Lowell Covered Bridge Oregon

• Lowell Covered Bridge is the widest covered bridge in Oregon
• The bridge was raised 6 feet to prevent it from flooding

The Lowell Covered Bridge, a short drive from Eugene near the town of Lowell, stands as a picturesque landmark spanning the tranquil waters of Dexter Reservoir, adjacent to the modern Pioneer Street Bridge. Beyond its functional role as a pedestrian bridge, Lowell serves as an interpretive center dedicated to celebrating the rich history of covered bridges in Lane County. Visitors can explore engaging exhibits both indoors and outdoors, immersing themselves in the fascinating story of these iconic structures. The amenities here include parking, restrooms, picnic tables, and stunning views across Dexter Reservoir, making it a fantastic picnic and nature-viewing spot. The Lowell Covered Bridge features a distinctive Howe truss design, a wide, rounded portal, and a white paint job. It is 165 feet (50 m) long and 24 feet (7 m) wide, making it the widest covered bridge in Oregon.

Lowell Covered Bridge Oregon


The story of the Lowell Covered Bridge begins in the late 19th century when pioneer Amos Hyland settled along the Middle Fork of the Willamette River and established the town of Lowell, named after his birthplace in Maine.

Hyland operated a ferry service for settlers and supplies heading to the Willamette Valley. To facilitate easier river crossings, county contractor Nels Roney and a crew of just 8 men built the bridge in 1907.

The original bridge, built to withstand the demands of horse-drawn wagons, eventually succumbed to the increased wear from modern truck traffic.

In 1945, a truck knocked out the bridge truss, so the country rebuilt a more rugged bridge. Lane County bridge foreman Walt Sorensen designed the structure to accommodate the heavy logging trucks frequenting the area.

In 1947, the county added walls and roof to the new bridge.

In 1953, engineers raised the bridge 6 feet to prepare for flooding caused by the construction of the Dexter Dam.

Recognizing its cultural significance, the bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

In 1981, the county built the new concrete bridge next to the old bridge. However, right before the new bridge was complete, a dump truck with a bed up passed through the covered bridge and caused significant damage, breaking roof braces and portal boards. So, the county had to repair it again.

Division refurbished and reopened the bridge as the Lowell Covered Bridge Interpretive Center. This project cost $1.2 million to complete.

Lowell Covered Bridge | Facts

Architectural Bridge Design: Howe truss
Bridge access: Pedestrian
Stream: Dexter Reservoir
Bridge Length: 165 ft (50 m)
Built: 1907
Rebuilt: 1945
Reopened: 2006

Open: Year-round

Elevation: 722 ft (220 m)

Lowell Covered Bridge is located:

  • 21 miles southeast of Eugene
  • 82 miles southeast of Salem
  • 126 miles south of Portland.

Adventures Nearby

Directions to Lowell Covered Bridge

From Eugene,
  • Take I-5 South
  • Take exit 188 toward OR-58
  • Take the OR-58 exit toward Oakridge/Klamath Falls
  • Continue onto OR-58 for 13.1 miles.
Get Google Maps Directions

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