Most of my bike rides from West Chester head due west straight into horse country. Recently I have been heading south into Delaware for a chance in scenery. I usually take Creek Road which runs along the Brandywine River. I usually stop at first intersection that I come to in Delaware to figure out which way I’d going to go. One of the roads at this intersection is Smith Bridge Road.
I have never chosen to head down Smith’s Bridge Road, mainly because it heads right back into Pennsylvania and into some fairly urban roadways that are not fun for cycling. A few weeks ago at Kevin’s graduation party I was speaking to our friend Matt about the area. He pointed out to me that Smith Bridge Road has a nice covered bridge on it that is called, of all things, Smith’s Bridge.
With this new information in hand, I headed out to see it this past Thursday. Getting to the bridge was pretty easy. As the crow flies it is only about 10 miles away. Taking Creek Road it was a mostly flat (522 feet of climbing) and very pleasant 16.3 mile ride. This route takes me past the N.C, Andrew, and Jamie Wyeth house and the Brandywine River Museum that houses much of their work. The museum has a nice collection of early American artist. I particularly like the 4 or 5 Horace Pipin paintings.
The bridge is a new one of sorts. As the plaque at the bridge states, the original bridge was built in 1839, modified in 1956, destroyed by fire in 1961, rebuilt with out a cover in 1962, and reconstructed with Burr Trusses with cover in 2002.
My return trip I decided to travel through the area that I have always avoided. With the exception of about half a mile along Route 1 I was pleasantly surprised at what a nice it was. I stopped at the Brandywine Battlefield Park, which I have never seen before. I also came across the ruins of an octagonal one room school at a place called Archies Corner in southern Delaware County PA. My route covered 30 miles and past some interesting sights!
See photos from my ride here.
Ride lots, stop often!