A day spent adventuring through some of the most stunning countryside Alabama has to offer. A historic trail that feels like a step back in time. We teamed up with Adamson Ford to bring you the perfect day trip to kick off your summer. Read on for an inside look + your very own road trip map!
The Covered Bridge Trail
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The Blount County Covered Bridges are some of the most fascinating structures in the state of Alabama. Covered bridges were the standard long before today’s modern methods, and they are a feat of gorgeous architecture and construction. The coverings were built to protect the wood underneath from rain and rot.
The trail is made up of three different bridges, all built before 1935. They’re still in use today, for vehicles and foot traffic. Built over rivers to increase access from one town to another, they truly are reminiscent of a simpler time that moved as slow as an Alabama summer.
Whether you’re a family looking to get the kids out of the house for a day, a pair of lovebirds looking for a romantic getaway, or a solo adventurer always watching for your next hidden gem to explore, this trail might be exactly what you’re searching for.
Discover Something Extraordiary
It’s no secret that central Alabama is an extraordinary place in more ways than one. A local company that’s been a part of the Birmingham community for more than a century wanted to help us show off some of the most unique places in our region.
Adventures with Adamson is a series where we scope out the best day trips within a few hours of Birmingham and bring you along with us. In the last episode, we explored an abandoned movie set on an island in the middle of the Alabama River. Check it out here!
We’ll be continuing this series throughout the summer, so be sure to stay tuned to Bham Now and share our adventures with your road trip buddies. These are destinations you’re definitely not going to want to miss.
Kick off Summer with an Adventure to Remember
The covered bridge trail route runs through Blount County from Cleveland to Oneonta.
The first stop is located around 50 minutes from downtown Birmingham, and the bridges are spaced roughly 15 minutes apart. Once you get there, though, you won’t be in any hurry.
Pack a picnic and a swimsuit—most of the bridges offer easy access to the river. Swim, kayak, skip rocks, do all the things people used to do before Netflix.
Here’s the route all mapped out for you. Fair warning: you might get spotty service while on the trail, so be sure to save your map beforehand.
Stop #1: Swann Covered Bridge
Constructed in 1933, this is the longest covered bridge in Alabama, spanning 325 feet. Swann covered bridge offered the easiest access to the water, with several trails leading down to the bank. The river is gorgeous and slow-moving enough that even the littlest ones can splash safely on the shores.
The best spots never have massive, well-marked parking lots. This is certainly true for the bridges, but Swann had the most parking available. You may get your tires a little muddy, but what adventure would be complete without that?
Stop #2: Easley Covered Bridge
Built in 1927, Easley is the oldest covered bridge on the trail. I have no evidence to back up this claim, but it felt like the adventurous spirit of the old rumrunners and bootleggers was swirling through the almost century-old structure.
If you’re looking to take a stroll through a bridge on foot, this would be my pick. At 83 feet, it’s the shortest of the three bridges, and the least trafficked. These tunnels can get a little cramped when cars are passing through.
Stop #3: Horton Mill Covered Bridge
The drive to this bridge would have been worth the trip even if there wasn’t a historic structure at the end. The rolling hills and twisting rivers are a stunning backdrop for centuries-old farmlands. It’s the most picturesque, windows-down + radio-up backroads ride I can imagine.
Not to mention the bridge itself. Built in 1934, Horton Mill Bridge is the highest covered bridge above any waterway in the country, and it’s magnificent. The height provides the view you see above, but don’t let it fool you—there are stairs providing easy access to the river.
The Car: 2020 Ford Expedition
Let me start this by saying that I’m a “youngest child.” That means that I spent a lot of time on road trips bumping along in a tiny third-row seat with my knees up to my chin.
As soon as I unlocked this 2020 Ford Expedition that Adamson Ford hooked us up with for our backroads adventure, I felt an instant pang of jealousy for the youngest children of today. This ride is roomy from the driver’s seat to the back corner.
If you’re a solo adventurer or an exploring duo, this is perfect for you, too. Forget packing a picnic—you can fit your own picnic table in the back, right beside your kayak and paddles.
Large vehicles aren’t always fun and games, however. I get nervous about the blind spots in cars this big, but found I had no reason to stress in this Expedition. There’s a small light on both side-view mirrors that lights up when there’s a car within swiping distance to your right or left.
After this road trip, I was about ready to trade in my ride and upgrade to something equipped for every summer adventure I could possibly think up.
Experience it for Yourself
If you’re gearing up for your next adventure, Adamson Ford is ready to get you there. Whether you need a new car, a tune-up or anything in-between, they’re ready to treat you like family.
From covered bridge adventures to work commutes, you need a ride you can trust. Who better to buy from than a company that puts customer and community above everything? Give them a call today!
Do you have a favorite hidden gem around the 7-county region that we need to check out? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know!