However, with every passing year, these simple wooden structures have grown to epitomize the peace and beauty of rural life. A covered bridge today is a reminder of the craftsmanship of our ancestors, and of life without all of the hustle and bustle of the modern world. For adults who recall days spent playing or fishing in the streams beneath the bright red spans, these bridges symbolize the nostalgia of childhood. Columbia & Montour Counties have 25 of Pennsylvania’s remaining covered bridges, and are the perfect destination for seeing these American treasures in person. The counties recently unveiled a new, free digital passport program that rewards visitors who check in with their mobile phones at each bridge. Those who visit 13 bridges will be mailed a free embroidered patch commemorating their journey and travelers who check in at all 25 bridges will be entered into a sizeable year-end prize drawing. A free printed driving tour map of the bridges is available as well, and can be requested from the Visitors Bureau’s website.
As one of the most iconic sights in the Central Pennsylvania countryside, covered bridges are a reminder of simpler times of days gone by. Pennsylvania has nearly 200 covered bridges still standing – the most in the United States. Covered bridges were created for a variety of reasons, but most related to the longevity of the bridge. Simply put, building a roof over the bridge would lengthen its lifespan by slowing the impact of wear and tear from weather and wood rot.
To learn more about the area’s historic bridges or the digital passport, please visit: itourcolumbiamontour.com/covered-bridges.
Davis Covered Bridge Photo by Margie Hunsinger
2022 TRAVEL GUIDE 21
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