On the Oregon Trail: Covered Bridges

Have you ever been road tripping across the PNW and come across an old-fashioned, dreamy, covered bridge surrounded by nature? If so, you’ve experienced one of the dozens of covered bridges scattered around Oregon - around 54 in total. However, it’s hard to count them all, because many aren’t in use or are in very remote locations. Follow us on our journey to visit some of these covered bridges:

We start at the Rochester Covered Bridge, located in Sutherlin, OR. The Rochester Covered Bridge was built in 1933 by veteran Floyd Frear, who gave it a unique and charming design. The bridge’s windows have curved tops and it follows a Howe Truss design. This bridge was protected in the 1950s by locals who were concerned that the bridge would be burned after another nearby span was torched and destroyed. Community members sat outside the bridge all night with guns and rifles to keep it safe.

Next up on the trek is Horse Creek Bridge, located in Myrtle Creek, OR. This bridge originally spanned Horse Creek, however, it was removed in 1987. It now spans the stream of Myrtle Creek. Some of the original timber from the bridge was used to build a new small scale covered bridge in the City of Cottage Grove – go check it out if you can!

Just a hop, skip, and jump away is the Neal Lane Bridge, which also one spans Myrtle Creek. The Neal Lane Bridge is short but sweet, at just 42 feet long. It was built in 1939 for $1,000 and is the only bridge in Oregon using a kingpost truss design.

Moving on to the Canyon Creek Bridge in Canyonville, you’ll find that it is narrow and just about wide enough for two people to walk through. This simple bridge is a great place to bring a picnic and enjoy nature and the sound of the rushing river that it spans.

Thinking of visiting the Seventh Day Adventist Academy? The Milo Academy Bridge, built in 1962, spans the 100 feet it takes to cross the South Umpqua River to reach the Academy. This bridge is made of steel housed in wood.

Heading over to Eagle Point, you’ll find the Antelope Creek Bridge. This bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1922, it was moved to its current location in 1986 to provide safe passage from North Royal Avenue to North Shasta Avenue for school children and the general public.

Last but not least is McKee Bridge, which spans the Applegate River. This bridge has gone through a lot of fundraising and efforts to keep it up to date since it’s construction in 1927 by Jason Hartman on land donated by Aldelbert “Deb” McKee.

If you visit any of these bridges, be sure to think of the history and work that went into creating them. Happy trails!


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