In September of 2020 we were in Eugene, Oregon and were amazed at the beautiful area. There were big enough cities around, but you could also get out and explore some of the countryside if you wish. We found a book in our Airbnb and saw an article about several covered bridges in the area. For those that have been following me, you may have noticed I love bridges. Check out my post on Mackinaw Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, Perrine Bridge, etc. Bridges are awesome, lol.
Anyway, there are 20 covered bridges all together separated by different areas. We decided to do the 6 located in the Cottage Grove Area which is about 20 minutes south of Eugene. It was a beautiful drive and stopped to have lunch along the way.
Centennial Covered Bridge is a Howe truss structure that is 84 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 14 feet high. It is a pedestrian and bicycle-only bridge and spans the Coast For Willamette River. A very historical bridge too, as it was in 1987 which was the hundredth year since the founding of the city Cottage Grove. Another note of history, it was made from timbers salvaged from the Meadows and Brumbaugh bridges which had been dismantled in 1979. Love when things are repurposed this way.
This was actually the first bridge we toured and it leads to the Applegate Trail Interpretive Center. The article stated that this was a great place to begin our self-guided tour. Since we didn’t have any real plans on which to see first, this sounded as good a place as any to start. The fun thing is that we actually ran into another couple who were doing the same thing and just started as well. We ended up following each other to all of the bridges except the last two. I think they either stopped, paused, or went a different direction. Either way, it was kind of fun to share this little adventure with those who also enjoyed bridges.
The next covered bridge we visited was the Chambers Railroad Covered Bridge. This is also a Howe truss structure that spans the Coast Fork Willamette River. Not quite as long as the Centennial Bridge, but still a good length at 78 feet long. It was built in 1925 to carry rail traffic that was hauling logs from the Lorane Valley to the lumber mill. The mill was closed due to a fire in 1950 but the bridge still stands today and is the only remaining fully covered railroad bridge west of the Mississippi River.
Continuing on our tour we went to see the Currin Covered Bridge. This bridge was built in 1925 and crosses the Row River. It is 105 feet long and only open to pedestrian traffic. Of all the covered bridges we saw on our tour, this is the only one that was painted in two different colors, red and white: Red for the sides and white for the portals. I also want to mention that it has a corrugated metal roof.
Halfway through our excursion brought us to the Dorena Covered Bridge. It is tied for the longest length at 105 feet. Built-in 1949, the Dorena also crosses the Row River and can handle vehicles up to 3 tons. We enjoyed being able to drive through this bridge! Sometimes this bridge is called the “Star Bridge” because it provided access to the once extensive Star Ranch.
The Mosby Creek Bridge is beautiful and the oldest of all the covered bridges we saw that day. It was constructed in 1920 and named after the pioneer David Mosby who help settle the area around Cottage Grove. At 90 feet long, it contains portal arches, ribbon openings at the roofline, and board and batten siding. Very historical bridge and quite impressive.
Last but not least of the six covered bridges we saw is called Stewart Covered Bridge. Built-in 1930, this is the shortest of the bridges at only 60 feet, but it is also a Howe truss bridge that crosses Mosby Creek. Stewart Bridge was opened to vehicular traffic until 1982 when it was restored due to heavy weather damage.
I really enjoyed our little adventure and tour of these six amazing covered bridges. We really enjoy the area and hope to get back to do some of the other 20 bridges in the local area. Below is a list of 6 of the 7 bridges we saw. I didn’t see the 7th until after we were back, but I hope to see it again on another visit. If you know of some that we NEED to see, please leave a comment below. I will add it to our ever-growing list, lol. Happy travels.
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