Oregon has the largest collection of covered bridges in the western part of the United States, with over 50 covered spans. Because of the easy availability of forest resources most of the early bridges in the state were timber structures. These timber bridges were often covered to protect them from the weather. Now, the remaining examples of this obsolete bridge construction technology, generally located in pastoral rural settings, provide one of the most significant tourist attractions in the state.
The heyday of covered bridge building in Oregon occurred betweek 1905 and 1925 when there wer an estimated 450 covered bridges in the state. By 1977, this number had dwindled to 56. In 1990, the Oregon Department of Transportation worked with the Oregon Legislature to create the first comprehensive covered bridge preservation program to protect these scenic relics of our past. An online PDF version of the new Covered Bridges information and maps can be accessed here.
All but one of these historic bridges can be found west of the Cascade Range. The Swalley Canal, Rock O' The Range, Covered Bridge is just north of Bend. The others can be found in the Willamette Valley and west toward the Oregon Coast near many inns of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild. Plan our next authentic Geotourism adventure along the backroads of Oregon.