Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Longest Covered Bridge in the World

While I had been riding to Oregon for several years, I had never ridden inside of a covered bridge but I finally got my chance a couple of years ago.  Oregon probably has the highest concentration of covered bridges in the country but I had never found one.   Look HERE     After iMBC2012,  I left Bend, OR early in the morning and after riding Hwy 242 the McKenzie Highway  (info)

I found myself at the beginning of the Aufderheide Memorial Drive  (info2)

It was July 24th, 2012 and it was a hot day but I was riding alone so I took the opportunity to stop at the 

Cougar Dam and Reservoir.

On the left you can see down into the Valley but in the photo immediately above you can see the water is nearly level with the road

The Aufderheide is a road which twists through the forest and since I didn't really see anyone else besides myself I was getting a strange feeling inside like someone was watching me so I kept riding and didn't stop

Even today as I think about it I still get this uneasy feeling like the forest was going to grab me and take me away.  Either that or a hungry Cougar was waiting to make a meal of me after all, they didn't name that reservoir the Cougar Dam for no reason.  All the time as I was carving through the corners all I could think about was when will this road end ?

After an hour or so I was greatly relieved to find myself in Westfir/Oakridge

where I stopped to snap a few photos of the Oakridge Covered Bridge

Soon it was time to ride to the other side

Where to my delight was a very nice, clean washroom.  Just what I needed to find at just the right time

I  can't be positive but it seems like this covered bridge has been restored as it looks very new

There's no one around so naturally I park and pose my bike for more photos

soon enough it was time to leave and make tracks toward Eugene, OR where I had planned to stay for the night

This year on my cross country tour, my tour guide V*star Lady took me to Hartland, New Brunswick on our way to Quebec City

I know, I may have posted these photos before

but the Hartland, NB  Bridge is the longest covered bridge in the world at 1,282 feet

and I'm setting the stage for the following video which was recorded on  July 31, 2013


  1. If I'm counting right there are 5 covered bridges within a about 10 miles of where I grew up. There were 6 when I was a kid. Larwood, the closest, I've featured several times on my blog. I've never done the Aufderheide. It's a destination ride for both motorcycles and bicycles. I bet it feels very isolated when by yourself.

    I love seeing the inner structure of the Oakridge bridge. It's quite lovely. I haven't watched the video yet, but man, that other covered bridge is loooonnnnnggg!

    1. Kari:

      I was the Lowell Covered bridge from Hwy 58 as I passed, but it appears you can't ride into it. Pedestrian only. I think I was close to a couple of others near Corvallis but I don't know which roads to take. The Aufderheide felt very isolated and it was getting late in the day for me with long shadows.

      I also spent a lot of time at the Dee Observatory on Hwy 242 that day. That road was too windy for me.

  2. That (those) are beautiful examples of covered bridges. I've been through a bunch of them around the country, but don't ever remember any as bright or as pretty on the inside.

    Iowa has 7 IIRC and my plan for the last few years has been to build a Helix ride around a visit to all of them. When the idea was still fresh, I had to rent the Eastwood/Streep film to see how Iowa built them.

    1. Coop:

      I went through Iowa on my way home but I had no idea where those covered bridges were and I was sweltering in the heat. That one in Westfir must have been restored. It was very nice on the inside

  3. Nice vid!
    Not many (if any) here in ole Utah, so I gape when I see a covered bridge. Would be fun to someday do a covered bridge tour.

    1. Ken:

      You have several "Natural Bridges" in Utah. We passed one but it was snowing fairly hard so we didn't want to go down the hill in the rental car and not be able to come back up as there were no other tire tracks in the snow. Lots of covered bridges in Oregon, click link to map above, but I have only seen a couple of them myself.

  4. Hey I recognize that first covered bridge. Aufderheide is a great road, but nicer if you stop at the Box Canyon wayside to break things up a bit. A very popular place for motorcycles on the weekends in the summer after the snow clears.

    1. Trobairitz:

      I was trying to keep an eye out for the Box Canyon campsite, but I must have missed the signs. It is a very nice road but better with a riding buddy. I felt a bit uneasy being by myself. It would have been a bit different if there had been more traffic that day.

      I am not sure but I did stop where a road goes West down a hill (I was heading South) but with no one around I didn't want to go down there.

  5. I like the video going through the covered bridge. Were there signals letting you know when it was safe to go through?

    Near Lancaster, PA, we picked up a map of covered bridges and saw quite a few. I don't remember how many….

    1. Richard:

      I don't seem to remember if it was clear to go through, or not. I don't remember seeing any signs or signals, just the one stop sign. Of course, being on a bike is different than a car where you are able to move over more.

      all I know is that Karen went first, and then I was fiddling with my camera and then I went. So perhaps she cleared the cars out of the way

  6. Cool post!
    Would love to ride through that beauty!

    1. Deb:

      I was just as surprised as you. I knew we were heading to a covered bridge but it was at the bottom of a steep hill around a sharp corner. Yes, it was very long. Glad you liked the video

  7. What a wonderful post! I'd love to take that ride!