Willamette Valley Covered Bridge Loops - Oregon Scenic Drives
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 1-5 where you can head south to the Cottage Grove loop or north to Albany.
A Glimpse Of The Past
In And Around Cottage Grove
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
Travelling east, West Main becomes Mosby Creek Rd., where the oldest covered bridge in Oregon--still in use today stands at Layng Rd.
A few miles farther along Mosby Creek, the 60-foot long Stewart Bridge crosses the creek at Garoutte Rd.
Continue along Garoutte Rd. until it becomes Government Rd., which leads southwest to Dorena Bridge at Row River. The 1 05-foot Long bridge actually replaced a steel span worn down by logging traffic.
Following Row River Rd. back toward Cottage Grove, turn onto Layng Rd., where the colorful barn-red Currin Bridge covers the Row River.
Back to the historical center of town, Centennial Bridge was constructed in 1987 to commemorate the Cottage Grove 100-year anniversary.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication