Wildcat Covered Bridge
Travelers along Highway 126 between Eugene and Florence on the Oregon Coast pass by within easy view of the Wildcat Covered Bridge. Yet few motorists probably realize the bridge is even there.
Lane County, Oregon is home to the largest concentration of covered bridges west of the Mississippi River. The bridges were covered to protect the large wooden trusses from the rain, thus greatly prolonging the life of the bridge.
Wildcat Covered Bridge spans Wildcat Creek near where it enters the Siuslaw River. This road was the original local route to the Pacific Ocean before a Coast Range tunnel allowed travelers on Highway 126 to more quickly reach Florence and the Coast. The 75-foot long bridge was built in 1925. The nearby Austa boat ramp provides easy access to the Siuslaw River for boaters and fishermen.
To see this bridge, drive west from Eugene toward the coast on Highway 126 for 33 miles to Siuslaw Road (Whitaker Creek/Clay Creek recreation turnoff). This is 12 miles east of the Oregon 126/36 junction in Mapleton, if approaching from the coast. Turn south, drive a couple hundred feet, then take the underpass north to Austa Road. The bridge is less than a mile farther.
Wildcat Covered Bridge is one of 20 such bridges in Lane County. An online brochure provides the locations and brief histories, making a visit to each of the bridges a fun adventure for both visitors and local residents. The Lane County Government's website presents a brief description of each covered bridge with a picture.
To learn more about things to see and do in Lane County, visit the Facebook page 365 and More Things to do in Lane County, Oregon.
Rick Obst is an Arizona native who moved to Eugene, Oregon in 2005 and fell in love with the verdant Pacific Northwest. He enjoys photography and discovering the many people, places, and events that make this part of the world so special.
To learn more about Eugene, Lane County, and western Oregon, visit 365 and More Things to do in Lane County, Oregon on Facebook. You'll see hundreds of pictures and links to discover the beauty and attractions of this special area.