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 and picnic facilities - plus the views across the lakes are outstanding.
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.
- Pengra, Parvin, Unity and Cannon Street covered bridges are within a 10 mile (16 km) radius.
- Water sports like rowing, jet skiing, boating and fishing are popular here. The reservoir is home to the Oregon Association of Rowers and the University of Oregon crew teams.
- Swallows nest in the bridge rafters and there is ample bird watching from the park.
- Nearby, Dexter State Recreation Site is known for both its wide open lawns rolling down to the lake and it's popular disc golf course.
- Intersection of Jasper-Lowell Rd and Hwy 58, Lowell OR 97452
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