Rise and shine! It's time for a drive around Lancaster County to see the many covered bridges the area is known for. Before you begin your adventure, stop by Shady Maple Smorgasbord or Yoder's Restaurant & Buffet for a selection of traditional breakfast items that will keep you satisfied until lunch time.
Let the drive begin! The bridges listed below are a short drive from each other and will lead you towards the town of Leola for lunch.
Weaver's Mill Covered Bridge spans the Conestoga Creek on Weaverland Road, and was built in 1878. It's frequently used by Amish horse and buggies, and was once called the White Hill Mill Bridge.
Pool Forge Covered Bridge spans the Conestoga Creek on the Historic Pool Forge property. It was supposedly the bridge where President James Buchanan met his fiance, who unfortunately passed away before they could marry. This bridge was once known as the Yohn's Mill Bridge and was built in 1859.
Bitzer's Mill Bridge spans the Conestoga Creek on Cats Back Road, and was once known as the Martin's Mill Bridge, Eberly's Cider Mill Bridge, and Fiantz's Mill Bridge. Built in 1846, this is the oldest in-use covered bridge in the county. In fact, because this bridge is so old, and because it rests over a shallow creek, steel "I" beams were installed under the floor to help support the foundation.
Hunsecker's Mill Covered Bridge spans the Conestoga Creek on Hunsicker Road, and was built in 1848. It's the longest single-span covered bridge in the county, and was rebuilt in 1973 after rising waters from Hurricane Agnes.
Once you've ventured to the first four bridges, you may be getting hungry. Nearby are two great lunch options to take a break from driving the backroads: Gracie's on West Main (serving American diner and comfort food classics from breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and Freeze and Frizz (hamburgers, BBQ, hot dogs, subs, hand-dipped and soft serve ice cream, and milkshakes).
Once you're back behind the wheel, explore these covered bridges in the afternoon.
Eshelman's Mill Covered Bridge spans the Pequea Creek on Belmont Road. This bridge, sometimes referred to as the Paradise Bridge, was built in 1845, then rebuilt in 1893.
Herr's Mill Covered Bridge spans the Pequea Creek on Ronks Road, and was once known as the Soudersburg Bridge. It was built in 1844, and can no longer be driven. At 178 feet in length, this bridge is one of the few double-span, double arch covered bridges left in the United States.
Before you head to the final bridges of the day, stop by one of these Strasburg restaurant options for dinner: Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn (PA Dutch classics served buffet-style) or Fireside Tavern (cozy bar and restaurant with American-style entree, burgers and sandwiches, and more).
As the sun gets lower in the sky, head west towards the final bridges of the day as you head towards the final destination - a cozy bed & breakfast.
Lime Valley Covered Bridge spans the Pequea Creek on Brenneman Road, and was built in 1871. Originally it was known as Huntzinger's Mill Bridge, and was a twin bridge as it mirror an older bridge located near the current bridge.
Baumgardener's Covered Bridge spans the Pequea Creek on Byerland Church Road, and is in a somewhat hidden location. It was rebuilt in 1987 after being damaged by floods.
A short drive away from the last bridge of the day, are two wonderful bed & breakfast options for an overnight stay.
Pheasant Run Bed & Breakfast offers seclusion, country elegance, and a peaceful place to relax. This estate dates back to 1842, but is beautifully restored for today's guests. After a restful night, enjoy breakfast in their dining room before heading out to explore more.
French Country Manor Bed and Breakfast is unique, historic and meticulously restored from the 1800s. The amenities offered will add comfort and luxury to your visit. Take in the beautiful surroundings as you enjoy breakfast on the deck.