Covered Bridge Tour with Strasburg Scooters

Posted in Amish Blog, Happenings on by .

Recently, my wife and I had the opportunity to explore Southern Lancaster County in a completely new way for us; on a 49cc Scoot Coupe. Strasburg Scooters has been offering up tours of Lancaster since 2012, and owners Marc and Nikki Crusemire have gone out of their way to provide a unique, personal, guided experience that gave us a completely new and fun way to see the Amish countryside.

Having grown up in Lancaster County, I find that it’s easy to get “used to” the area that tourists flock to year after year. The fields, the buggies, the markets, and everything else Lancaster has to offer have become a part of my daily life. Don’t get me wrong, I love taking back roads to nowhere and seeing the Amish kids playing volleyball on a Sunday afternoon, but it can often lose that sense of adventure and excitement one gets when experiencing it for the first time.

We started our Strasburg Scooter adventure in the village of Strasburg where we had opted for the covered bridge tour. After a little bit of practice and review of safety guidelines, we were ready to explore.  Our tour guide, Karen, delivered more than we could have asked for. Her knowledge of the area and the bridges we would visit was second to none. Along the ride, we would make periodic stops at local farms and landmarks where she would share about the history, culture, and beliefs of the Amish people. 

As the name suggests, the highlight of the tour was the historic covered bridges. There are currently 29 covered bridges still standing in Lancaster, the largest amount in the state. At one time, there were more than 130 covered bridges in the county and about 1,500 bridges in the State. Now, there are less than 1,000 covered bridges in all of the U.S.

One reason these Lancaster bridges are so unique is the architectural detail and thought that went into their design. The origin of the “covered bridge” is simple — In order to prevent the wooden tread from rotting away over time, roofs were added to cover the bridges from the weather. The walls and roof were created to be replaced, while the main structure of the building could last for decades.

There are other unique architectural aspects that make each bridge unique. The bridges we had the opportunity to visit were referred to as Burr Arch bridges for their arch style truss design by Theodore Burr. The can be found on the majority of bridges in Lancaster County. You can quickly identify it by its arch shape as you pass through. So, the next time you drive over a covered bridge, take a look and see if it’s being supported by a large arch style truss.

Since our tour was on a Sunday, we had a number of Amish traveling to and from each other’s homes. While we see Amish or Mennonite horse and buggies all the time, one of the most memorable moments we had on the excursion was standing on the bridges while horses and buggies trotted across the bridge. As we stood on the bridge, the entire structure vibrated and echoed with each stomp of the horse’s legs and the roll of the wheels on the wooden planks beneath us. It was definitely something we had never experienced before, and something I’m sure we’ll remember and talk about for years to come. 

Reflecting back on our tour, as Dutch County natives, we have a new appreciation for this place we call home. With so much rich history to be discovered while touring these historical landmarks, it’s definitely an experience you’ll want to have for yourself. 

 

~ Post submitted by Scott Rehnberg, Improve & Grow, LLC

 

 

Strasburg Scooters

242 Gap Road
Strasburg, PA  17579
717-344-2488

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