Nearby cities: Cottage Grove

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he Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway follows the Cottage Grove Covered Bridge Tour Route and is appropriate for almost any rider. You can do an out-and-back on the paved Row River Trail and stay traffic-free, or for variety you can go out on the path and back via roads including one good climb, if you like that sort of thing (you can also easily bypass the climb). This is a refreshing, naturally beautiful ride you’’re sure to enjoy, and a great chance to check out Cottage Grove, an historic town with a handsome old downtown and lots of activities and attractions.

From the start for the route at Trailhead Park or other parking areas in downtown Cottage Grove such as the Community Center or Bohemia Park, visitors can travel 17 miles of smoothly paved off-street path along the north side of Dorena Lake, passing three of the six covered bridges on the route. Alternatively, cyclists can start and end their ride at the Mosby Creek Trailhead which eliminates all urban street crossings, although the trail does have a high-speed crossing at mile 6.2 at which caution is necessary.

From the end of the Bikeway, cyclists can continue another two miles on Row River and Lower Brice Creek Roads and to picnic while watching the Row River plunge 20 feet from a rock ledge into a pool suitable for swimming at Wildwood Falls.

On the return trip, visitors have a decision. They can stay on the Row River Trail, or if comfortable riding on a shouldered roadway can turn left on Row River Road. Those cyclists taking the road will be rewarded with a view of the first of the three historic covered bridges on the route–Dorena Bridge which is a popular wedding site and adds a bit of romance to the scenery. A short, but steep climb over the Garoutte Road hill leads to Stewart Covered Bridge.

Within Cottage Grove, visitors share low-speed Main Street with cars through the National Register-listed Downtown Commercial Historic District. A number of coffee and ice cream spots, restaurants, pubs, shops, and a bike shop face Main Street and offer refreshment or services. At the western end of downtown, the Bikeway includes a ride through Chambers Bridge, the only covered railroad bridge west of the Mississippi also listed on the National Register.

More Resources

Information about road conditions from Oregon Department of Transportation’s TripCheck.