Covered bridges in Oregon are a throwback to yesteryear and a wonderful reminder of the simpler things in life. If you have never seen a covered bridge up close, we can assure you they are actually quite fun to explore! Covered bridges in Oregon are one of the lesser-known tourist destinations in the state but they are just as beautiful and accessible as their counterparts in the Midwest and Northeast.
Whether you are planning on traveling to Oregon or you live nearby, make sure you pay the Oregon Covered Bridges a visit. Before you go, there are a few things you should know so you can get the most out of your experience!
5 Things To Know About Covered Bridges In Oregon
#1. Central Oregon’s Lane County Is Home To The Largest Number Of Covered Bridges In The West
During the heyday of covered bridges in Oregon, there were more than 600 in the state! Sadly, that amount has now dwindled to a mere 51. Out of those 51 bridges, Lane County is home to 20, 14 of which are open to vehicle traffic. If you want to see a good amount of Oregon Covered Bridges in one day, head to the all-American town of Cottage Grove, just 30 minutes south of Eugene. Take a peek at this covered bridge map so you don’t miss a single one during your trip to Lane County and Oregon in general!
#2. There Is Actually an Official “Oregon Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway” You Can Ride On
Sure, you can drive to see covered bridges, but the State Of Oregon offers other options! If you are more athletic or if you want to try something different, you are going to love the Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway! The bikeway is 36 miles long but can be easily shortened to accommodate all skill levels and time frames. Just because you have no desire to bike the whole 36 miles doesn’t mean you should skip seeing the covered bridges by bike! The bikeway starts and ends in Cottage Grove and is perfect for recreational riders, families, couples, and seasoned cyclists.
#3. Most Covered Bridges In Oregon Date Back To The 1920’s
Drift Creek Covered Bridge was built in 1914 and is the oldest covered bridge in Oregon. If you only have time to do one part of Oregon and hope to visit the scenic bikeway, the oldest bridge you will come across is the Mosby Creek Covered Bridge. This bridge was built in 1920 and is the only covered bridge that is still part of Cottage Grove’s roadway infrastructure. Whether you are a history buff, architecture lover, or just like neat things like we do, driving your car over a bridge built in the 1920’s is pretty darn fun!
#4. Covered Bridges Aren’t Just For Old People Or History Lovers
When our friend on the Oregon Tourism Board suggested we go drive a covered bridge scenic byway and see a whole lot of bridges, we thought the suggestion was a little weird [sorry Stephen!]. On our first trip, we saw only one covered bridge but we were in love and couldn’t wait to head back and see more of what Oregon had to offer. Since that first trip, we have become obsessed with these neat pieces of history!
Covered Bridges can and should be enjoyed by anyone. They are really fun and not something you see every day which makes them a little magical. When you walk or drive through one of the covered bridges in Oregon, you feel like you entered a famous painting or a storybook. If you think you will be bored with covered bridges, we promise that you won’t be and urge you to think again and go see at least one! We are positive that the Oregon Covered Bridges will cast a spell on you too!
#5. Oregon’s Covered Bridges Are A Photographer’s Dream
The really cool thing about covered bridges is that they are relatively rare so you don’t see them every day. In addition, it is pretty hard to take bad pictures of covered bridges because they are just so darn photogenic. Whether you are a professional photographer or just love to take out your smartphone to capture a picture, the covered bridges in Oregon are a photography lover’s dream. If you are really looking to capture some magic, plan a trip to Oregon during the fall when the leaves are changing. Covered Bridges make the perfect subjects because they stay still, look good in almost any light, and aren’t photographed all that often.
Have we convinced you to take a trip to the Pacific Northwest to visit the Oregon Covered Bridges? If you have already visited, we would love to hear which ones are your favorite in the comments!
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This post was created in partership with Travel Oregon and Travel Lane County