Welcome to McKee Bridge, located in the beautiful Upper Applegate Valley. Come visit the cool interior of the covered bridge on a hot summer day. In winter watch the moody river below. Listen to the echoes of time.
Oregon once had over 600 covered bridges; only around 50 survive (at least in a reasonably original condition). Built in 1917, McKee Bridge is the second oldest Oregon covered bridge listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is further distinguished by being among the longest, spanning 122 feet, as well as the highest, rising 45 feet above the Applegate River. McKee Bridge not only marks the gateway to Applegate Lake and the Red Butte Wilderness, it is a gateway to our history.
Wooden covered bridges require frequent inspections and maintenance. Jackson County closed McKee Bridge to vehicles in 1956, and in 1985 ceased financing ongoing inspections and repairs. The community organized to keep the bridge open to pedestrians, and in 1999 McKee Bridge Historical Society was incorporated as an all-volunteer, non-profit 501(3)(c) organization. As a result, the public continues to enjoy the bridge, and the history of the Upper Applegate Valley is being preserved and shared more broadly.