Take A Daytrip And Discover The Beauty Of Southern Oregon Covered Bridges, Many Of Which Are Still In Use Today
Oregon has the largest collection of covered bridges in the West and one of the largest in the nation. Covered bridge building in Oregon dates from the 1850's. Out of necessity, pioneers built with the materials at hand.
Steel was scarce during both world wars, while Douglas fir was abundant in western Oregon and well-suited for bridge building. To increase their useful life, houses were constructed over the timber trusses to protect them from the damp western Oregon climate. A wooden covered bridge could last 80 years or more, while an uncovered span would deteriorate in about 10 years. The heyday of covered bridge building in Oregon occurred between 1905 and 1925 when there were an estimated 450 covered bridges in the state. By 1977, this number had shrunk to 56. Today, there are about 50 covered bridges left in the state, with most covered bridges using a state-provided design incorporating the Howe truss. For a relaxing and fun time, make a day trip exploring the unique history of Oregon's covered bridge era. And don't forget your camera!
Sandy Creek Bridge
- 60 feet long
- Built in 1921
In the early eighties, the area around the bridge was transformed into a park, and the bridge itself into a covered picnic site, including a tourist information center.
Directions: From Roseburg travel west on Highway 42 approximately 31 miles to Remote. Sandy Creek Bridge is on the north side of Highway 42, 1/4 mile west of the Remote exit.
Cavitt Creek Bridge
- 70 feet long
- Built in 1943
The Cavitt Creek Bridge crosses the Little River at its junction with Cavitt Creek, and is still used for vehicular traffic.
Directions: From Roseburg take Highway 138 east to Glide. Just before entering Glide turn south on Little River Road and Cavitt Creek Road (county roads 17 and 82).
Canyon Creek Bridge
- 75 feet long
- Built in 1976
Canyon Creek Bridge is located in Pioneer Park and is a functional pathway over Canyon Creek.
Directions: From Roseburg head south on I-5 to Canyonville. Take the Canyonville Exit 99, follow the signs to downtown. Once in downtown Canyonville, take Main Street south, turn left onto Third Street and then left onto Canyon Avenue. The bridge is in Pioneer Park.
Rochester Covered Bridge
- 80 feet long
- Built in 1933
The Rochester Bridge crosses the Calapooya Creek and was remodeled in 1969, remaining open year-round to vehicle traffic.
Directions: From Sutherlin travel west on Highway 138 approximately two miles to Sterns Lane. Turn north on Sterns Lane to Rochester Road. The bridge is just north of the intersection of Stearns Lane and Rochester Road.
Pass Creek Bridge
- 61 feet long
- Built in 1925—though some claim the true year was 1906.
The bridge was moved and rebuilt in 1988. In the fall of 1987, a 90-ton crane lifted the trusses and moved them 1 block away from where the bridge was originally built. It was reassembled at its new location and a concrete bridge currently crosses Pass Creek where the old wooden bridge once stood.
Directions: From Highway 99 (West B Street) in Drain, turn south onto 2nd Street and go one block to West A Street. Located in the city of Drain, behind Drain Civic Center at 205 W. A Street.
Horse Creek Covered Bridge
- 105 feet long
- Built in 1930, then moved to Myrtle Creek in 1990.
Horse Creek Covered Bridge originally spanned Horse Creek in Lane County, where it was replaced by a concrete span in 1968. In 1987 the bridge was finally removed, and eventually was donated to the city of Myrtle Creek where it now spans the stream of Myrtle Creek, providing access to Mill Site Park in downtown Myrtle Creek.
Directions: Exit Interstate 5 at Myrtle Creek and continue on Highway 99, the main street through downtown. The bridge is to the west in Mill Site Park.
Neal Lane Bridge
- 42 feet long
- Built in either 1929 or 1939 depending on who you ask.
The Neal Lane Bridge is one of the shortest covered bridges in Oregon, and the only one that uses a kingpost truss design. The bridge spans Myrtle Creek and is open to vehicle traffic.
Directions: From the city center of Myrtle Creek travel south on Main Street to Riverside Drive. Head east on Riverside Drive to Day's Creek Cut-Off Road. Travel south on Day's Creek Cut-Off Road to Neal Lane.
Grave Creek Bridge
- 105 feet long
- Built in 1920
Spanning Grave Creek at Sunny Valley, the bridge was closed to traffic in the late 1990s and reopened in 2001 after repairs to the approaches and housing.
Directions: From Grants Pass, travel 15 miles north on Interstate 5 to the Sunny Valley exit. Turn left at Sunny Valley Loop Road and continue north for about one mile. Grave Creek Bridge is about 1/4 mile off I-5 and is visible from the highway.
Antelope Creek Bridge
- 58 feet long
- Built in 1922, moved in 1987
The bridge originally spanned the Antelope Creek, about 10 miles southeast of Eagle Point. In 1987, the bridge was moved to Eagle Point.
Directions: From Highway 62 in Eagle Point, turn east onto Linn Road. Continue to South Buchanan Street and turn left. Turn right onto West Main Street and continue to Royal Avenue. The bridge is located at the intersection.
Lost Creek Bridge
- 39 feet long
- Built in 1919, although that date is challenged by many claiming the true date is around 1881.
Lost Creek Bridge is the shortest covered bridge in Oregon, and is no longer open to vehicles. The bridge is next to Walch Memorial Wayside Park, providing a nice place to relax and enjoy a picnic where tables and cooking areas are provided.
Directions: From Eagle Point, continue southeast on Royal Avenue to Highway 140. Continue on Highway 140 to Lake Creek Loop Road. From Lake Creek Loop Road, travel south through Lake Creek on South Fork Little Butte Creek Road. Turn south on Lost Creek Road and continue approximately one half mile. Lost Creek Bridge is 4 miles south of Lost Creek.
- 112 feet long
- Built in 1917
Spanning the Applegate River, just eight miles from the California border, the bridge was used from 1917 to 1956, before being declared unsafe for vehicular traffic. Today, the bridge is part of the McKee Picnic Ground, a Rogue National Forest facility along the Applegate River.
- 42 feet long
- Built in 1929
Always open to vehicular and pedestrian traffic, the original Wimer Covered Bridge collapsed into Evans Creek on July 6, 2003. The new bridge is a replica of the original and is a true joy to travel on. While there, enjoy a nice picnic in Mae Ellis Park, just below the Wimer Covered Bridge.
Directions: Take the Rogue River exit on I-5, follow East Evans Creek Road to the town of Wimer. Turn right on Covered Bridge Road.
For additional information visit the Covered Bridge Society of Oregon website.