Exploring the Covered Bridges of Frederick County

Posted in: Museums & Historic Sites, Outdoor Adventure, Family Fun, Scenic Drives


It may be a little known secret that northern Frederick County is home to three historic covered bridges that are listed on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places. The Roddy Road, Loy’s Station, and Utica Mills bridges are three of only eight remaining covered bridges in the state of Maryland. At least 52 such structures once graced the landscape of the state, but storms, fires, progress, and neglect have claimed almost all of them. Besides their beauty, the three Frederick County bridges provide a good comparative study of wood bridge truss techniques.

The  fully operational covered bridges have adjacent recreational areas, and each bridge crosses streams in northern Frederick County within twelve miles of one another. Their proximity to each other and the recreational opportunities at each one make them must-see area attractions. 

Perfect for Picnics
The Loy’s Station Covered Bridge is an ideal spot for a picnic.  Picnic tables are shaded by trees near the bridge, and the playground area at the adjoining Loy’s Station Park  is ideal for children. In warm weather, bring buckets, nets, and a good pair of water shoes or old sneakers to wear in the creek.  Cool off by wading in the stream where children of all ages can explore the shallow waters near the bridge, hunt for crayfish, and play.

Getting There
Before you start, stop at the Frederick Visitor Center for a “Covered Bridges of Frederick County” brochure or find directions online.  The brochure outlines the route from Frederick and provides turn-by-turn directions for the driving loop that measures approximately 33 miles. While at the visitor center, be sure to see the scale model of Loy’s Station Covered Bridge, crafted by dean Fitzgerald from remnants of the original, that is in the exhibit area.

Along the Way
Make a day of it by stopping in nearby Thurmont, Maryland.  Located in the scenic Catoctin Mountain, this historic downtown and Main Street Maryland community frequently offers weekend activities, such as Saturday Strolls, during the month. Visit www.thurmontmainstreet.com for more information.

The Frederick Visitor Center is located at 151 S. East Street, Frederick, MD and open 361 days a year from 9am-5:30pm, closing only for Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving, and Easter.  For more information on the covered bridges of Frederick County or to discover more things to see and do in Frederick County, visit www.visitfrederick.org or call 301-600-2888.