(Creek Road Photo by Rebecca Nieminen)
In the rolling landscapes of Ohio, nestled amidst the rhythmic cadence of the Grand River and its tributaries, Ashtabula County proudly stands as the home of the largest collection of covered bridges in the state. With a heritage dating back to the 19th century, these architectural marvels are more than mere crossings – they're a testament to the county's rich history, craftsmanship, and the stories of countless souls who've traversed their timeworn planks.
(Riverview Photo by Carl Stimac)
Covered bridges, often painted in reds or whites or left in their natural wooden hues, became an American icon in the 1800s. Ashtabula County, with its wealth of timber and need to connect growing communities, began to see the rise of these bridges. But why covered? The primary reason is preservation. By shielding the wooden trusses and floorboards from the elements – particularly the harsh Ohio winters – the lifespan of the bridge was extended significantly.
As decades passed and modern advancements in construction materialized, many covered bridges across the nation were replaced with more contemporary structures. Yet, Ashtabula County remained dedicated to preserving its history. Today, these bridges are not merely relics of the past; they're active testimonies of a bygone era, with many still in use, supporting both foot and vehicular traffic.
(Benetka Photo Credit: Dawn Bubonic)
A trip to Ashtabula County offers visitors an opportunity to embark on a journey back in time. Whether it’s the longest, the Smolen-Gulf Bridge, which stretches 613 feet across the Ashtabula River, or the oldest, the Root Road Bridge, which was built in 1868, each bridge has a unique story to tell. Their charm is undeniably magnetic, drawing photographers, history buffs, and curious travelers alike.
But Ashtabula isn't just about its covered bridges. As you meander through the countryside, mapping your self-guided tour, you’ll soon discover that the region is also a haven for wine enthusiasts. Nestled just a few blocks away from one of these iconic bridges is the inviting "Wine Down on Vine". Here, travelers can pause their historical journey to savor a modern delight – wines that capture the essence of the region. Booking a stay at Wine Down on Vine ensures that guests are not only enveloped by the rich tapestry of the county's past but also by its flourishing viticultural scene.
This October presents an especially magical time to explore Ashtabula County. On the 14th and 15th, the region springs to life with the Covered Bridge Festival. A tradition held close to the hearts of locals and eagerly anticipated by visitors, this festival is an ode to the storied bridges. Filled with events, crafts, parades, and entertainment, the festival provides a platform to learn, appreciate, and celebrate the county's rich heritage. Amidst the festive atmosphere, stories of yesteryears echo, and tales of craftsmen, communities, and generations that have stood by these bridges unfold.
(Netcher Photo Credit: Kelsey Doherty)
For those keen on embracing the full spectrum of what Ashtabula has to offer, the festival period is ideal. You can immerse yourself in the vibrant festivities, embark on self-guided tours of the bridges, and then retreat to the cozy embrace of Wine Down on Vine, perhaps with a glass of local wine in hand.
In conclusion, the covered bridges of Ashtabula County are more than just historical structures. They represent an era of craftsmanship, community, and the indomitable spirit of a region that values its past while steadily marching into the future. As the Covered Bridge Festival approaches, there’s no better time to explore, experience, and celebrate the magic that is Ashtabula County. And while you're here, let the wineries, especially those near Wine Down on Vine, add an extra layer of flavor to your journey. Cheers to history, hospitality, and the heart of Ashtabula!
Discover the Heart of Geneva's Charm! Nestled just a few blocks from the iconic Shortage Covered Bridge, 'Wine Down on Vine' offers the perfect retreat for your Ashtabula journey. Dive into an ambiance that blends historical allure with modern comfort. Don't miss out on a stay that promises memories for a lifetime. Check our availability now at www.WineDownOnVine.net or dial 440.810.8110 to speak with Sharon directly. Secure your spot and embrace the enchanting experience of Geneva!