There’s something undeniably romantic about travelling over Alabama’s historic covered bridges. They suddenly appear on scenic backroads and provide a beautiful reminder of days gone by. Check out our great road trip from downtown Birmingham that allows more than enough time to explore three historical bridges in Blount County over three to four hours. Photos and map below.
Blount County is home to three historic covered bridges that are open to car traffic. They’re only an hour away from downtown Birmingham and the bridges are close enough together to see all three in about an hour.
The beautifully designed wooden bridges crossed rivers long before modern concrete and steel designs, with metal roofs being added to protect as much wood as possible from deteriorating under the elements.
We’ve included road trip directions below, but first learn about the wonderful bridges you can take a quick trip to see.
Swann Covered Bridge
1590 Swann Bridge Road, Cleveland, AL 35049 (44 miles from Birmingham)
The bridge spans the scenic gorge of the Locust Fork over the Black Warrior River.
There’s some great swimming spots down near the river and I’d recommend walking the trails down to water level to fully appreciate the 325ft span of Alabama’s longest existing covered bridge, which was built in 1933.
If you’re going to walk over/through the bridge – take care, it might be longer than you think and it gets narrow when vehicles are coming through!
This bridge has the most parking nearby. Head for the north side of the river.
Easley Covered Bridge
1.5 miles from U.S 231, 3 miles north-west of Oneonta, AL 35121 (8 miles from Swann Covered Bridge)
Built in 1927, the Easley Covered Bridge spans the Dub Branch, Calvert Prong of the Little Warrior River.
As well as being the oldest of the Blount County covered bridges, it’s also the shortest with a span length of 83ft.
Horton Mill Covered Bridge
Off AL Hwy 75, 5 miles north of Oneonta, AL 35121 (6 miles from Easley Covered Bridge, 40 miles back to Birmingham)
Horton Mill Covered Bridge is located at the foot of Sand Mountain, AL. It was built in 1934 to improve access to nearby Oneonta, AL.
While it may only be the second longest covered bridge on this trail (220ft), Horton Mill is highest covered bridge above any U.S waterway, clearing the Calver Prong of the Black Warrior River by 70ft.
There’s a small parking lot overlooking the bridge, off AL Hwy 75.
Blount County Covered Bridges Trail – Road Trip Directions
A circular route from downtown Birmingham is 102 miles, or approximately 2 hours 10 minutes of driving time.
This roadtrip can easily be done in 3 hours with a short stop at each location, but why rush through the countryside? Plan four hours to explore the bridges at a leisurely pace, swim the river, have a picnic, or stop to pick up some peaches on the way home!
We’d love to see pics of your road trip! Tag us on social @bhamnow
Need more road trip ideas? Check out our 4 summer drives to take for an exciting day trip within an hour of Birmingham