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Union Canal Towpath Trail
Berks County > County Departments > Parks and Recreation

Union Canal Bicycle & Walking Trail
Stop 12: Reber's Mill and Bridge


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Union Canal Trail


At this stop, where Plum Creek flows into the “Tully,” Union Canal boats crossed the “Plum" by means of a stone and wooden aqueduct. This canal aqueduct can best be described as a wooden bridge filled with water which transported canal barges over the creek. A few of the original red sandstone blocks which supported the wooden aqueduct can still be observed north of this marker.

In 1951, the steel highway bridge which spans the creek today, replaced Reber’s Covered bridge (1837) which was 129 feet in length. This bridge provided access to Reber’s Grist Mill, which was first named Hiester’s Mill after having been built by Gabriel and Jonathan Hiester in 1760. The Hiesters and Rebers intermarried and around the time of the Civil War, Joseph Reber enlarged the mill to its full capacity. Little of the mill remains today.

The trail crosses Plum Creek on Rush’s Iron Truss Bridge (1905), which was moved here from the Oley Valley, and concludes at the junction of Reber’s Bridge.