Built in 1860 by Joseph Johnson, Gilpin’s Falls Covered Bridge is one of only six covered bridges extant in the state of Maryland, and one of two that remain in Cecil County.
Gilpin’s Falls is a 119-foot single-span burr truss bridge, with a clear span length of 100 feet. It is the longest-covered bridge in the state of Maryland.
Unlike other covered bridges in the state, Gilpin’s Falls is the only one that has been bypassed, meaning that it sits beside the main roadway, still occupying the span across Northeast Creek where it was originally constructed. This happened in 1936 when Rte. 272 was added.
The bridge has been restored on several occasions. In 1958, the roof collapsed due to heavy snowfall and underwent major rehabilitation. In 1971, the bridge was damaged by partiers who kicked out several of the boards.
The bridge appeared to be at risk of being moved or abandoned to the elements several times since 1986, but the efforts of local resident W. Earl Simmons and the Gilpin’s Falls Covered Bridge committee, which he formed, have kept the bridge secure in its location, with a complete, year-long overhaul in 2009-2010 being the culmination of his efforts.
The most recent work on the bridge was a repainting and underside treatment in 2015.
Know Before You Go
The bridge is located 1.4 miles north of I-95 on Maryland Route 272. There is a widened shoulder where visitors may park and walk through the bridge and in the surrounding area along Northeast Creek.