• McKee Covered Bridge is the oldest covered bridge remaining at its original location
• The latest renovations were completed in 2015 and cost $660,000
McKee Covered Bridge, also known as Applegate River Covered Bridge, is one of Oregon's oldest and tallest covered bridges. This is the oldest covered bridge remaining at its original location.
Visitors can write on message boards inside the bridge. The day-use area nearby is a perfect recreational spot for swimming, fishing, picnicking, and other activities.
This rustic bridge extends for 122 feet carrying McKee Bridge Road over the Applegate River, and sits 45 feet above it.
The McKee Bridge design features a shingle roof, open day-lighting windows near the ceiling, and flying buttresses.
The McKee was built in 1917 by Jason Hartman and his sons on land donated by Adelbert "Deb" McKee. Its purpose was to divert traffic to the Applegate River's west side and bypass hazardous areas.
The McKee family resided on a ranch near the future construction site. The ranch also served as a stage station between Jacksonville in Oregon and the Blue Ledge town and a copper mine in California.
The bridge was used primarily for mining and logging traffic from 1917 to 1956. In 1956, it was closed to vehicles for safety. A concrete bridge nearby replaced it, and the McKee Bridge became open for pedestrians only.
The 1964 flood damaged the bridge roof. Both county and private individuals pulled funds together for the repairs.
On November 29, 1979, the National Register of Historic Places added McKee Covered Bridge.
In 1985, Jackson County stopped financing bridge maintenance. As a result, the community members formed the McKee Bridge Historical Society to preserve it.
In 2012, the county shut down the bridge due to rot in structural components and damage to the roof. It underwent major renovations and reopened in June 2015—grants totaling around $660,000 funded the project.
McKee Covered Bridge | Facts
Architectural Bridge Design: Howe truss
Bridge access: Pedestrian
Stream: Applegate River
Bridge Length: 122 ft (37 m)
McKee Covered Bridge is located:
- 22 miles southwest of Medford
- 34 miles southeast of Grants Pass
- 104 miles southeast of Roseburg.
Directions to McKee Covered Bridge
- Take Main Street West
- Turn left onto OR-238 West and follow it for 1.5 miles
- Turn right onto OR-238 West/East California Street and follow it for 7.8 miles
- Turn left onto Upper Applegate Road and follow it for 8.6 miles
- Turn left onto McKee Br Road.