Fearless of heights? Than this adventure might be for you.
One of Oregon’s many bridges, the Swinging Bridge is a wood deck suspension footbridge that crosses the Illinois River. The bridge hangs on stout steel cables, and was built in 1963 as an alternative route to a lower road bridge that crosses the Rouge River nearby.
The draw to this area is more than the bridge, though – it’s the Illinois River itself. In winter it roars between its banks, and in the summer it winds slowly, with levels low enough to reveal numerous pools perfect for swimming.
The Swinging Bridge sits about 60 feet above the water, and the southwest side is connected to a gigantic rock with a wrap-around path and wooden staircase. Where the bridge crosses, the Illinois River has cut a small gorge through solid rock.
In the warmer months, brave visitors spend the days climbing these rocks, and jumping into the cool river waters. The average leap is 25 feet from jump spot to water surface. Some even use the Swinging Bridge as their launch pad – however, the 60-foot leap is not endorsed as a safe spot from which to jump. But it’s a great vantage point to enjoy the river sparkling and splashing below.
To find the bridge, drive Illinois River Road 12 miles west of Selma to where the pavement ends. Take the left fork down to the river in less than a mile. There's a designated parking lot here, with directions to the bridge.