Walk the Swinging Bridge on the Illinois River

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.

Directions:

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.

Region(s):
Central Oregon
Eastern Oregon
Greater Portland
The Gorge + Mt. Hood
Oregon Coast
Southern Oregon
Willamette Valley

Add to the Discussion (6)

Rick

4 years ago

Sounds like another great adventure; thanks for posting it, Nastacia!

Jane

4 years ago

Could you at least say what county these listings are in? I had to search all over the Oregon map before I found the Illinois River. A little geography lesson never hurts but now that I found it I discover that it is too far away for me to go there any time in the near future. Could you make this easier?

Jane

4 years ago

OK, my bad. I missed the "Southern Oregon" designation. Still wouldn't hurt to list the county.

Rick

4 years ago

No problem and good idea, Jane, although most folks don't know Oregon counties all that way, which is why we chose to include just regions and addresses. If you click the location on the map you will see the address of the places, too, in this case:

Illinois River Rd, Selma, OR 97538, USA

It is in Josephine County.

We will try to add the counties to the listings going forward, and we appreciate the suggestion!

Rick

Jane

4 years ago

You're right, not everyone knows the names of the counties but counties are bigger things to search for on a map than cities! LOL. Thanks for your patient response.

Rick

4 years ago

Good point, Jane, and I am happy to help! Thanks for using ShareOregon and please help us spread the word! :)

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