A major trailhead and the last bridge of its kind in Summit County.
At a Glance:
The only covered bridge remaining in Summit County and a hub for trail activity.
While a mainstay for river crossings over a century ago, covered bridges have since significantly dwindled in number throughout the United States. But those that remain now have the honor of being a special part of history as well as an eye-catching, usually picturesque, stop along any journey. Everett Covered Bridge in Cuyahoga Valley National Park is no exception. Straddling Furnace Run Creek, it has become a popular destination for painters, photographers, and those seeking a bit of history—and it leads the way to two great trails, Perkins and Riding Run.
It was during the winter of 1877 when the idea for the bridge was first conceived. Farmer John Gilson and his wife were returning home from visiting friends when rising water forced his wife into frigid Furnace Run. Likewise, Mr. Gibson and his horse were dragged into the water. His wife survived, but Mr. Gibson did not. As a result, locals pressed officials to build a bridge, so no one else would suffer the same fate. The bridge has been destroyed by accidents and floods many times since it was first built. But once the National Park Society rebuilt the bridge in 1986, it was closed to motorized vehicles in order to conserve it.
What Makes It Great
Today, fewer than 800 covered bridges still exist in the United States where once there were 12,000. There are 138 remaining in the state of Ohio, with only one in Summit County. Because of its solitary status, Everett Covered Bridge is a unique historical relic.
It is also listed on the National Park Foundation’s Top 10 List of Photographic sites on public lands and has been a muse for painters, poets, and other artists for many years. So be sure to bring your camera or smartphone and snap some photographs from either side of the bridge or down by the water. Or bring along an easel and paintbrush and capture the beauty of this site in watercolor or oils.
In addition to its fame among the artistic types, Everett Covered Bridge serves as a great starting point for physical activity as well. Many of the trails in Cuyahoga Valley National Park can be accessed from here, including Perkins Trail, Riding Run, Valley Trail, and Furnace Run. So if you are coordinating a group run or hike, this is a great spot to meet. And don’t forget the annual contra dance held every June beneath the bridge’s rafters. This is a community event not to be missed. Check the park’s website for dates.
Who Will Love It
Painters, photographers, and poets will find inspiration for their art here. Historians and sentimentalists will love looking at the Smith Truss-style bridge that Cleveland State University has included in the Cleveland Memory Project. This is also a great starting point for hikers, runners, or horseback riders who are looking for a long trek through the park, since it connects to so many other trails.
Directions, Trailheads, and Regulations
CVNP is open year-round, 24 hours a day, and does not charge a fee. Visitors may bring dogs as long as they accompany you on a 6-foot leash.
Take I-77S to Exit 143 for OH-176 toward I-271 N/Richefield. Turn left onto Wheatley Road. Take a slight right to stay on Wheatley Road. The Everett Covered Bridge Trailhead will be on your right.