If you’re looking for information about the Twin Covered Bridges in Columbia County, you’re in the right place!
The East Paden and West Paden Covered Bridges, known collectively as the “Twin Bridges”, are one of only two sets of twin covered bridges in the United States (the other being the Willard Twin Covered Bridges in North Hartford, Vermont).
Although they are called “twin bridges” because of their proximity to one another, they are in fact of different lengths and widths, and different styles of trusses were used to construct each one.
So while “The Fraternal Twin Covered Bridges” doesn’t easily roll off the tongue, that would be a more accurate description of the relationship between the East and West Paden Bridges.
History of the Twin Covered Bridges
The Twin Covered Bridges are believed to have been built in 1884 by W.C. Pennington for $720.
The East and West Paden Bridges were named for John Paden, who operated a nearby sawmill and who presumably supplied some of the lumber for the construction of the bridges.
West Paden Bridge is 100 ft. in length, utilizes Burr Arch Truss construction, and spans Huntingdon Creek.
The original West Paden Covered Bridge was destroyed by floods waters in June 2006 and rebuilt in 2008.
East Paden Bridge is 72 ft. 8 inches in length, utilizes Queenpost type construction, and crosses an overflow of Huntingdon Creek.
Both bridges are lined with mural-covered picnic tables and are open to pedestrian traffic only.
Both bridges also feature a single long rectangular window opening on both sides.
Directions to the Twin Bridges
The Twin Bridges are located just a half-mile off of Route 487 in Columbia County – use Twin Bridges Lane, Orangeville, PA 17859 if you need an address for your navigation system.
The turnoff is well-marked, and you’ll notice on the sign there is another covered bridge nearby (more on that at the end of this article).
The bridges are part of Twin Bridges County Park, which features picnic tables, grills, and benches in a wooded setting.
Twin Bridges Park was created in 1963 when a new road and modern concrete bridge bypassed the covered bridges.
The Twin Bridges now serve as large covered picnic pavilions at the park, which seems to me like a great use of the space.
And yes (because my wife would ask), there are restroom facilities at the park!
The Josiah Hess Covered Bridge
Located just a half-mile up the road and upstream from the Twin Covered Bridges, you’ll find the historic Josiah Hess Covered Bridge.
This bridge was reportedly built in 1875 at a cost of $1349.50.
Like the West Paden Bridge, the Josiah Hess Bridge was built using the Burr Arch Truss method of construction.
And like the Twin Bridges, you’ll find picnic tables inside this bridge as it too is open only to pedestrian traffic.
The bridge is 110 feet long and spans Huntingdon Creek, upstream from the Twin Bridges.
If you love covered bridges, it makes perfect sense to visit the Josiah Hess Bridge at the same time you are visiting the Twin Bridges, as they are literally 2 minutes apart by car.
While Pennsylvania is home to more than 200 historic covered bridges, nowhere else in the state (and only one other place in the entire country) will you find a pair of bridges like the East and West Paden Twin Covered Bridges in Columbia County!
While Knoebels in Columbia County is famous for being Pennsylvania’s largest free admission amusement park, it’s also home to Knoebels Grove Covered Bridge, spanning the south branch of Roaring Creek and connecting the campground at Knoebels to the amusement park.
While the Twin Bridges are unique for being “twins”, the Pack Saddle Bridge in Somerset County is unique in that it is the only covered bridge in Pennsylvania built over a natural waterfall!
The Hassenplug Covered Bridge in Mifflinburg is unique in that it is the oldest existing covered bridge in Pennsylvania, and believed to be the second-oldest covered bridge in the United States!
The Pomeroy Academia Covered Bridge in Juniata County, at 278 feet in length, is unique in that it is the longest covered bridge in Pennsylvania.
Sachs Covered Bridge near Gettysburg is unique in that it was crossed by both Union and Confederate soldiers during the Battle of Gettysburg, earning it the nickname “Pennsylvania’s Most Historic Covered Bridge”.
Spending the Night in a Star Bubble in Columbia County introduces you to one of the more unusual vacation rentals in Columbia County, and it’s where I stayed when I visited the Twin Bridges!
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