Salem, OR—SALEM, Ore— Smith Rock State Park is slated to get a new, wider pedestrian bridge this summer and fall, which means there will be no bridge access for up to six weeks starting Aug. 14.
Visitors can also expect intermittent delays through September due to the construction. Parking at the overflow parking lot might also be impacted. Check the Oregon State Park website for updates: https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=v.featu...
The footbridge at Smith Rock spans the Crooked River in Central Oregon near Bend and connects the front of the park with many but not all of its hiking trails and climbing destinations. There will be no temporary bridge, and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department discourages wading across the river due to sensitive habitat and safety concerns.
“We know that this bridge closure will have an impact on our park users, but our current footbridge must be replaced,” said Park Manager Matt Davey.
“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. Stop in to the welcome center, visit our website or go to SmithRock.com to learn about these other great areas. Thank you for your understanding and patience while this critical project takes place.”
The old bridge was built nearly 50 years ago and reconstructed about 30 years ago and has significant wear and needs replacing. The new bridge will measure 8 feet wide and better accommodate visitors and first responders during the park’s frequent rescue operations.
Crews will begin the work this week and continue through September, but the biggest impact to visitors is the six-week bridge closure. The goal is to complete as much of the bridge construction as possible between Aug. 14 and Sept. 22.
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will update information on the footbridge closure dates and times on the Smith Rock webpage and through smithrock.com/ as information becomes available. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the park at 541-548-7501 or email the park manager at Matthew.DAVEY@oprd.oregon.gov
• 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)
Matt Davey, park manager
Stefanie Knowlton, public information officer