Shepperd’s Dell State Park

George Sheppherd, a local dairy farmer, donated this piece of land in 1915 to the city of Portland.  He did this in memory of his wife and now one of the most accessible waterfalls lies off the historic highway in the Columbia River Gorge.  You can view the waterfall easily from the short walk up the trail leading form a parking area near the bridge here.  Many cars and cyclists slow for a peek upstream towards the falls but they are best viewed from the short walk up to view them.

Sheppherds Dell Bridge

The bridge here was built in 1914.  Perhaps after witnessing the incredible feat of building the highway George Sheppherd realized what a destination the Gorge would become now that it was accessible.  Perhaps this is why he donated his only possession–this property.  Perhaps this is why K.P. Billner, one of the main engineers of the bridge,  remarked about Sheppherd: ”Men of Wealth and high position have done big things for the Columbia River Highway which will live in history; but George Shepperd, the man of small means, did his part full well.” The bridge is a 100-foot span reinforced-concrete deck arch. It was engineered by: Samuel C. Lancaster, Consulting Engineer/Assistant Highway Engineer, K.P. Billner, Designer and built by the Pacific Bridge Company, Portland, Oregon. It was the second bridge built in the Columbia River Gorge.

Falls Hike

A hike begins at the southeast end of the bridge and winds up staircases and a thrilling trail leads to the falls.  The walk is not long and offers great views of the falls from under the thick canopy.

 

 

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