Cascadia Day-Use Area is a beautiful destination along the South Santiam River just off Highway 20, near the Short Bridge, one of Oregon’s historic covered bridges. In the 1930s, the Cascadia Ranger Station was built here and this site was a part of the Santiam National Forest and later become the Willamette National Forest. In 1963, a new ranger station was completed in Sweet Home.
This is a beautiful small park with picnic tables, an information kiosk explaining the history of the area, and the only remaining historic covered bridge over the South Fork of the Santiam River.
The Short Bridge is one of the 17 Oregon's covered Howe truss style bridges. It is located in Linn County 12 miles to the east of Sweet Home by the small community of Cascadia.
Open for traffic, carrying High Deck Road, the bridge is 105 feet (32 m) long. Its unique feature is a wooden shingle roof since there are only a few bridges left with such material used.
The bridge was constructed in 1945 and was first known as Whiskey Butte Bridge, but later renamed after a local resident Gordon Short.
In 1979, the covered bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 1991, major work was done to ensure the structural integrity of the bridge and its overall condition.
Cascadia Day-Use Area is a great swimming, rockhounding, fishing, and picnicking destination.
Swimming & Rockhounding
If you are ready for swimming, wading, and diving, the stretch of the South Santiam River below the covered bridge is an amazing spot. The water is warm and calm in the summer months.
The river, flowing between rocky slopes, is deep under and downstream of the bridge.
There are shallows and gravel bars upstream of the bridge. This is a place for sunbathing, wading, and rockhounding.
The historic Cascadia State Park, managed by Linn County, is located 2 miles east of Cascadia Day-Use Area.
Cascadia Day-Use Area | General Description
Architectural Bridge Design: Howe truss
Bridge access: Pedestrian and vehicle
Stream: South Santiam River
Bridge Length: 105 ft (32 m)
Open: Year-round (day-use)
Managed: US Forest Service
Services: Picnic site
Activities: Swimming, hiking, and fishing
Accommodations: Cascade State Park Campground
Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Popularity: Moderate to high
Elevation: 900 ft (300 m)
Cascadia Day-Use Area is located:
- 13 miles east of Sweet Home
- 53 miles northeast of Eugene
- 64 miles southeast of Salem.
Directions to Cascadia Day-Use Area
- Take exit 228 for OR-34 toward Corvallis
- Head 5.4 miles east on OR-34 to Denny School Road
- Turn right onto Denny School Road and drive for 1.2 miles
- Continue 2.2 miles onto Airport Drive to US-20 (Main Street)
- Turn right onto US-20 and follow 25.5 miles to the destination on the left.