Lowell Covered Bridge Interpretive Center
The Lowell Covered Bridge is the widest covered bridge in Oregon. It currently serves as an interpretive center on regional covered bridges, with four other covered bridges nearby.
This is an excellent rest stop with parking, bathrooms, picnic facilities and outstanding views across the lake.
In 1907 the first Lowell Covered Bridge was built, replacing ferry service across the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. Nels Roney built the bridge with a crew of eight men. In the 40s a truck accident severely damaged the bridge knocking its truss out of alignment, so a new bridge had to be constructed.
The new bridge was completed by 1945 for a cost of $25,473. It was built to a maximum width of 24 feet (7.31 m), and the roof was added two years later. Then in 1953, with the impending construction of Dexter Dam, the bridge had to be raised an additional 6 feet (1.82 m) to accommodate the forecasted water level increase. The dam was completed in 1955 and now when Dexter Reservoir is at capacity, the bridge clears the water by approximately 2 feet (.61 m). In 1981 a new concrete bypass bridge was built and use of the covered bridge was discontinued.
The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It was refurbished and reopened for pedestrian access in 2006 as the Lowell Covered Bridge Interpretive Center.
This historic covered bridge, built in 1945, is open to pedestrians only and features a self-guided interpretive display on Oregon's covered bridges. It once spanned the Middle Fork of the…