Fall Festivals: Alabama’s Covered Bridge Festival

Last Updated on September 1, 2022 by Left Lane

The Swann Bridge, a Covered Bridge located in the city of Cleveland, in Blount County Alabama. It’s also known locally as the Swann Joy Bridge, and the Joy Bridge.

Looking for some fun Fall day activities. We discovered the Oneonta, Alabama Covered Bridge Festival. We actually came across the festival by watching the weather in Alabama on ABC 33/40. When their Chief Meteorologist James Spann first mentioned the Oneonta Covered Bridge Festival during a television broadcast.

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Using different websites (Like This One) we quickly figured out the Covered Bridge Festival would be having numerous activities. Including: Live Music, Multiple Food Booths, Arts and Crafts sale, T-Shirts, a Pancake Breakfast, and a riverwalk hike and picnic.

The website included the address for the meet up point, and time to arrive for the Riverwalk Hike. My partner, and I packed our lunches, grabbed some Gatorade, and bottled waters. Put on our good hiking boots, and hit the road for Oneonta Alabama.

A Little Bridge History

Our meet up point was the parking lot of a local gas station. Which gave us a chance to grab some snacks for the picnic. After our 9:30a.m meet up with the hiking group. We carpooled, and followed each other out to where the Hike would began at the Swann Covered Bridge.

Getting our first look at the Swann Covered Bridge in Cleveland Alabama. This wood, and metal frame bridge was built in 1933. It’s the longest historical Covered Bridge in Alabama, after being listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.

It’s 324’ Feet Long, and 9’ Feet Wide. It can safely allow the crossing of 1 vehicle at a time, so long as the vehicle is under 8’ Feet Tall, with a 6000 Pound Max Weight Limit (or 3 Tons)
A View of the Locust Fork River from above. This photo was taken in between the wooden trusses of the Swann Covered Bridge

Let’s do Some Hiking

Photo of a babbling brook that added to the picturesque scenery along our hiking trail. Which ran alongside the Locust Fork River in Cleveland Alabama. The Locust Fork River eventually becomes Bankhead Lake, and then Holt Lake, before finally becoming the Black Warrior River in Tuscaloosa Alabama…

Want to know more about Tuscaloosa, and the Black Warrior River? Check out my other Article: RIGHT HERE

On the morning of our hike, the weather wasn’t perfect. It was Cold, with a constant drizzle of light rain. Being around a 40 min walk out to the Picnic area for hike.

Walking through wet underbrush, crossing a small stream, and catching constant leaf drip from the trees above. Everyone in our group was wet by the time we arrived at the trails end.

Photo of our scenic picnic location at Powell Falls on the Locust Fork River. Which is also a local favorite of some of the more skilled Kayakers in the area. On a nice day you can watch the Kayakers as they go over the Waterfall as seen in this Video: HERE

Once everyone who came together for the picnic finished eating. We all took a few group photos.

Group photo of our Locust Fork Hiking party during the Covered Bridge Festival. With Powell Falls in the background

Conservation, and Environmental Cleanup

This hike was more then just a casual pleasure hike, or exercise hike through the woods. Members of the Friends of the Locust Fork River organized this hike as part of a keep the river clean program.

Being one of the longest Free Flowing (meaning Undammed) Rivers in Alabama. The Locust Fork River has a major impact on its surrounding environment.

For over 30 years, the Friends of the Locust Fork River have been protecting, and keeping the river clean. Through physical conservation, and by legally defending it against destructive industrial infrastructure harmful to the environment.

After the Picnic was over, everyone in our group grabbed a garbage bag. During our return hike, we picked up as much trash as we could from along the trail, and the waters edge. Gathering trash that washed up during elevations in the water level, and left after the water receded.

Through the efforts of people like the members of Friends of the Locust Fork River. They are ensuring that another generation will be able to enjoy this beautiful place in nature, just as it was intended to be… This photo was taken at the end of our clean up, showing the amount of garbage that was removed

Let’s Go To The Festival!

After leaving the hike, the group returned to Oneonta Alabama, to enjoy the rest of the Covered Bridge Festival. Shopping at the local merchant booths, and my personal favorite, hitting up the Food Booths.

Photo as I picked up some Fresh Lemonade, and a Ribeye Steak Sandwich at the covered bridge festival. The street was lined with booths, making decisions difficult when choosing which one you wanted to visit first
Wouldn’t you know we even bumped into a guy dressed up as Barney Fife, from the Andy Griffith Show… so of course we had to get a picture 😂

If you like friendly people, good food, and live music. You should clear up your calendar for October, and catch the next covered Bridge Festival in Oneonta Alabama. You, and your family are bound to enjoy it!

Quick Trip To The Mall

Just in case we hadn’t done enough walking for the day. When we left the Festival we headed back to Downtown Hoover, and hit up the Riverchase Galleria Mall.

Selfie from inside the Riverchase Galleria as we walked around the 2nd Floor. This is the largest enclosed Mall in the state of Alabama

We happened across one more celebrity in the Mall as well, and as usual, we couldn’t turn down a photo opportunity 😂.

It’s the Batman, we just had to get a selfie with this famous caped crusader of the night

The Roving Gypsy

Group Photo of all of us together, after enjoying a lunch picnic, and hike along the Locust Fork River

Thanks for reading my Travel Blog, I hope you enjoyed our Hiking Adventure through Nature, during the Covered Bridge Festival as much as we did. Like what you read, and want more, or have a suggestion for me? Follow, Share, and Comment to let me know.

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