Perry County, USA

Just WNW and across the scenic Susquehanna River from Harrisburg, PA lies historical Perry County.  To most local residents it is called Purrrry County and is best known locally for not having a traffic light until just recently.

In this short blog I am only covering its covered bridges.  Oh, and a brief note on Perry County’s most infamous character, Simon Girty.

Simon Girty was actually born near Halifax in 1744 and died in Canada at the age of 74, or so history tells us.  He was an Indian fighter, Indian lover, a frontiersman, a loyal British citizen, an outlaw, and a traitor to his fellowmen and the young USA.

When his father was killed in a bar room brawl near Fort Hunter his mother would remarry and move to Fort Granville, near Lewistown.  His step-father was then killed by Indians and his family was taken captive and divided amongst various tribes.  Girty was adopted by the Seneca and raised as one.

There is an old tale of some gold that Simon Girty stole from somewhere and while being chased he hid out at a place now called Girty’s Notch.  The tale claims he hid the gold in a cave at or near Girty’s Notch.  Supposedly it was never found.

The picture on the left is an old view of Girty’s Notch probably taken around 1920 or so.  The one on the right I took recently to show the change of one hundred years.

To get to Girty’s Notch you would travel N on U.S. 15.  If you are coming up from Cumberland County you can pull over and view Dauphin County’s, soon to become, famous “Baby Liberty”.  The view on the left is from Marysville and the view on the right is just past Perdix.

You can actually begin your tour of Perry County’s Covered Bridges from just about anywhere.  I started in Shermansdale at my brother’s place of business, Middle Ridge Motors .  Should you need a quality used car be sure to pay them a visit first.  Also consider them for your periodic service needs .

There are fourteen covered bridges in Perry County.  If you start where I did your first bridge would be the Rice/Landisburg Bridge located on Twp Rte 333 just south of Landisburg.  This bridge is still in use today.

Your next bridge would be Wagoner’s Mill just WSW of Loysville and can be seen from PA274/850 approximately one mile west of Loysville.  This bridge is no longer in use and is currently being used more for storage.

On then to the Cisna Mill Covered Bridge and rather than me trying to give you directions to each bridge I would recommend viewing this map .  If you enlarge it big enough you can pretty much see the route I took.

After the Cisna Mill you will be looking for Flickinger Mill Bridge, also known as Bistline Bridge.  This bridge has also been reconstructed and is used daily.

Next stop is Turkey Tail, also known as Enslow Bridge and is also opened to traffic.

Kauffman or Books Bridge depending on who you talk to would be the next bridge.  Not too long ago this bridge was sitting in Sherman’s Creek.  It has been restored and is now open for traffic.

Mount Pleasant Bridge is owned by Perry County. It crosses the Sherman creek and is used by daily traffic.  The surrounding country side really sets this bridge off, if you are a photographer, and you have time to wait, it is a great place to capture an Amish wagon going across the bridge to add a little nostalgia to your photo.

The last bridge on this leg of the trip is the New Germantown Bridge. The bridge is owned and maintained by the county and again sits in a very attractive setting and is in great condition.

At this point you will need to turn around and head back to Blain where you will pick up PA 17 towards Millerstown.  Just a few miles south of Ickesburg you will find the Kochenderfer Bridge which crosses the Big Buffalo Creek.  This bridge is privately own and closed to public traffic.

Continue onto the Saville Bridge which also crosses the Big Buffalo Creek and is open to public traffic.

Sit back and get ready for a nice country drive.  You will continue on Rte 17 through Millerstown and all the way until just before Liverpool. Keep your eyes open for SR1005 just off to your right.  Just a few miles south you will see the Red Bridge.  This bridge crosses Wildcat Creek and is only opened to foot traffic.

A little further south you will turn right onto SR1014 or Owl Hollow Road and follow that to old Rte 22.  Take 22 to the right and go to Rte 34 and turn right across the Juniata River and make an immediate right onto Front Street and follow to Fairgrounds Road and turn left.  You will come to Fleisher’s Bridge crossing the Big Buffalo Creek.

The next bridge is Wahneta Bridge or also known as Clay Bridge and is located in Little Buffalo State Park.  It is only open for foot traffic.  While visiting this bridge you will also want to take the time to see Shoaff’s Mill.  The mill is functional and is operated for demonstrations and educational events.

And last but certainly not least is the Dellville Bridge crossing the Sherman’s Creek in Dellville.  Until recently this was the most traveled covered bridge in Perry County.  Its use has since been replaced by a new structure and now the Dellville Covered Bridge just sits there for photographers.

Perry County has so much more to offer than her covered bridges.  The amateur photographer will find joy in all the country views.  From the old farms to state parks to historical railroad beds, it’s all here.  For the hunter or the fisherman Perry County is still virtually unexplored.

Enjoy a summer, fall, winter, or spring day in God’s country, Perry County, USA.

Hey if you got the time view this video I found on YouTube