Lowell / Pleasant Hill

Lowell, Oregon offers a serene natural setting and many fun outdoor things to do. Nestled in the foothills of the Cascades along Highway 58, the Lowell / Dexter area is only 30 minutes southeast from Eugene - Springfield, through Pleasant Hill, and on the way to Oakridge/Westfir.

Lowell is known for its three big and beautiful lakes, numerous hiking and mountain biking trails, five picturesque covered bridges, wildflowers and wild blackberries!

Celebrate the holiday season by chopping down your own Christmas tree! This is a challenging yet… More Info
Do you feel the need for speed? We've compiled a list of some of the best places for powerboats,… More Info
This a delightful scenic drive to Crater Lake, with plenty of unique and memorable adventures… More Info

Lowell / Pleasant Hill Lodging & Campgrounds

Plan on camping in Lowell at one of many campgrounds or RV parks. Pitch your tent under a canopy of old-growth trees and pack a picnic for a lakefront soiree. Enjoy the escape into solitude and the starry skies at night.

Hide Map
Show Map

Lowell / Pleasant Hill Food & Drink

Make time to enjoy a meal along Highway 58. Whether you are heading to Crater Lake or returning from an exhilarating day on the ski slopes or mountain bike trails, re-fuel at an excellent roadside restaurant. In Pleasant Hill, Plank Town's Hilltop Bar & Grill serves up great craft beer along with delicious pub fare. In Lowell, the Rattlesnake BBQ occupies The Dexter Lake Club of Animal House fame. 

Hide Map
Show Map

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

Events & Festivals

The rural community of Lowell turns out in summer to celebrate blackberry season with the Blackberry Jam Festival during the last weekend of July.

Experience the excitement of the Covered Bridge Regatta in the spring on Dexter Lake. The event features Junior, Collegiate, Open and Masters rowing crews from the Pacific Northwest region racing sprints side by side.

Lowell Covered Bridge
Learn about Oregon's covered bridge heritage at Lowell's interpretive center on Dexter Lake… More Info
Elijah Bristow State Park in Autumn
Hike or ride horses along the Willamette River From Elijah Bristow to Dexter State Recreation Site.… More Info
Disc Golf
Lowell has an outstanding disc golf course on the edge of Dexter Reservoir.… More Info
Lowell Covered Bridge at night with lights by Deigh Bates
Visit the Lowell Covered Bridge Interpretive Center and explore five covered bridges.… More Info

About Lowell / Pleasant Hill, OR

First inhabited by the Kalapooya and Mollala people, Lowell was a lush river gorge. Pioneer Amos Hyland settled here in 1874 and the first post office opened in 1880. Amos operated a ferry service across the Middle Fork of the Willamette River until the Lowell Covered Bridge was built in 1907. The bridge was rebuilt in 1953 after severe truck damage. Because of the many tributaries and creeks in the vicinity, covered bridges were built to connect communities. There are still four preserved historic bridges around Lowell. Lowell was incorporated in 1954.

Damming the Rivers

In 1948, the railroad was moved to the south side of the river and the communities of Eula, Landax, Lawler, Signal, Reserve and Carter were dismantled to make way for the Lookout Point Reservoir

In preparation for the Dexter Reservoir damming, the Lowell Covered Bridge was raised six feet to accommodate the predicted higher water levels. 

In 1954, the United states Army Corps of Engineers finished building Dexter and Lookout Point dams, changing the contours of the river valley. In 1966, Fall Creek Reservoir was constructed. 

Oregon Rowing

With a permanent regatta course, Dexter Reservoir is one of the best lakes in the region for rowing competitions, drawing teams from across the west coast. The Oregon Association of Rowers, South Eugene High School Crew and the University of Oregon share docks and boathouses on the shores of Lowell State Park. The annual Covered Bridge Regatta is held here each spring. Drag boat races and dragon boat regattas also grace these ideal waters.

Oregon Covered Bridge Regatta at Lowell State Recreation Area on Dexter Reservoir by Dave Horton

Covered Bridge Regatta Dexter Lake

Photo: Dave Horton

Dexter Lake Club

Recognizable from the movie "Animal House," the Dexter Lake Club was where Otis Day and the Knights sang "Shama Lama Ding Dong." The 2,464-square-foot diner was built in 1949, passing through several owners since the 1978 film. However, with live music and BBQ, the neon-lit diner still attracts movie fans.

Dexter Lake Club

Dexter Lake Club

Photo: Taj Morgan

PLEASANT HILL - NORTH OF LOWELL

Settled by Elijah Bristow in 1846, Pleasant Hill is a primarily rural community along Highway 58 between Eugene and Lowell. Ken Kesey, author of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" lived here during his adult years (he was raised in Springfield). In 1964, Pleasant Hill High School was outfitted with an experimental rubber-asphalt track attracting University of Oregon runners under Bill Bowerman to train here. Today, Pleasant Hill is a great road trip stop for groceries, camping supplies and discs for disc golf.

Elijah Bristow Park equine trail

Elijah Bristow Park equine trail

Photo: Melanie Griffin

POPULATION

Lowell - 1,211

Source: 2021 Population Research Center, Portland State University

MAP IT

City of Lowell

  • 107 E 3rd, Lowell OR 97452
  • P: 541.937.2157