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Guide to Cottage Grove's Covered Bridges

Published: February 05, 2021


Cottage Grove is the "Covered Bridge Capital of the West."

Who can resist the romantic allure of historic covered bridges? Walk inside the cool, creaky chambers, damp from the water below, and peer through sunlit slats at the river. In fall, autumn leaves frame these gorgeous landmarks; in spring it's wildflowers. Year-round Cottage Grove's covered bridges inspire appreciation and spark whimsical dreams.

Currin Bridge by Joni Kabana
Currin Bridge by Joni Kabana

Cottage Grove is one of the best destinations for seeing the most covered bridges with the least amount of effort. The six bridges include some of the region's most significant bridges including Lane County's oldest covered bridge and the only remaining covered railroad bridge west of the Mississippi. 

Chambers Railroad Bridge at Night by Traci Williamson
Chambers Railroad Bridge at Night by Traci Williamson

Driving the six-bridge tour route is a simple undertaking which loops through town and around Dorena Reservoir. The approximately 30-mile scenic byway is complete with beautiful picnic sites and many photo opportunities. You can even drive through two of the bridges. 

Cottage Grove's Covered Bridges

One Day Covered Bridge Tour in Cottage Grove

Check into a Cottage Grove hotel the day before, then after a scrumptious breakfast from Buster's Main Street Cafe in historic downtown, begin a leisurely tour of the bridges. The route starts in town and leads out and around Dorena Lake. Take time to enjoy a picnic at one of the wayside parks.

Covered Bridge Tour Driving Directions

(1) Centennial Bridge - From I-5 Exit 174, head west toward downtown, go over bridge and continue on Highway 99, turn right onto Main St. Bridge is six blocks ahead on the right.

(2) Chambers Bridge - Continue south on River Rd. Bridge is .3 miles ahead on left.

(4) Mosby Creek Bridge - Proceed south on River Rd to Highway 99, turn left and go all the way to Main St. Turn right and continue 3.25 miles. Bridge is on the left at Layng Rd.

(5) Stewart Bridge - Continue east on Mosby Creek Rd. Bridge is 1.25 miles ahead on the left at Garoutte Rd.

(6) Dorena Bridge - Follow Garoutte Rd 2.5 miles to Shoreview Dr, turn right and go 5.5 miles. Bridge is on the right near junction with Row River Rd.

(7) Currin Bridge - Turn left onto Row River Rd and go 8.5 miles. Bridge is on the left at Layng Rd.

After completing the bridge loop, visit the Bohemia Gold Mining Museum to delve into the region's rich history. Finish the day shopping Main Street and enjoying live music at Axe & Fiddle.

Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway

Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway

Cycling The Covered Bridges

Cyclists know that an even more rewarding mode for touring the covered bridges is by bicycle. The bridges are connected by gorgeous bike paths with some flat, smooth sections considered "family-friendly." In 2015, the Covered Bridge Scenic Bikeway became Oregon's very first designated scenic bikeway. The full ride is approximately 36 miles (57.94 km) and of moderate difficulty.

Many businesses in Cottage Grove are "bike-friendly" and cater to the cycling community. Rainy Peak Bicycles rents bikes in Cottage Grove or you can rent bicycles in Eugene and take a bike-friendly LTD bus (Route 98) to Cottage Grove. Several annual cycling events are also based in Cottage Grove. Extend your bicycle tour into adjacent Wine Country for a truly memorable cycling holiday.

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Author: Taj Barnhart Morgan

Taj Barnhart Morgan is the Director of Content Strategy for Travel Lane County. A journalism graduate from the University of Oregon, Taj has two decades of special event management and hospitality marketing experience in San Diego, CA and Maui, HI. Passionate about mothering, and back to her Oregon roots, she is discovering the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region all over again through the eyes of her daughter.