Is it time for you to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday city life? Perhaps to unwind on a backcountry byway that will take you into a chapter of Oregon history?

I am a big fan of Oregon’s little roads; you know, the ones without numbers. Linn County has a few and sometimes these roadways let you set your clock back too – on a journey into unexpected bliss!

It feels like a Huck Finn sort-of -world at Shimanek Covered Bridge – a gorgeous beauty decked out in “Navajo Red” colored paint and it spans Thomas Creek.

Safety is important these days because traffic roars past at a shattering pace – a far cry from slower days of the past century. Still, there are other covered bridges that are off the beaten path and hint of bygone times. For example, Hannah Covered Bridge is picture-postcard perfect!

This stunning whitewashed covered bridge was built in 1936 and offers a bit of a Norman Rockwell kind of American moment. As you will see, there is plenty of water running under the Covered Bridges of Linn County, so don’t be surprised if you end up at Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s  Roaring River Hatchery. This is a place that raises really whoppers – the kind with fins. Seventy percent of Oregon’s catchable hatchery trout are raised at Roaring River Hatchery.

Last winter, we showed viewers how that energy is put into action when we visited a classroom full of enthusiastic students at Banks Elementary School You see, Roaring River Hatchery donates 100,000 trout eggs to hundreds of Oregon classrooms where the youngsters raise the eggs into baby fish. It’s a successful and unique environmental education program called “Eggs to Fry.”

Not far from the Roaring River Hatchery, you’ll enjoy a chance to relax at Larwood Wayside – only site in the state where a river flows into a creek. It’s called Crabtree Creek and it is where you will find Larwood Covered Bridge and it was built seventy years ago.

Oregon has more (49 authentic) Covered Bridges than anywhere else in the country, so it is something all Oregonians should be proud of so folks should get out to see and enjoy them.

About the Author: Grant McOmie

Grant McOmie is a Pacific Northwest broadcast journalist, teacher and author who writes and produces stories and special programs about the people, places, outdoor activities and environmental issues of the Pacific Northwest. A fifth generation Oregon native, Grant’s roots run deepest in the central Oregon region near Prineville and Redmond where his family continues to live.

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In this Grant’s Getaway

These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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  1. terri beam says…

    soooooo love this….i want to go see them all in our 58 dodge pickup pulling our 58 -13 ft airstream….covered bridges are so romantic

    Written on January 16th, 2010 / Flag this Comment

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