A Covered Bridge Draws Visitors to the Beauty of the Cuyahoga Valley

Heading into the Cuyahoga Valley National Park early Saturday morning, the sky is sparkling blue and the meadow flowers are popping. Already, runners and hikers are meeting at the picturesque covered bridge to begin their morning exercise.

photo of sunlight streaming before bridge

The sun’s rays give the bridge a magical air.

Photo of entrance to covered bridge

Getting a closer look.

 

The original bridge was built in 1877. It was most recently reconstructed by the National Park Service in 1986.

photo bridge roof

Triangular supports add strength and visual interest.

The bridge was initially built following the tragic drowning of John Gilson. Gilson was a farmer in the valley. He and his wife were swept into the high waters of the creek as they attempted to cross following a winter storm. Mrs. Gilson survived but her husband did not.

photo of interior of covered bridge

The striking truss design was patented by Robert Smith circa 1870.

A Hopewell burial site was uncovered by construction workers during one of the rebuilds. Since then, stories of night-time hauntings continue to circulate.

Photo of bridge entrance closed to traffic

The bridge is now closed to traffic.

After the last rebuild, the bridge was closed to all but foot traffic, in order to preserve it. It is the last covered bridge in Summit County, Ohio; though, Ohio still boasts 138 covered bridges.

photo of ironweed plants

Ironweed shines with magenta blooms

On our way back to the car, we walk past giant prairie wildflowers that reach six feet above the meadow floor.

photo of yellow crownbeard

Yellow crownbeard is loved by the bumblebees.

photo of meadow bordered by woods

A long view of the meadow’s edge

 

If you have a chance, visit the covered bridge in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park!

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