Scenic USA - Ohio
Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Tour
|Photos by Jack Ryan
Jack Ryan Photography
Following 230 miles along the Lake Erie shoreline, the Lake Erie Coastal Byway is one of Ohio's newest scenic drives. Beginning in Lorain, the eastern section of the byway highlights the coast, two lighthouses and four public beaches and ends in Ashtabula County.
Sometimes called the Napa Valley of the East, Ashtabula County is home to 16 wineries and the largest grape growing region in the state. The climate, moderated by the waters of Lake Erie and the Grand River, not only provide a unique growing region, but offers cool lake breezes during the summer.
Tucked into the northeast corner of the state, Ashtabula County is also known for its unique collection of picturesque covered bridges. The Grand River, Ashtabula River, Conneaut Creek and their tributaries provide plenty of scenic sites for the county's 18 covered bridges. Boasting both the longest and shortest covered bridges in America, the county's assortment of new and historic bridges form the main feature of the Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Festival. Held the second full weekend in October, the bridge festival includes crafts, entertainment, kidís rides and games, a farmers market, parade and loads of good food.
Covered bridge fans may enjoy both sections of the covered bridge tour. The North and Eastern Tour features 12 bridges, including the longest covered bridge in the United States. The South and Western Tour includes the 18 foot long Liberty Street Bridge, considered the shortest covered bridge in America. Covered bridge tours begin in Jefferson, with both routes totaling nearly 140 miles. Following back roads over half of the county, the auto tour is a great way to enjoy the bridges as well as the beautiful scenery in Ohio's wine country of the Grand River Valley.
Ashtabula Covered Bridge Tour Guide
Main photo: Root Road Bridge (Built in 1868 - crossing the Ashtabula River)
Top left inset: Giddings Road Bridge (completed 1999)
Top right inset: Windsor Mills Bridge (Wiswell Road Bridge - circa 1867)
Middle inset: Smolen-Gulf Bridge (longest covered bridge in the United States, completed 2008)
Bottom left inset: Mechanicsville Bridge (circa 1867, oldest bridge and longest single span bridge in the county)
Botton right inset: Netcher Road Bridge (Neo Victorian design - completed 1999)
Additional Area Attractions
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