Philadelphia County

Bridge Map

Thomas Mill Covered Bridge

Photo Album

(GPS N 40 04.30 W 75 13.51)
(# 38-51-01)

Thomas Mill Bridge was built in 1855 the builder is unknown, its truss is of the Howe design. The structure crosses Wissahickon Creek and is 86 ft. 6 in. long and 18 ft. 8in. wide. The Bridge is owned and maintained by the city of Philadelphia.

This is the oldest and one of the longest of Pennsylvania's five remaining historic Howe truss covered bridges. Although there  were a number of covered bridges in the Philadelphia area during the nineteenth century, this is the only one still standing. Its sides are covered with typical barn red, vertical board and batten siding. It has crosswise plank flooring, stone and motor abutments and wingwalls, and shingles laid on wide roof sheeting boards.

The following was passed on to me by my good friend Scott Nelson: 

The bridge is in Fairmont Park which is in Chestnut hill township in the Philadelphia area.  There are no vehicles allowed and it is quite a hike in and out.  Make sure you have plenty of water with you.   The road the GPS coordinates takes you to is Chestnut Hill Ave, which is off Germantown Ave. which is off Bells Mill Road.  When you get on Chestnut Hill Ave. look for a parking spot (trail heads) on the right, Park here.  The parking lot (trail heads) are located between a road with a gate and a small hiking trail.  hike in on the road with the gate.  Around a mile in the trail splits left goes low and the right goes up.  Take the low (left).  Keep on this road and you will pass an old cabin about 5 to 10 minutes into your walk and the bridge is just beyond.  to get back out just reverse the route in.  I already mentioned that taking extra water is a good idea, but good sturdy shoes are a must, the trail is full of loose rocks.  There are several benches there on the route in and out that you can rest on.

Note:  Here is another link with some very up to date information on directions to the bridge. These have been provided to me by another good friend Jim Cheney of uncoveringpa.com.

http://uncoveringpa.com/how-to-get-to-the-covered-bridge-in-philadelphia-pennsylvania

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