If you have never been to the Pack Saddle Bridge, there is one thing that sets it apart from all other covered bridges in Pennsylvania – waterfalls!
Frothy and surging when Brush Creek is swollen by heavy rain.
Sluggish and COLD in the Laurel Highlands winter!
Sometimes seeming to literally grind to a halt in February, although the current is always moving beneath the ice and snow.
The waterfalls at the Pack Saddle Bridge are a perfect backdrop to a popular local fishing hole.
And a tremendously popular setting for senior portraits and engagement photos.
As the only Pennsylvania covered bridge that spans a waterfall, it is a favorite of visitors from around the globe!
Of course there really is no bad angle to photograph the Pack Saddle Bridge from.
The view from upstream is almost Currier and Ives perfect.
Even from above it looks great!
But it’s the downstream view, with the bridge framed by sky, hemlocks, and waterfalls, that sets the Pack Saddle Bridge apart from every other covered bridge in Pennsylvania.
How to Find the Pack Saddle Covered Bridge
Most visitors to the Pack Saddle Covered Bridge arrive by turning off of Route 31/Glades Pike, travelling 5.5 miles on Glen Savage Road, then turning right onto Pine Valley Road and descending the hill roughly 1/3 of a mile to the bridge (just follow the sign indicating a bridge ahead).
GPS coordinates for the Pack Saddle Bridge are 39.867592, -78.817354.
An informational plaque is located near the eastern side of the bridge.
Pack Saddle Bridge Rehabilitation Project
An even more recent rehabilitation project than is indicated on the plaque took place at the Pack Saddle Bridge in April/May of 2020.
The Pack Saddle Covered Bridge had suffered a considerable amount of insect damage in recent years.
The fact that this bridge is used for everyday vehicular traffic made the repairs a matter of public safety.
Thankfully, the repairs were made with the original aesthetics and historical authenticity in mind as well.
Photos of the waterfalls beneath the Pack Saddle Bridge looked a little strange in the interim.
Although I admit as a photographer, having the chance to document such an historic event was exciting.
And now the bridge is back in good working order, open to everyday traffic once again.
The Pack Saddle Bridge Mystique
For nearly 150 years (since 1870) the Pack Saddle Bridge has been both a necessity for travel in the area, as well as a source of pride in the Laurel Highlands.
Whether the unknown builder intentionally laid this bridge out with aesthetics in mind (in addition to the practical necessity of getting across Brush Creek), we’ll never know.
But certainly all who have stopped to gaze upon the bridge, or cast a line beneath it, or snap a photo of it owe a debt of gratitude to the builders of the Pack Saddle Covered Bridge, perhaps Pennsylvania’s most beautiful covered bridge!
Looking for more Somerset County Covered Bridges?
The nearby New Baltimore Covered Bridge spans the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River.
Barronvale Covered Bridge is the longest covered bridge in Somerset County, at 162 feet.
Lower Humbert Covered Bridge is the southernmost covered bridge in Somerset County.
Kings Covered Bridge is a great spot for a creekside picnic, with a covered pavillion right next to the bridge.
If waterfalls are your thing, be sure to check out 23 Must-See Waterfalls in the Laurel Highlands of PA.
If scenic vistas are your thing, be sure to check out The 14 Best Scenic Overlooks in the Laurel Highlands.
If fall foliage is your thing, be sure to check out 22 Fabulous Fall Foliage Destinations in the Laurel Highlands of PA.
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