Taking advantage of freshly fallen snow, I ventured out into Geauga County in northeast Ohio to photograph two newer covered bridges on the Maple Highlands Rail Trail. The trail utilizes the alignment of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad through the county. After the railroad abandoned the alignment in 1976, the Geauga Park District expressed interest in converting the right-of-way into a multi-use trail. In 1986, the county and park district moved forward on those plans, backed with funding from the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act. Construction of the trail, at 20 miles was completed in 2014.
One of those bridges travels over the East Branch of Cuyahoga River near Burton Station. Planning began in 2011 with construction beginning in 2012. The covered Pratt through truss was finished in August 2013 at a cost of $180,000.
The other, a covered Howe through truss, crosses over Tare Creek. It was erected in 2004.
The covered bridges represent two of the highlights of the Maple Highlands Rail Trail as it winds its way between the rolling farmlands, woodlands and wetlands, connecting Big Creek Park, Headwaters Park and Swine Creek Reservation.