Covered Bridges Byway: Foraker & Knowlton Bridges

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Even before you see your first covered bridge, this route through Ohio’s farmland pays off with gently rolling hills and picturesque farmland.

To reach the start of the “Covered Bridges Byway”, cross the Ohio River at Moundsville and drive south on Ohio Rte. 7 to Powhatan Point.  Take Rte. 148 west to Rte. 800, then head south.  A few miles after you pass Woodsfield, Rte. 26 will turn off to the right. This portion of Rte. 26 is designated the “Covered Bridges Byway”, and will take you all the way to Marietta, Ohio.

This may be one of the first “quilted” barns you spot.  Its design is known as the “bowtie”, and it’s located along Rte. 800 just south of the Monroe County Line.  A stop here allows you to pick up a list of all the county’s patchwork barns.

Monroe County’s website allows you to see every “quilted” barn, which they officially call “Patchwork Jewel Barns”.  The site even shows the painting process.

While traveling this route, you’ll also come across quite a few barns and old buildings painted with Mail Pouch Tobacco advertisements.  There just happens to be one such structure at this same stop, behind the quilted barn.  Remember, though, these barns are on private property, so you need to limit your wandering to the roadside.

Near the “bowtie” barn, I spotted a sign advertising a lake, that was supposedly about 2 miles off the main road.  That side road turned to dirt and gradually worsened, then finally ended on private property, with no lake to be found.

Foraker (Un-)Covered Bridge

The first bridge along the Covered Bridges Byway is a good distance away from the main road, down County Rte. 42.  I missed the turnoff, and instead took County Rte. 12 out of Graysville to reach the bridge.  But all that effort didn’t pay off.  The Foraker Covered Bridge was in the process of being reconstructed… and all I found was an impassable skeleton.

OK, that’s not all I found.  I did see a lot of cows…

… and several interesting barns.

Note: This trip was first published in 2005.

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