Covered Bridges of Douglas County
A scenic drive through the great Umpqua Valley makes for a day well spent with plenty to see and taste. Stop by the local farms or markets for an abundance of fresh produce, pop into one of the many local wineries, tasting even more of what the county has to offer, and experience some of Douglas County’s rich history while taking in gorgeous landscapes.
Covered bridges take visitors into a real-life old-world romance novel. There are a total of six in Douglas County begging for a stroll, some photographs and a picnic on a dreamy, Pacific Northwest day.
The Neal Lane Covered Bridge, also known as the South Myrtle Creek Bridge, is a historic covered bridge that underwent renovations in 2015. The original bridge was built in 1929 and is one of Oregon’s shortest covered bridges, stretching 43 feet in length. The bridge is also the only one in the state to use a kingpost truss design.
HOW TO GET THERE: From I-5, take exit 108 to Myrtle Creek, travel south on Old Highway 99 (Main Street) for a half mile; turn left onto Riverside Drive immediately after crossing the bridge, travel east for a short distance; turn right onto Days Creek Cutoff Road. The covered bridge is on the left.
The Horse Creek Covered Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that stretches across a stream, providing access from a parking lot into Myrtle Creek’s Millsite Park. The 110-foot bridge was originally built in 1930, spanning Horse Creek in the vicinity of the McKenzie River in Lane County. After being shut down to usage in 1968, in 1987 the bridge was removed and donated to the city of Myrtle Creek in the spring of 1990.
HOW TO GET THERE: From I-5, take exit 108 to Myrtle Creek. Continue on Old Highway 99 (Main Street) for one mile. The bridge is to the west in Millsite Park.
The Cavitt Creek Bridge crosses Little River at the junction with Cavitt Creek. The design features Tudor arch portals to accommodate heavy log truck usage. The area surrounding the bridge site was settled in the early 1880's and named for Robert Cavitt, who settled on a tributary of Little River. This covered bridge was included in the National Register in 1979.
HOW TO GET THERE: From Roseburg take Highway 138 (Diamond Lake Boulevard) east to Glide. Just before entering Glide, turn right on Little River Road. Proceed about seven miles and take a right on Cavitt Creek Road to the bridge.
The Milo Academy Covered Bridge is located at the Seventh Day Adventist Academy near Milo is one-of-a-kind as it is Oregon’s only steel bridge housed in wood. When the former wood rotted, residents wanted stronger materials, but the same look.
HOW TO GET THERE: From I-5, take exit 98 toward Canyonville/Days Creek. Turn left onto 1st Street/Canyonville-Riddle Road, then take a right on Main Street. Turn left on 3rd Street and continue seventeen miles until a right onto Milo Drive at the bridge.
The Pass Creek Bridge in Drain was listed as being built in 1925, but that date is very debated by historians as many believe it to be constructed much earlier around the 1870s. In 1987, it was moved a block away, replaced with a concrete bridge for vehicle traffic.
HOW TO GET THERE: From I-5, take exit 150 toward Yoncalla/Drain and keep left. Turn right onto W A Avenue and then take a sharp right to stay on W A Avenue toward the bridge.
The Rochester Covered Bridge features windows having graceful curved tops and sits along the farmlands surrounding the Calapooya River just west of Sutherlin. The local stories say that in the late 1950s a nearby covered span was torched and destroyed by a county crew to make way for a new concrete bridge. Believing the Rochester bridge would meet the same fate, tons of local residents sat through the night with guns and rifles to protect their beloved bridge.
HOW TO GET THERE: From I-5, take exit 136 for Sutherlin/Elkton and turn left onto OR-138/Central Avenue. Turn right on Stearns Lane and then left onto Rochester Bridge Road.