The video above is a Great Outdoors feature from February explaining how visitors can enjoy Smith Rock during the bridge closure.
The nearly 50-year-old pedestrian footbridge across the Crooked River to Smith Rock will be closed for up to six weeks starting next Monday, Aug. 14, to make way for a new one. The closure will cut off access to some popular trails and climbing areas while others will remain accessible.
Oregon State Parks says the bridge, which was reconstructed 30 years ago, is worn down and needs a total replacement. The new one will be 8 feet wide and will provide better access for visitors and first responders.
The Parks Department says there will be no temporary bridge in place during the closure. In order to protect habitat and to maintain safety, visitors are asked to not walk through the Crooked River.
“Fortunately, we have many areas of the park for visitors to explore that don’t use this bridge, including Rim Rock Trail, Homestead Trail, Canyon Trail and North Point loop,” Park Manager Matt Davey said in a statement.
- Trails that will stay open include: Rim Rock Trail, Homestead Trail, Rope-de-Dope Trail, Canyon Trail and North Point loop
- Climbing areas accessible during construction include: North Point area (accessible from the Homestead and North Point loop trails), Rope-de-Dope boulder (accessible from the Rope-de-Dope trail and Canyon Trail) and The Lower Gorge (Climber Access routes)
Starting this week, visitors can also expect intermittent delays through September due to the construction. Parking at the overflow parking lot might also be affected.
The goal is to have the majority of construction completed by Sept. 22.