It's called Cottage Grove, but this small town in Lane County is famous for a different structure entirely: covered bridges. In fact, it has more of them than any other city in the Western United States. A covered bridge tour might not sound like a terribly exciting summer adventure—but it is quaint as hell. And with the world the way it is, we could all stand to get down with the quaintness more often. So we visited the Covered Bridge Capital of the United States and ranked all seven of them.
1. Chambers Railroad Bridge (1925)
As the last covered railway bridge remaining in Oregon—and the last still standing west of the Mississippi—it's got the history. And it's got the size: 78 feet across and damn near as tall. Sure, it received a full-on makeover a few years ago, replacing the original with a near-exact replica, but still: It's a beaut, and legit impressive.
2. Currin Bridge (1925)
It's the platonic ideal of a covered bridge, with a barn-red exterior and a river slowly flowing below, visible through slats.
3. Mosby Creek Bridge (1920)
Most of the bridges in Cottage Grove are not equipped to be driven over, so this rural single-lane roadway bridge—the Mosby in question was a pioneer, not the guy from How I Met Your Mother—gets third place nearly on default. But it's also the oldest in the county, and fairly well preserved.
4. Centennial Bridge (1987)
As the name suggests, it was built to mark Cottage Grove's 100th anniversary, and is given pride of place in the city's downtown area. Also, on our visit, a young woman was holding a selfie photo shoot inside, so it's clearly hot with the influencer set.
5. Dorena Bridge (1949)
On the one hand, you can drive over it. On the other hand, it's literally a bridge to nowhere—it dead-ends in a parking lot.
6. Swinging Bridge (1965)
'Tis a fine bridge, but sure 'tis no covered bridge.
7. Stewart Bridge (1930)
It ain't much to look at, that's for sure, and was replaced by a concrete overpass in the mid-'80s. At this point, it's less a bridge than a spider sanctuary.
The Vintages Offer Pint-Sized Luxury Living for Your Inner King of the Road
If Old MacDonald Had a Winery, It Would Look Like Abbey Road Farm
Island and Native American Culture Collide Beautifully in an Unlikely Port Town on the Columbia
Lane County Boasts More Covered Bridges Than Any Other West of the Mississippi. We Ranked Them.
As One of the Only Safe Ways for the Public to Gather, Newberg's 99W Drive-In Is the Hottest Nightspot in Town
With Some Campgrounds Still Closed and the Coronavirus Spreading, I Went Camping in the Only Place That Was a Safe Bet—My Backyard
We Found Trails to Six Lesser-Known Cascading Gems That Will Fulfill Your Urge to Get Wet This Summer
This One-Room Structure Now Shelters Weary Hikers and Features a Decently Stocked Pantry
Florence Has Named a Park After the Legendary 1970 Whale Explosion
Support Local Breweries by Drinking on a Recently Reopened Patio, or Take Your Beer to Go
Washington's Northwest Trek Wildlife Park Now Offers a Drive-Thru Safari. So We Tried It Out.