Touring The Covered Bridges In Columbia County Pa

There are a series of geocaches here - old caches - based on the Covered Bridges Of Columbia County.  They are labeled as multicaches, but they aren't really - they are something closer to a puzzle cache, or a wherigo. There is only one physical cache. You visit 4-5 covered bridges, often a good distance apart, where you find the answer to a question for each bridge, on a sign near or on the bridge. Then you drive another good distance to hike (some are nice little walks, at least one is a good hike) in the game lands to find an ammo box in the woods.  It really is a nice series of caches, and I love covered bridges, so this made a fun trip for us.

The caches we found hadn't been visited in close to a year.  They are a little more effort than most of the caches in this area, but I like that about them.  They appear to only have about 70 finds, in 11 years. (They were created in May of 2005)

Because we attempted it in February, we ran out of daylight before we got to the fourth section.  In the summer or fall it would be very possible to do these all in one day - just make sure you have a full gas tank.  And pack a picnic lunch, some of the bridges have picnic tables inside, and there were lots of other picnic areas we drove by as well.

Personally, if we were to start again, I would have split this into two days from the start, doing the south and central one day, and the northeast and northwest another day.  That would enable you to add a lot of other sites and geocaches without feeling rushed.

Before we headed out, I created a "my map" in google maps, of all the bridges.  
You can use this map, I've made it public - just go to the link here:

You can add that map to google maps on your phone, to navigate.  These are the instructions from the google help site:
If you’ve saved a map in My Maps, you can see it in the Google Maps app on your phone or tablet.
  1. Sign in and open the Google Maps app maps.
  2. Touch the Menu  > Your places.
  3. Scroll down to see your maps.
  4. Touch one to show it on the map.
I found that if I opened the My Maps app (not google maps) clicked on the location I wanted, the location would appear at the bottom of my phone screen.  If I tapped on that location, a navigation button would appear near the top of the screen.  Tapping the navigation button would begin the navigation.
If you are doing the geocaches, remember to take a notebook along  - you'll need to answer a question at each covered bridge. You might want to print the cache descriptions (which have all the questions) and write the answers in as you go. 

We started with the Central Tour, and planned to work our way counter clockwise, ending with the North Tour.

Link To the Central Tour Geocache -

My Photos and locations of all the bridges on the Central Tour -
I've also listed some of the other caches we did while on this part of the tour, on the page above.

There are a LOT of geocaches in nearby Bloomsburg, and it would be easy to spend a couple of days just geocaching in this area.  We live close enough that we just find a few caches every time we are over that way, and this trip was no exception.  We DNF'd the cache located here at the Rupert Bridge, mainly because there was so much traffic, it was hard to look.  This is both open to traffic, and part of a rail trail - so the bridge has constant car and vehicular traffic, and was busy even on the Monday morning we were there.  We plan to go back and check out the rail trail sometime this spring.

It didn't make sense for us to drive to the final cache after finishing this tour, it was less backtracking to start the second tour, then find both those finals in a row.  (see the map above - the blue diamonds on the map are the parking areas for the final stages)


Part Two - Columbia County Covered Bridge Tour, South

I would recommend that at this point you might want to drive on into Elysburg and use the bathrooms at the Sheetz, Burger King, or McDonalds.  You won't pass anything at all for quite awhile, this is the last good time to stop anywhere.

It's also worth noting that on this tour, you are only about 20 minutes away from Centralia.  If you are breaking this tour up into a couple of days and have time, it's worth the trip - Centralia is an interesting place. An underground mine fire has made this a ghost town - but graffiti highway is there, as well as a few caches where houses and buildings once stood.    The fire still burns underground.

The cache for the South Bridges:

After completing this tour, there's an interesting cache along the way to the finals in the gamelands - The Ringer - Bell alongside the Rd in the middle of the woods

We also passed the windmills - Locust Ridge Wind Farms.  All those windmills were pretty neat to see...  I never got a great vantage point to show how many windmills there really are, it's much more impressive than my photos show.


Columbia County Covered Bridges Part 3 - Northeast

This section of the tour includes the Twin Covered Bridges, the only twin covered bridges in the United States.  The Josiah Hess bridge is just one mile down the road from the twin bridges.  If we were only to do ONE of these tours, I'd chose this one.  But fair warning - the hike to get the final for this one is a lot more difficult than the South and Central caches.  Well, the hike to the cache is easy - it's getting back out when it's all uphill...

The geocache for this tour:

Columbia County Covered Bridges Part 4 - Northwest

We haven't done this part yet - we ran out of daylight - but we do plan to do this soon!

The geocache for the Northwest Covered Bridges

The same geocacher that created these tours has also created covered bridge tours in other counties:

All of the pictures from our trip can be seen in a facebook photo album here

Read more about the bridges, or download a brochure with all the driving directions, here:

The Columbia County Covered Bridge Association Facebook Page is here:

This is an excellent website with all of the Covered Bridges In PA