Switzer Covered Bridge
       
Frankfort, Kentucky
 



Potential Activities

Picnicking
Historical Appreciation
Fishing Wading 


 

Historical Marker Inscription

Franklin County's only covered bridge spans North Elkhorn Creek and is 120 ft. long and 11 ft. wide. It was built by George Hockensmith circa 1855. Each entrance has a sawtooth edge; the lattice is pinned with trunnels (treenails). Restored in 1906 by Louis Bower. Closed to traffic in 1954. This bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 1974.

 



       Inside the Bridge
Switzer covered bridge’s charm extends beyond its historical significance. Although parking is limited, the bridge area provides great public access to the North Fork of Elkhorn Creek. In good weather, it’s always a good place to have a picnic and relax in a peaceful and picturesque setting. However, when the Creek is behaving, it really opens up into a great place to take the kids to wade in the water and go fishing. When the creek does act up, it can be very dangerous. In 1997, unusually heavy early spring rains turned the usually shallow creek into raging torrent that picked up the bridge off its foundations, rammed it against the new concrete bridge for hours and finally deposited the wrecked shell on the rocks at the base of the new span.

 
 The bridge was rebuilt in 1998 as a new span that mostly replicated the original structure. Gone were the opening shutters at the center of the span that allowed visitors take in a Birdseye vista of the creek and catch a refreshing breeze during the often stifling summers in central Kentucky. The span still has its charm however and its draw is especially visible in the graffiti embossed on its inner walls.

  



 
 Before the original Bridge was destroyed in 1997, the carvings and painted messages inside the span were significant in the shear number and time frame. Generations of shared moments in time and professions of love were documented on that old timber. Gone now, but already quickly replaced with a new generation of expressions. Although the Graffiti is not ideal, there does appear to be and unwritten rule of respect for the bridge as the outside is never desecrated.

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