Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on September 26, 2023.
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We are quite fortunate to have a number of beautiful covered bridges near Pittsburgh, and Washington and Greene Counties just south of the city boast an impressive thirty bridges between them.
Naturally, it should be no surprise that these two counties got together to put on a Covered Bridge Festival at nine of the thirty sites, and have been doing so every September since 1971!
We made our way out to explore a few of the sites in the Covered Bridge Festival and wanted to share a bit more about what you can expect when visiting, as well as a few logistics you need to keep in mind. As far as festivals go, this one can be quite busy!
What You Can See at the Covered Bridge Festival
The EQT Washington & Greene Counties’ Covered Bridge Festival is a massive event that spans nine unique covered bridge sites in the two counties. As such, there truly is a lot to see at this one!
The highlight of the festival is, arguably, the festivities at Mingo Creek County Park in northeast Washington County. Part of this is because the park is home to not one, but two covered bridges, but also because they attract approximately 200 vendors to the park each and every year.
This particular spot is a must for the gorgeous covered bridges (they really are some of our favorites), but also because the vendors at these two sites feature entirely handmade crafts. From paintings, homemade soaps, and metalwork to stained glass, floral arrangements, and other covered bridge novelty items, we were really impressed by the variety of shops found at these sites.
If you're into crafts, this one really is hard to beat!
From there, the other covered bridge sites have an array of attractions and vendors, ranging from local artisans to food, car cruises, reenactments, live music, and more
The scale of the festivities at the other bridge sites are more intimate and spark a nice balance between all of the festival activities and the star attractions- the covered bridges!
Admittedly, the scale of the Covered Bridge Festival was a lot larger than we had expected, and is one of those events you may have to attend over the course of several years in order to see it all- there really is a lot spread out over Washington and Greene Counties.
But for those who want to head out and get the most from the festival, we have some logistics to highlight as this one is quite popular!
Covered Bridge Festival Logistics to Keep in Mind
As the Covered Bridge Festival covers nine bridge locations in two counties (Washington and Greene), there are, naturally, some logistics you may want to keep in mind.
First, the covered bridge sites you can visit for the festival are fairly spread out. Apart from Mingo Creek County Park, which is home to two bridges roughly two miles away from each other (Henry and Ebenezer), the remaining bridges are anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes away from each other by car.
Although it is unlikely that you would drive straight from the McClurg covered bridge in Burgettstown all the way to the White covered bridge south of Waynesburg (with over an hour of driving between the two), these distances are important to keep in mind as you may likely only visit a few sites over the course of the weekend.
Thankfully, you can be somewhat strategic in pairing up bridges that are close to each other like the McClurg and Pine Bank covered bridges in northwest Washington County, the Brownlee and Wyit Sprowls covered bridges in the southwest, or the Carmichaels and White covered bridges in Greene County. The two bridges in each of these sets are located within a reasonable drive of each other and could make for great pairings if you can only hit a few. For us, after visiting Mingo Creek County Park, we hit up the Hughes covered bridge south of Washington for a great second stop, too!
Second, although activities and vendors are present at all of the covered bridges throughout the festival, the sites at the Ebenezer and Henry covered bridges inside Mingo Creek County Park offer the most arts and craft vendors and seem to draw the biggest crowds- particularly at the Ebenezer covered bridge festival site.
It is not a stretch to say that the parking lots fill up completely within the first hour, traffic entering the park can be slow moving, and it is common for there to be long waits to find a parking spot at all as the day goes on. So here, we recommend either arriving quite early (within 30 minutes of opening) or simply park at a further trail area of Mingo Creek County Park and enjoy a leisurely walk over to the stands.
- Tip: Cell phone service inside Mingo Creek County Park can be spotty, and during our visit some vendors were having trouble connecting to the on-site wifi to process credit card payments. Be sure to take some cash just to be safe!
Finally, in addition to vendors, food, and live music, some sites, like the White covered bridge in Greene County, offer re-enactments at set times throughout the weekend.
Overall, the EQT Washington & Greene Counties’ Covered Bridge Festival is quite the fun event and offers the perfect balance of crafts, food, and, of course, stunning bridges! Just be sure to plan your visits to this one accordingly as the popularity most certainly cannot be overstated.
The EQT Washington & Greene Counties’ Covered Bridge Festival takes place the third weekend each September at various covered bridge sites in the region. This post was sponsored by the Washington County Tourism Promotion Agency. As always, all opinions are our own.