Location: Athens County
America’s covered bridges are one of the nation’s most treasured architectural achievements, and Athens County is proud to claim three of the eighteen covered bridges in the Hocking Hills region.
Popular in the late 1800s, covered bridges served two purposes: their barn-like appearance made it easier to transport cattle across them; and builders discovered that protecting a bridge’s underpinnings with a roof meant the bridge could stand for seventy to eighty years, as opposed to an uncovered bridge’s lifespan of ten to fifteen years.
If you’re in the mood for a little driving adventure, take a tour of these relics of another age. The back roads of Athens County are home to these great covered bridges:
Blackwood Covered Bridge
Blackwood Road (Co. Rd. 46)
Built in 1881, the Blackwood Bridge spans Shade Creek.
Directions from the City of Athens: Take Route 33 south toward Meigs County. Turn left on County Road 89/Rainbow Lake Road. At Pratts Fork, take a left on County Road 45/King Road, then turn right on Twp. Road 45/Carter Road at the Copper Top Inn Bed and Breakfast. Turn right on County Road 44/Bucks Lake Road. In about two miles, turn left on to County Road 46/Blackwood Road.
Township Rd. 332, spanning Sunday Creek
photo by Steve Mather
Directions from the City of Athens: Take Route 33 north toward Columbus, exiting at Routes 550/13. Take Route 13 north through Chauncey, about four miles. Turn right on Twp. Road 332/Monserat Ridge Road.
Palos Covered Bridge
Township Rd. 347, spanning Sunday Creek
Directions from the City of Athens: Take Route 33 north toward Columbus, exiting at Routes 550/13. Take Route 13 north through Glouster. Turn right on Twp. Road 347/Red Rock Road.