Above: Shobers Run from Naugle’s Mill Trail, Helen at Iron Spring, Horn O Plenty Farm-to-Table Restaurant
PHOTOS ABOVE: LOREN BARNETT APPEL/CBF STAFF
Follow these rivers the other direction and
you will find the Chesapeake Bay. About
half of the Bay’s freshwater inflow comes
from the Susquehanna River, which zigzags
through this heartland draining almost half
the land area of Pennsylvania. The Juniata
is the Susquehanna’s second largest tributary and is fed by more than 400 named
streams totaling 6,560 stream miles.
One of those streams, Shobers Run, flows
through the Bedford Springs Resort property
for over two miles. Shobers is well-known by
area anglers for trout fishing and by troops of
local students as an outdoor classroom.
And, many came before. American Indians
familiar with the springs consecrated an
area of the property as a healing ground. In
1796, some small guest and bathhouses
were costructed as the original resort. A
larger 24-room inn opened in 1804 and
attracted people from great distances.
Bedford Springs became one of America’s first
destination resorts and over the years hosted
10 U.S. presidents, seven of whom visited
while in office. President James Buchanan
used the hotel as his summer White House
and received the first-in-the-U.S. transAtlantic cable in the hotel lobby. Evidence of
celebrity visits and other memorable resort
history is displayed throughout the building.
In need of renovation after almost a century of
service, Bedford Springs Resort closed in
1986. Bedford County purchased the resort
and surrounding 2,200 acres for preservation
and redevelopment. During the renovation,
Shobers Run—previously rerouted for the
resort’s golf course—was restored to its original path and depth for flood control. Bedford
Springs reopened in 2007 with 216 rooms,
four restaurants, several ballrooms, and a spa.
Plenty of outdoor activities are also available.
Shobers is stocked regularly, and local anglers
say that wild trout are also present. The resort
offers fishing equipment and guides as well as
bikes and Segways for exploring the 25 miles
of trails on the property.
Prompted by the pair of walking sticks provided in our room, Helen and I were quick
to choose hiking as our first adventure. We
set out on Naugle’s Mill Trail, a moderate
climb through the woods named for the
1767 building on the property that was used
as a clinic and outlet for selling waters from
the springs. Six of the resort’s eight springs
can be viewed from the trails, each with a
plaque explaining the historic significance
and believed healing properties. From the
upper portion of the trail, we paused to
enjoy a birdseye view of the valley.
After our hike, Helen and I enjoyed dinner
at the resort’s 1796 Room. In season, the
menu includes vegetables and herbs from
gardens on the property and other local
ingredients from neighboring farms. And,
on weekends, guests can join the chef in the
kitchen for cooking demonstrations.
The following day, Helen and I—armed
with a map—left the resort for a tour of the
area’s covered bridges. In just a few hours,
we visited nine of the 14 covered bridges
that dot Bedford County. Most were built
between 1868 and 1902 in the Burr Truss
style, combining an arch and multiple kingpost truss design. (See red arch and white
truss on Kniseley Bridge photo, page 7.)
Bridge number one, Claycomb, crossed the
Raystown Branch just outside Bedford.
From there we headed north on increasing-
ly narrow roads following Dunning Creek.
We stuck to the map’s turn-by-turn instruc-
tions and were treated to a view of rural life.
Children carrying bookbags moseyed along
country roads with homes far apart and no
school in sight. Between the farm fields and
herds of cattle appeared charming homes
and the occasional supply store.
On our way south, we went off-course in
search of Gravity Hill. This local “
phenomenon” lived up to the lore I had read online.
Our car did indeed roll uphill between the
stop and start marks spray-painted on the
road. It was worth the detour.
Back on track, we crossed Shawnee Creek
on the Colvin Bridge. The last two bridges
on our tour brought us full-circle to the
Raystown Branch and Bedford.
Hungry again, we visited the Horn O Plenty
Restaurant. It was warm and inviting with a
fireplace, wood-fired oven, and open
kitchen. Owner Mandi Horn was just as
welcoming. Her farm—just a few miles
down the road—and some other local agricultural ventures supply all the ingredients
for the ever-changing menu. And, Mandi’s
mother bakes fresh breads early every
morning. Our meal included pumpkin and
black bean soup and a to-die-for five-cheese
pizza—each bite a different combination of
fresh cheese atop a lovely rustic crust.
After thanking our hosts, we headed home
to Annapolis discussing our visit. My
daughter declared it one of her favorites.
“But, I would drive back just for another
pizza,” she said. “Me, too,” I answered.
Loren Anne Barnett—CBF’s
Director of Creative Services
and Editor of Save the Bay
magazine—grew up on
Maryland’s Severn River.