Washington County is located in Maryland’s portion of the Great Appalachian Valley, which stretches from New York to Tennessee. Because limestone was a readily available building material in the county and it didn’t deteriorate as rapidly or require as much maintenance as wooden covered bridges, stone was the preferred bridge-building material here in the 19th century. Most of Washington County’s stone bridges still accommodate 21st-century vehicular traffic. The bridges’ graceful arches over babbling creeks offer rural scenery that seems purpose-made for an artist’s canvas or a photographer’s camera.
Planning Your Ride
The tour route begins and ends near Hagerstown, MD. It wends its way by 22 of Washington County’s historical stone bridges over approximately 131 miles. The rustic landscape and narrow byways can make the riding experience feel like it’s still the 19th century. Because the bridges were designed originally for wagons and low traffic volumes, only one vehicle may cross them at a time and the mid-bridge hump on some may obscure oncoming traffic. Proceed cautiously.