Combine the exploration of historic covered bridges with a cold, craft beer from a local Cottage Grove brewery. This former mining town is rich in history, landmarks, murals and great food and beverages, all coming together for a perfect day in Cottage Grove.
Late Morning / Early Afternoon
Covered Bridge Brewing Group
Start the morning at the Covered Bridge Brewing Group, one of two breweries in town, for freshly brewed coffee, mimosas, and craft beers, ciders, and sodas. The location is family-friendly and offers both inside and outside seating. If you are ready to try a great craft beer, we recommended the clean and crisp Covered Bridge Kolsch or the Centennial Bridge IPA.
After a relaxing meal, head to the public parking lot at the corner of north 8th Street and Whiteaker Avenue. Looking east from the parking lot you will note one of several colorful murals in the downtown historic district.
Proceed south on North 8th Street to Main Street and turn left (east) on Main Street and walk towards the Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce visitor’s center which is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekends, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. Here you will find several brochures for self-guided tours and other visitor information.
Begin your discovery of the historic downtown district by walking west down Main Street. This charming area features antique shops, bookstores and boutiques.
Now check out three significant bridges right in town. Drive to each stop, ride a bike (you can rent a bicycle at Rainy Day Cycles) or enjoy the long walk.
Centennial Covered Bridge
At the west end of Main Street in a little park is the pedestrian Centennial Covered Bridge built from the reclaimed lumber from two other historic covered bridges that were demolished. This bridge was built in Cottage Grove to commemorate the town's one hundred years. It is especially pretty in spring with flowers blooming around it, and in fall when the trees are colorful.
J. Polk Currin Swinging Bridge
Turn left and follow South River Road. First, you will encounter the historic Dr. Snapp House built in 1886 for one of Cottage Grove’s first physicians. The Queen Anne-style house is used as an education center and is occasionally open to the public for special events.
Continue on to J. Polk Currin Swinging Bridge. This suspension bridge was first built in 1965 and named for its original back-and-forth swinging motion. It has been rebuilt many times since and it was most recently restored to safe and useable condition in 2019. While it no longer "swings" it is still a delightful bridge to cross over the Coast Fork of the Willamette River.
Chambers Railroad Covered Bridge
Continue following the river and South River Road until you reach Chambers Railroad Covered Bridge. This is thought to be one of eight remaining railroad-covered bridges in the nation, which is fitting because Buster Keaton filmed the train-action-packed "The General" movie here in Cottage Grove; and some railroad scenes from "Stand By Me" were also shot nearby.
Originally built in 1925, it was expertly restored in 2011 with beautifully installed public art and interpretive panels. Walk through it and look up—it is the tallest railroad-covered bridge in existence today.
Late Afternoon / Evening
Coast Fork Brewing
Conclude your afternoon of sightseeing back in downtown Cottage Grove, this time at Coast Fork Brewing, with its family-friendly, shaded plant-filled beer garden and comfortable indoor seating.
Return by following Tyler Ave from the Railroad Bridge east, then heading north on South 2nd Street until it turns right onto Adams Street. From Adams, go left on South 6th Street. You'll see the brewery and its charming Feed Store on the right.
Coast Fork Brewing is a small-batch brewery that includes a cask system for an old-world beer experience. They brew six beers onsite, all inspired by local attributes and offer additional regional beers on tap. We recommend their Row River Red Ale, especially if you have the opportunity to hike or cycle the lakefront path along the river and reservoir! Pair one of their delicious pot pies, made from scratch and locally sourced, with a refreshing beer. They also serve award-winning sandwiches, soups and salads.
If these three bridges caught your attention, you may enjoy completing the whole Cottage Grove Covered Bridge Tour around the Row River Trail.