A Guide To Exploring Modern-Day Oregon Trails

The Willamette Valley Covered Bridge Loop

A tour of “kissing bridges.”

Although they were built to protect their wooden platforms from Western Oregon's abundant rainfall, covered bridges also became known for protecting couples in search of a little privacy. And thus, these bridges earned themselves the nickname “kissing bridges.” Set out via car or bike to tour a dozen of Oregon's remaining covered bridges, showcased on these two loops that surround the Albany and Cottage Grove areas just off I-5. And relive the romance.

Hoffman Bridge: Take Hwy 20E from Albany and go left on Hwy. 226. Turn left on Cold Springs Rd. Turn right at the stop sign in Crabtree and left on Hungry Hill Dr. Four miles on, Hoffman Bridge with its Gothic-style windows crosses Crabtree Creek.

Gilkey Bridge: From Hungry Hill Dr., turn left on Hwy 226 and left again on Gilkey Rd. At the stop sign, turn right on Goar Rd. Gilkey Bridge has spanned Thomas Creek since 1939.

Shimanek Bridge: From Gilkey Bridge, turn right on Robinson Dr. to Scio. At the Main St. intersection, turn right, then left on Hwy. 226. Keep going to Richardson Gap Rd. and turn left to Shimanek Bridge with its red paint and lowered windows.

Hannah Bridge: Take the first right on Shimanek Bridge Dr. which rejoins Hwy. 226. From Hwy. 226, turn left and then right on Camp Morrison Dr. to Hannah Bridge over Thomas Creek.

Larwood Bridge: Turn around just past Hannah Bridge and backtrack along Hwy. 226. Turn left on Richardson Gap Rd. and left on Larwood Dr. until you get to Larwood County Park. Here, you can view the Larwood Bridge and a partially restored water wheel.

Weddle Bridge: Drive through Larwood Bridge and keep going on Fish Hatchery Dr. Turn left on Hwy. 226, left again on Hwy. 20, and continue all the way to Sweet Home. Here, you'll find Weddle Bridge on 14th Ave., straddling Ames Creek at Sankey Park.

Crawfordsville Bridge: From Sweet Home, take Hwy. 228 west to Crawfordsville. As you cross the Calapooia River, the bridge sits alongside the road. From here, Hwy. 228 returns to I-5 where you can head south to the Cottage Grove loop or north to Albany.

For pictures of the above covered bridges,
visit the Linn County Road Departments Covered Bridge Page

A glimpse of the past in and around Cottage Grove.

Chambers Bridge: Right in Cottage Grove, follow West Main to South River Rd., where you'll come to the tall, portal called Chambers Bridge, built in 1936 to support railroad cars loaded with logs.

Mosby Creek Bridge: Traveling east, West Main becomes Mosby Creek Rd., where the oldest covered bridge in Oregon - still in use today - stands at Layng. Rd.

Stewart Bridge: A few miles farther along Mosby Creek, the 60-foot long Stewart Bridge crosses the creek at Garoutte Rd.

Dorena Bridge: Continue along Garoutte Rd. until it becomes Government Rd., which leads southwest to Dorena Bridge at Row River. The 105-foot-long bridge actually replaced a steel span worn down by logging traffic.

Currin Bridge: Following Row River Rd. back toward Cottage Grove, turn onto Layng Rd., where the colorful barn-red Currin Bridge covers the Row River.

Centennial Bridge: Back to the historical center of town, Centennial Bridge was constructed in 1987 to Commemorate the Cottage Grove 100-year anniversary.

In all, the Willamette Valley offers three dozen covered bridges, plus many wineries, historical attractions, recreational and scenic offerings to enjoy. Contact chambers and visitor centers throughout the region for event and tour information. For a statewide guide to covered bridges, contact the Willamette Valley Visitors Association, 300 SW 2nd, Albany, OR 97321. 1-800/526-2256.

Return to Oregon: Discovering Our Routes!

For information on other Covered Bridges across the US,
check out the NY Covered Bridge Society's Page

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