The Rochester Covered Bridge ride starts and ends at River Forks Park. The park is a day-use-only facility and is located at the confluence of the North and South Branches of the Umpqua River with restrooms, pavilions, picnic areas, playgrounds, disc golf course, ball fields, sand volleyball court, and multi-use paths. There is a fee for parking. Right next door is the Master Gardener’s Discovery Garden.
This ride has one challenging, 3-mile hill climb but otherwise mainly involves gentle rolling terrain. Traffic is often light but occasional logging trucks, RVs, farm equipment, or large-haul vehicles may pass by.
The ride passes by Lighthouse Bakery and Café (check their hours if you plan to stop – closed on Monday’s), a local cyclist favorite for excellent pastries, vegetarian meals, and good coffee, tea and other beverages. At the Lighthouse Bakery and Café, you turn left and ride along the Main Branch of the Umpqua River towards Tyee, then hit Hwy 138 (Tyee Landing store and restaurant will be on the left). Watch for log trucks throughout this area. The stretch along 138 can be tricky if you encountered RV’s or large vehicles.
The ride entails traveling alongside the beautiful and scenic Umpqua River for many miles. Here and there, you may encounter blues signs noting local wineries. Feel free and stop to sample some of the Pacific Northwest’s best wines. Towards the end of the ride, you will encounter the historic Rochester Covered Bridge, still in daily use by local residents.
To get to River Forks Park, you take I-5 Exit 125 and turn West onto Garden Valley Road. Go West about 5 miles passing the Grange and the Roseburg Country Club and then, after crossing the North Umpqua River, turn left on Old Garden Valley Road. Go about a mile and see the signs on your left to River Forks Park.