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December 20, 2014
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A Bridge with a View: The Upper Delaware’s historic bridges

Cochecton-Damascus Bridge


The Barryville-Shohola Bridge was completely rebuilt several years ago, and has a sleek, modern look. It is named for the two towns it connects, and it has several viewing stations along its pedestrian walkway. One of several treats near this bridge is the friendly town of Barryville, with antique and specialty shops, several restaurants and the River Market.

Continue north along the Scenic Byway (Route 97) and you will arrive at one of the jewels of the Upper Delaware: The Roebling Bridge. This single-lane bridge was constructed by John A. Roebling, who 20 years later built the Brooklyn Bridge, and it was originally one of four aqueducts engineered to raise the river during the D&H Canal era. It retains its old-world charm with a wooden truss structure. In season, you can visit the Zane Gray Museum and also hike along the old D&H canal trails. Don’t miss dining at the Lackawaxen Inn, which has a great porch for gazing at the river rapids going by.

Stay on 97 north a few more miles, and you’ll come upon bustling Narrowsburg, a Town of Tusten hamlet. Narrowsburg is a favorite for eagle watching and fishing and its bridge, the Narrowsburg-Darbytown Bridge, is among those that can be transversed by foot. The bridge is a favorite spot for residents and visitors in late winter who gather to “watch the ice go out,” which it does after a cold season in great sheets and iceberg piles. In addition to breathtaking views, the hamlet has some excellent restaurants, boutiques and shops, and is home to the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance and The River Reporter newspaper. The hamlet and its bridge overlook the Big Eddy, which at 113 feet deep is the deepest stretch of the entire Delaware.

Back on 97, seven miles north of Narrowsburg, you’ll come upon a sign steering you downhill and over railroad tracks to the Skinners Falls-Milanville Bridge, affectionately known as the Skinners Falls Bridge. The bridge (and the falls it commemorates, just visible from the bridge) are named for Daniel Skinner, who took the first timber raft down the river in in 1764. The bridge, built in 1902, replaced a busy ferry service run largely by Skinner’s descendants, who were a prominent family in the area. This one-lane wooden truss bridge is among the more picturesque in the region, and it offers great opportunities for swimming, picnicking and boating. Landers Campground is on the New York side of the bridge, along with public boating and swimming access points. And don’t miss a visit to the Milanville General Store for inexpensive gas and New York-style pizza on the PA side.