A beautiful scenic drive to add to your bucket list is discovering the covered bridges in Preble County, Ohio. Eight bridges can be found throughout the beautiful countryside dotted with charming small towns. It is said that every person in Preble County has a story about a covered bridge; it is time to add one to your memories.
Here is a guide to visiting the covered bridges of Preble County, which includes the oldest covered bridge in Ohio!
Where Is Preble County, Ohio
Preble County is in the southwestern part of Ohio right above Butler County. It takes roughly an hour to get to Preble County from Cincinnati. Eaton is the main town; however, there are tons of nearby small towns that are worth exploring. Especially Lewisburg, OH and nearby Richmond, IN.
Be sure to read these great Things to do in Richmond, Indiana.
History of Covered Bridges In Ohio
Covered bridges have been serving as a means of traversing ravines and rivers for over a century. However, today they are quite rare. Steel and concrete eventually replaced the wooden bridges as more automobiles took to the roads.
During it’s prime Ohio had 3,500 covered bridges. Today only 148 of those covered bridges remain with eight of them being found in Preble County, OH. Of those 8 remaining wooden bridges, six of them remain in operation.
Bridges began to get covered as a way of preserving the wood against the elements and rot. Engineers began to design the covered bridges with aesthetics in mind to add elegance to the bridge in its tranquil setting. Stumbling upon a covered bridge transports you back to simpler times, with horses and buggies, fishing poles, and romantic picnics.
Map Of Covered Bridges In Preble County, Ohio
Everett S. Sherman
A fun fact is that one man, Everett S. Sherman, built six of the covered bridges still standing in Preble County, OH. He made them using a Child’s truss, a particular design of a framework used while building bridges.
Originally from Delaware, OH Sherman came to Eaton in 1886. The bridges designed by Sherman are as follows: Warnke Bridge, Geeting Bridge, Dixon’s Bridge, Brubaker Bridge, Christman Bridge, and the Harshman Bridge.
A visit to the Preble County Historical Society will give an in-depth look into the history of the covered bridges of Preble County, OH, and other fun, interesting historical events that took place here. The Preble County Historical Society can be found on your way to the Brubaker Bridge on S. R. 122.
Covered Bridges In Preble County, Ohio
A scenic tour of Preble County’s bridges is roughly 75 miles long, depending on the route you choose. The route visits all eight bridges; however, there is plenty of other Sights To See In Preble County. Here a little history about each of the covered bridges in the area.
Be sure to pick up a map of all the bridges at the historical society or conveniently located at a few of the covered bridges.
Roberts Covered Bridge
As Ohio’s oldest covered bridge, Roberts Bridge is the centerpiece of any covered bridge tour in Preble County. In addition to it being the oldest covered bridge, it is also the last remaining double-barreled or dual wagon-way bridge in Ohio. There are only six double-barreled covered bridges left in the US, with the Roberts Bridge being one of them.
The bridge was constructed in 1829 by Orlistus Roberts over Seven Mile Creek. A fun fact is that Roberts died before the bridge was complete, and his apprentice James Campbell not only finished the bridge but married Mrs. Roberts.
The bridge remained over Seven Mile Creek for nearly 160 years with restorations and repairs happening throughout the years. After the bridge was damaged by vandals and caught on fire, a group of concerned citizens made an effort to relocate and preserve the bridge. The Roberts Covered Bridge was relocated to Eaton in 1990 to a more secure and accessible site.
The bridge is no longer accessible by cars, but pedestrians will enjoy walking through to admire the engineering that went into constructing and preserving history. The Roberts Covered Bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places.
This bridge can be found on Beech Street City of Eaton.
Hueston Woods Covered Bridge
The newest covered bridge in the Preble County, Ohio, is the Hueston Woods Covered Bridge. With the old steel bridge in need of repair, it was agreed upon that the best option would be to put in a covered bridge. The bridge was constructed in 2012, over 100 years since the last covered bridge was built. We recommend a visit to Hueston Woods, as it is a great outdoor spot for hiking, fishing, camping, and picnicking.
The bridge is built over Four Mile Creek and still in use. There are pull-offs on both sides as well; this allows guests to get out and experience the scenic views from the pedestrian walkways that are on both sides of the bridge. The cost to build the bridge was $1,795,444, with a life expectancy of 100 years.
This bridge can be found on Camden-College Corner Rd.
Christman Covered Bridge
Deemed by many their favorite Preble County Covered Bridge, the Christman Bridge is still in operation today. The 100 foot Bridge was built in 1895 by Everett Sherman. The bridge received its name from Solomon Christman, who owned the land around the bridge and operated a sawmill downstream.
The Christman Bridge was built at a total cost of approximately $4,250. What a difference a century makes in the price of bridges!
This bridge can be found on Eaton-New Hope Road.
Brubaker Covered Bridge
The Brubaker Covered Bridge was constructed in 1887 by Everett Sherman. It runs across Sandy Run, to the west-northwest of Gratis Township. A unique feature of the Brubaker Bridge is that the upper portion of the sides of the bridge has been removed. This allows light and a clear line of sight through the bend in the road past the structure.
The bridge can be found on Brubaker Road, 1/4 mile northwest of the village of Gratis off of State Route 122.
Geeting Covered Bridge
Built-in 1894 by Everett Sherman, the Geeting Covered Bridge spans 100 feet long, 15 feet wide, with a clearance of 13 feet over Price’s Creek. This bridge had to have its roof replaces in 1914 after a windstorm took it off. Additional roof repairs took place in 1969 after a truck cause significant damage to it. Repairs and renovations have been made through the years to upkeep the bridge.
The bridge was named after Dave Geeting, who owned land to the south and west of the bridge, and was the first to drive across it.
Geeting Covered Bridge can be found on Price Road just west of Lewisburg, OH.
Dixon’s Branch Covered Bridge
The Dixon’s Branch was built in 1887. The bridge was named after Eli Dixon, who was the first settler in the township, which bears his name, Dixon. Eli moved from Georgia and settled in Ohio in 1804 to serve as a captain in the Ohio Militia. After a windstorm in 1963, servery damaged the bridge was relocated to Lewisburg Community Park.
The bridge is now an elaborate picnic shelter within the park. Is there a better way to celebrate your covered bridge road trip than with a covered bridge picnic?! Downtown Lewisburg has plenty of cute bistros and cafes that are perfect for a carry-out meal.
The Dixon’s Covered Bridge can be found at Lewisburg Community Park, 101 Knapke Ln, Lewisburg, OH 45338.
Warnke Covered Bridge
Located off on Swamp Creek Road, the Warnke Covered Bridge was the last bridge that Everett Sherman constructed before passing away. The old bridge was damaged in a flood and needed to be rebuilt. The 51-foot bridge was finished in early 1896.
Warnke Covered Bridge can be found on Swamp Creek Rd. Northeast of Lewisburg.
Harshman Covered Bridge
This bridge was built in 1984 near Fairhaven, Ohio, by Everett Sherman. It spans Four Mile Creek and is still in use today.
Harshman Covered Bridge can be located on Concord-Fairhaven Road.
Bridges Bikes, and Blues
Every year Preble County hosts an annual Bridges Bikes and Blues motorcycle rally. It allows riders to experience small-town hospitality while taking in the beautiful scenery Preble County has to offer. After traveling over some of the covered bridges, the rally ends in downtown Eaton where the street is lined with bikes, blues, BBQ, and brews. Learn more at the Preble County Historical Society.
Where to Stay In Preble County
One of the top spots to stay in Preble County is Hueston Woods Lodge. They have cabins, camping and a variety of hotel rooms available. With an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, gorgeous lake, and dining options, this is always a popular choice for couples and families.
There is plenty of cute Bed and Breakfasts and Airbnb rentals nearby as well.
The Covered Bridges In Preble County, Ohio