss pattern: Pratt

Address: 1400 Giddings Rd., Jefferson

Unlike many of the other bridges on the tour, the Giddings Bridge would be considered a teenager. Built in 1995, this bridge was built using the Pratt Truss pattern. Make sure you take a minute and look at the upper part of the structure inside. The pattern creates an almost raised roof appearance.

Giddings Bridge - Ashtabula County Photo credit: Diane Rock
Giddings Bridge – Pratt Truss | Photo credit: Diane Rock MyOhioFun.com

 

Doyle Bridge - Ashtabula County Ohio
Doyle Bridge | Photo credit: Diane Rock | MyOhioFun.com

Bridge #14: The Doyle Bridge.

Truss pattern: Town Lattice

Address: 1300 Doyle Rd., Jefferson

Although, I enjoyed seeing all the bridges on the tour, the Doyle Bridge makes my list of the top three favorite bridges.  I loved reading about the history of this old bridge. Supposedly, a carpenter from Vermont, came to the area and built the bridge, copying a bridge with the same truss design in his hometown. Please be careful and watch for oncoming traffic when visiting the bridge.

 

Doyle Bridge - Ashtabula County Photo: Diane Rock
Doyle Bridge – Ashtabula County | Photo credit: Diane Rock MyOhioFun.com

 


 

My Ohio Fun Road Trip notes:


The Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Festival office is located at 25 West Jefferson St., Jefferson.  The staff at the festival office is extremely knowledgeable about all of the bridges.  During hours of operation, you can stop by and purchase any of their available covered bridge items for sale, including their yearly calendar, covered bridge ornaments, postcards, blankets, and more. Items are listed for sale on their website and shipping is available.  (Pictured above is one of the available ornaments. )

Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9:30 am – 3:00 pm. Closed Saturday and Sunday. To learn more, visit their website.


GENEVA
West Liberty Bridge Ashtabula County
West Liberty Bridge | Photo credit: Diane Rock

Bridge #15: The West Liberty Bridge.

Truss pattern: Kingpost and Scissor

Address:  94 W. Liberty St., Geneva

Located in Downtown Geneva, the west Liberty Bridge is the shortest bridge in the U.S. This adorable bridge is only 18 ft. long. Parking is available nearby if you would like to “walk” across the bridge, as well as take a minute and read about how the bridge was made.

My Ohio Fun Road Trip notes:

Mary's Diner - Geneva
Mary’s Diner, Geneva | Photo credit: Diane Rock MyOhioFun.com

If you are hungry, may I suggest Mary’s Diner? This adorable 50’s themed diner is located in Geneva. Their menu offerings include all those classic diner favorites. Address: 666 E Main St, Geneva

 

Catherine's Christmas Shop Geneva

During the holiday season, I would also suggest you make a side trip to Catherine’s Christmas Shop. The rooms are filled from top to bottom with holiday ornaments, gifts, home decorations and more.  The shop normally opens in August and stays open through the holiday season. Visit their website for updates.
Address: 910 East Main St., Geneva

Rees' Corner
Root Beer Float – Rees’ Corner, Geneva – Photo credit: Diane Rock

If you love sitting at an old-fashioned soda shop, Rees’ Corner is your stop.  You will enjoy stepping back in time in this once local drugstore, which to this day runs one of the last remaining soda fountains in the state.  Take a minute and check out their pharmaceutical museum that pays tribute to the store’s pharmacy roots.
Address: 18 South Broadway, Geneva, OH 44041

 


 

Mill Creek Metroparks
Advertisement | YoungstownLive.com

 


The Harpersfield Bridge
The Harpersfield Bridge | Photo credit: Diane Rock | MyOhioFun.com

Bridge #16: The Harpersfield Bridge.

Truss pattern: Howe

Address: 1122 Harpersfield Rd., Geneva

If you want to pack a lunch and spend time enjoying the sounds of the Grand River waterfall and views of the second longest bridge in the county, the Harpersfield Bridge is your bridge.  The bridge sits within the Harpersfield Covered Bridge Metropark, which is part of the Ashtabula County Metropark system.  There are picnic tables, swings, and bathrooms.  During the warmer months, The Covered Bridge Shoppe is open.

My Ohio Fun Road Trip notes:

> If you are completing the Ashtabula Covered Bridge Trail, please note cell reception is not always the best around the bridge.  I found when “checking-in” to the app, I had the best reception just coming down the hill near the gift shop area.

> If you want to enjoy a picnic at the bridge and did not pack anything, Route 534 north to Geneva you will find a selection of local restaurants, fast food establishments and gas stations offering sandwiches and drinks.

> Robinson’s Apple Barn at the corner of Routes 534 & 307 in Geneva is another place you can stop to pick up produce and snack items.

South River Vineyard | Photo credit: Diane Rock
South River Vineyard | Photo credit: Diane Rock MyOhioFun.com

> Only a few miles in each direction from the bridge you will find local wineries that are part of the Grand River Valley.  Suggestions: Laurello Vineyards, Ferrante Winery & Ristorante, Harpersfield Vineyard, M CellarsHundley Cellars, Kosicek Vineyards, and South River Vineyard.


Mechanicsville Bridge Ashtabula County
Mechanicsville Bridge | Photo credit: Diane Rock

Bridge #17: The Mechanicsville Bridge.

Truss pattern: Howe Truss with Arch

Address: 1153 Mechanicsville Rd., Geneva

Built in 1867, and believed to be the oldest of all the bridges in Ashtabula County, the Mechanicsville Bridge’s white-washed looking exterior and red roof, just make this bridge extra special. Like a few of the other bridges around the county, the Mechanicsville Bridge is also one of the stops on the Ashtabula Barn Quilt Trail.

 

My Ohio Fun Road Trip note:

>  Be very careful if you decide to get out of your car to visit the bridge.  There is a parking area, but cars coming down the hill and around the corner do at times seem like they are going superfast.

> Hungry? Directly across from the bridge is the Oldest Tavern in the County, “Grand River Manor“.  I did not have time to stop at the tavern, but the day I visited the parking lot was full.  According to their Facebook page, they offer a typical tavern menu of burgers, wings and specials.


Riverdale Bridge Ashtabula County Ohio
Riverdale Bridge | Photo credit: Diane Rock

Bridge #18: The Riverdale Bridge.

Truss pattern: Town Lattice 

Address:  3349 Riverdale Rd., Rock Creek

The Riverdale Bridge has sure been given a lot of tender loving care. Over its lifetime steel bracing was added to offer additional support. Later the floor was rebuilt, and girders were added. In 1987, a abutment was needed to be added do to a flood washed the out the east end. Through all it’s reconstruction, the Riverdale Bridge still invites visitors to drive across its timbers to the other side.

My Ohio Fun Road Trip note: 

I suggest entering the bridge off of S. Main Street in Rock Creek, then turning around.  The road straight through is a bit rough.  Although passable and locals drive to their homes, the road consists of a thick stone base. Not the easiest miles I drove on the trail. 


Windsor Mills Covered Bridge | Photo credit: Diane Rock MyOhioFun.com

 

Bridge #19: The Windsor Mills Bridge.

Truss pattern: Town Lattice 

Address: 7696 Warner Hollow Rd., Windsor

Making my top 3 of Ashtabula County Bridges, this 1867 bridge has all the charm with its rustic yellow paint, small outer windows and beautiful trusses. Being my final bridge of the tour, I pulled over and spent time listening to the creek below and birds. That day I even heard a barred owl in the background.

 

Windsor Mills Bridge - Ashtabula County | Photo credit: Diane Rock
Windsor Mills Bridge – Ashtabula County | Photo credit: Diane Rock MyOhioFun.com
Reflections

Living an hour away, I completed the trail in three visits to the area.  I took my time at each bridge location, as well as allowed time to explore other stops along the way.  Had my influencer traveling schedule not been as hectic at the time, I would of preferred to stay overnight in the county and spend more time exploring places around all the bridges, as well as allow time to revisit the historic Ashtabula Harbor area. Stay tuned for more about Ashtabula County, as I will be traveling back to the area for part 2 of my series called the “Unwine Side of Ashtabula County”.

 


Covered Bridge Pizza Parlor
Covered Bridge Pizza Parlor | Photo credit: Diane Rock

The Covered Bridge Pizza Parlor & Eatery
Rt. 193 North Kingsville, Ohio 440-224-0497
380 East Main Street, Andover, Ohio 440-293-6776

Where else can you enjoy pizza in one of the oldest known covered bridges in Ohio, but in Ashtabula County. Originally known as the Foreman Road Bridge, this historic bridge was dismantled and then reconstructed to make two pizza parlors. One in North Kingsville and the other in Andover.

 

MY OHIO FUN ROAD TRIP NOTES:

Before you go:

> THERE IS AN APP FOR THAT! In 2022, the Ashtabula County Convention & Visitors Bureau activated a Covered Bridge Trail App.  As you check in at each of the bridges, you can start earning special bridge merchandise. Details can be found here.

> Visit the Ashtabula County Convention & Visitor’s website to view their Travel guide, request a FREE copy, and/or to check out their list of itineraries.

>  I would never tell anyone to stand in the middle of the road to take photos, but what I will tell you is that you will find plenty of room around the bridges to get out of your car and marvel at these beautiful structures.

> To view all the bridges I would suggest two to three days. Although you could probably see all the bridges in a day, sunup to sun down, if you made no other stops, but why would you want to?

> If you are planning on staying at one of the area hotels, bed and breakfasts or campgrounds, please make reservations ahead of time.

> Most shopping, dining and accommodation locations take credit cards.  There are banks and ATM’s throughout the county.

> The trail includes back roads that consists of stones and some dirt.  You may not want to drive your Ferrari.

> As with any adventure, I advise everyone to stay off private property and to be careful when near rivers, streams and roads. This trail is at your own risk. Please also check the weather for potential area flooding before heading out. 

> 🍁 If you love covered bridges the 37th Annual Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Festival is taking place October 8-9, 2022.

What to bring:

A camera.  Always pack a cooler for those perishables you may find along the way.  Bring appropriate shoes for any outdoor walking or adventures.

Driving miles to Bridge #1:

From Akron – 90 miles
From Charleston, WV – 300 miles
From Cincinnati – 320 miles
From Cleveland – 70 miles
From Columbus – 202 miles
From Pittsburgh, PA – 120 miles
From Toledo – 180 miles

Where to stay:

You can find plenty of accommodations around Ashtabula County. Chain hotels, bed & breakfasts, unique cabins, as well as camping locations.  Our friends at the Ashtabula County Convention & Visitors Bureau are happy to assist you in finding the best accommodations for your visit.

 


Want to learn more? The staff at the Ashtabula County Convention and Visitors Bureau can help you plan your trip, find accommodations, as well as send you a FREE visitor guide. If you find yourself in town you can also stop by. There office is located 1850 Austinburg Road, Austinburg, OH 44010.

800-337-6746 | visitashtabulacounty.com

Want to learn more about the other covered bridges ?  Click here.

 


 


Article and photos, unless noted by: D. Rock, MyOhioFun.com

Diane Rock is the owner and editor of MyOhioFun.com, NorthernOhioTourism.com and the Tea Cup Rescue Society. She is an avid baker, gardener, Little Free Library owner, who loves to read and travel.  She spends most of her days sharing her love of things to do in Ohio, as well as creating destinations and itineraries for group tours and individual travelers.

 

Follow us on Instagram #MyOhioFun.

Editor’s note:  Any use of the above article or images without prior permission, will be in violation of copyright laws. 

Disclosure: I was given advertising compensation from the Ashtabula County Convention & Visitors Bureau. All opinions are my own.

***Disclosure:  My Ohio Fun receives compensation from advertising banners.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

 


 

 

Ohio Vacation ideas
Order one of our FREE Ohio Road Trip Mailbox Blasts.