Armchair photo tours: The covered bridges in and near Cottage Grove, Oregon

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The Centennial Covered Bridge in downtown Cottage Grove, Oregon

Photos by Cheryl Landes

If you’re looking for a scenic drive in the southern Willamette Valley, take the 20-mile loop from Cottage Grove to see six covered bridges in the area. Along the way, you’ll be treated to views of rivers and creeks, Dorena Lake, farmland, and maybe some wildlife—depending on the time of day you go. This is a nice drive any season of the year.

You can find all of these bridges easily with GPS. I used Google Maps during my last tour and could pinpoint their locations exactly by entering the bridges’ names.

Centennial Covered Bridge

The Centennial Covered Bridge is an 84-foot pedestrian and bicycle bridge built in 1987 to commemorate Cottage Grove’s 100th anniversary. It crosses the Coast Fork of the Willamette River.

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The Chambers Covered Bridge in Cottage Grove, Oregon

The project was funded entirely by donations. Volunteers built the bridge with recycled timbers from the Brumbaugh and Meadows bridges. The foundation is the abutments from the old Main Street Bridge.

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Inside the Chambers Covered Bridge in Cottage Grove, Oregon

The Centennial Covered Bridge is located at the corner of Main Street and River Road in downtown Cottage Grove.

Chambers Covered Bridge

The Chambers Covered Bridge is the last covered railroad bridge in Oregon, but it’s no longer in service. J.H. Chambers built the bridge in 1925 to haul logs from the Lorane Valley to his mill in Cottage Grove. Fire destroyed the mill in 1943, and the railroad was abandoned after that. The tracks were sold for scrap in 1951.

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The Chambers Covered Bridge in Cottage Grove, Oregon

The 78-foot bridge with a covered Howe four-leaf truss design crosses the Coast Fork of the Willamette River. It was restored in 2010-2011, after a storm that caused extensive damage. The bridge was dismantled and reassembled piece by piece.

Exhibits inside the bridge tell the story of the mill and the trains that carried lumber across the bridge, and iron artwork on the walls with an outline of the trains provide a perspective on their size.

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Artwork inside the Chambers Covered Bridge depicting the shape and size of the #2 steam locomotive that pulled cars filled with logs across this bridge when the mill was open.

There’s also a kiosk in a small park on one side of the bridge that has more information about the railroad and mill.

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The park east of River Road. The kiosk on the right has information about the Chambers Covered Bridge, the railroad, and the mill.

Coast-Fork-Willamette-River-at-Chambers-Covered-Bridge-Cottage-GroveA view of the Coast Fork of the Willamette River from the Chambers Covered Bridge in Cottage Grove.

The Chambers Covered Bridge is located at 1231 South River Road at Harrison Street in Cottage Grove.

Currin Covered Bridge (Row River Bridge)

The Currin Covered Bridge, which crosses the Row River, is named for an early pioneer family who lived in the Cottage Grove area. It’s also known as the Row River Bridge. The original bridge was built by Nels Roney in 1883 and replaced in 1925.

Currin-Covered-Bridge-near-Cottage-Grove

This bridge is 105 feet long and has a covered Howe truss design. Its construction features single-piece hand-hewn chords, cross-wise planks on the approaches, and a corrugated metal roof. It’s the only bridge in Lane County with white portals and red sides.

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In 1979, Lane County closed the Currin Covered Bridge to traffic after building a new concrete bridge parallel to the covered bridge. Today, there’s a small parking lot where you can stop and explore the covered bridge.

Currin Bridge is located on Layng Road, 3.6 miles east of Cottage Grove.

Mosby Creek Covered Bridge

Built in 1920, the Mosby Creek Covered Bridge, also known as the Laying Bridge, is Lane County’s oldest bridge, and it’s still open to traffic. The bridge is named for pioneer David Mosby, who settled on a 1,600-acre claim east of Cottage Grove.

Mosby-Creek-Covered-Bridge-near-Cottage-GroveThe Mosby Creek Covered Bridge near Cottage Grove, Oregon

The 90-foot bridge has a covered Howe truss design and crosses Mosby Creek.

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The Mosby Creek Covered Bridge reflecting in Mosby Creek near Cottage Grove, Oregon

The Mosby Creek Bridge is located on Layng Road, 3.4 miles southeast of Cottage Grove. It’s adjacent to the primary trailhead for the Row River Trail, the best access point to see the orange railroad bridge shown at the beginning of the movie, Stand by Me.

Stewart Covered Bridge

The Stewart Covered Bridge was built in 1930 and is no longer in service. A new bridge that runs parallel to the covered bridge crosses Mosby Creek to two gravel pullouts where you can stop and take pictures. The bridge is closed to pedestrians.

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The Stewart Covered Bridge near Cottage Grove, Oregon

The bridge is 60 feet long and has a covered Howe truss design.

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A close-up view of the outside walls of the Stewart Covered Bridge near Cottage Grove, Oregon

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Ivy growing on the outside walls of the Stewart Covered Bridge near Cottage Grove, Oregon

Stewart Covered Bridge is located on Mosby Creek Road, 4.4 miles southeast of Cottage Grove.

Dorena Covered Bridge

The Dorena Covered Bridge is my favorite bridge on this tour because of its architecture. The 105-foot bridge with a covered Howe truss design was built in 1949 and crosses the Row River. It’s sometimes called the Star Bridge, because it provided access to the former Star Ranch.

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The Dorena Covered Bridge near Cottage Grove, Oregon

The bridge’s name is a combination of the first names of two local residents, Dora Burnette and Rena Martin.

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Inside the Dorena Covered Bridge near Cottage Grove, Oregon

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Another view of the Dorena Covered Bridge near Cottage Grove, Oregon

A concrete bridge bypassed the Dorena Covered Bridge in 1974. The covered bridge was restored in 1996, when a park next to the bridge was added. You can drive across the bridge into a parking lot and explore. It’s also a nice place to relax and enjoy a picnic.

View a map of the covered bridges loop from Cottage Grove at the Travel Oregon website.

Cottage Grove is 21 miles south of Eugene and 127 miles south of Portland.

Take these armchair photo tours of more covered bridges in Oregon:
Harris Covered Bridge near Philomath

 

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