Goodpasture Covered Bridge Crossing by David Putzier
Originally constructed in 1938, the 165-foot Goodpasture Bridge was restored in 1987. (Photo credit: Dave Putzier)

There’s a distinct charm to a covered bridge. The sound of rushing water echoes off the walls, sunlight slants in through the windows and the traditional Howe’s truss construction draws your eye to the pitched roof. Oregon once had 450 elegant wooden spans, many constructed after World War I, when steel was in short supply but wood plentiful. Today, only 50 of Oregon’s covered bridges remain — the largest concentration in the West. Twenty can be found in Lane County, scattered around the towns of Eugene, Springfield, Lowell and Cottage Grove. Many are on the National Register of Historic Places. Pick your own route to explore the bridges of Lane County. Bring your appetite for Oregon food and drink — and don’t forget your camera.

Eugene

Deadwood Bridge: Constructed in 1932 and restored in 1986, the bridge has a 105-foot span.

Lake Creek Bridge: Constructed in 1928 and rebuilt in 1984, the bridge is also known as the Nelson Bridge.

Wildcat Creek Bridge: Constructed in 1925 and restored in 1990, it is also known as the Austa Bridge.

Eat and drink: Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at Marché, the progenitor of the Willamette Valley’s farm-to-table movement. Oregon’s craft-beer scene is also well represented in Eugene. Tip a pint at Ninkasi Brewing Company or Oakshire Brewing and grab a bite from one of the rotating food carts. At Falling Sky Brewing, order a tasty pizza to complement your beer.

 

Cottage Grove

Charging station: Cottage Grove, Vintage Inn Restaurant, 1590 Gateway Blvd

Centennial Bridge: Constructed in 1987, the footbridge has an 84-foot span.

Chambers Bridge: Constructed in 1925 and recently restored, the bridge has a 78-foot span and is the only covered railroad bridge in Oregon.

Currin Bridge: Constructed in 1925 and restored in 1995, the bridge has a 105-foot span.

Mosby Creek Bridge: Constructed in 1920 and restored in 1990, the bridge has a 90-foot span.

Stewart Bridge: Constructed in 1930 and restored in 1996, the bridge has a 60-foot span.

Eat and drink: Visit Buster’s Main Street Cafe for savory eggs Benedict, stuffed French toast, biscuits and gravy and a range of sandwiches and burgers. For wine tasting or a romantic meal, visit King Estate Winery. Charge your electric vehicle at 1570 Gateway Boulevard.

 

Dorena

Dorena Bridge: Constructed in 1949 and restored in 1986, the bridge has a 105-foot span.

 

Dexter and Lowell

Pengra Bridge: Constructed in 1938 and restored in 1994, the bridge has a 126-foot span.

Unity Bridge: Constructed in 1936 and restored in 1994, the bridge has a 90-foot span.

Cannon Street Bridge: Constructed in 1988, the footbridge has a 20-foot span.

Lowell Bridge: Constructed in 1945, the bridge has a 165-foot span and is the widest covered bridge in the state at 24 feet.

Parvin Bridge: Constructed in 1921 and restored in 1986, the bridge has a 75-foot span.

Office Bridge: Constructed in 1944, the bridge has a 180-foot span and is the longest covered bridge in Oregon.

 

Springfield and Marcola

Charging station: Springfield, Gateway Marketplace, 840 Beltline Road

Earnest Bridge: Constructed in 1938, the bridge has a 75-foot span. Also known as the Paschelke Bridge, it was used in filming the movie “Shenandoah.”

Wendling Bridge: Constructed in 1936, this bridge has a 60-foot span.

Goodpasture Bridge: Constructed in 1938 and restored in 1987, this bridge has a 165-foot span.

Belknap Bridge: Constructed in 1966 and restored in 1990, this bridge has a 120-foot span.

Eat and drink: For a cup of espresso, breakfast, pastry or homemade soups and salads, visit The Washburne Café in Springfield. Stop at Hop Valley Brewing Company for fine craft beer as well as an array of sandwiches and burgers. Charge your EV at the Gateway Marketplace Springfield charging station.

 

Veneta

Charging station: Veneta, Veneta Park and Ride, 88184 Territorial Road

Coyote Creek Bridge: Constructed in 1922, the bridge has a 60-foot span, and is also known as the Battle Creek Bridge and Swing Long Bridge.

Eat and Drink: Join the faithful who flock to Our Daily Bread Restaurant, a destination brunch spot in a renovated church with a passionate following for its Marionberry orange scones, pumpkin gingerbread muffins and locally focused breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. Visit the tasting rooms of Willamette Valley wineries such as LaVelle Vineyards, Sarver Winery, Silvan Ridge Winery and Sweet Cheeks Winery. Charge up at the Veneta Park and Ride, 88184 Territorial Road.


Travel Tips

Don’t own an electric vehicle? You can rent an electric BMW i3 from ReachNow in Portland. Visit the ReachNow website for information about how to sign up and start driving.

For the most up-to-date information about EV charging stations around Oregon, download the PlugShare app. This online resource provides real time detail about station locations and services as well as trip planning features.

Check out Oregon’s Electric Byways Road Trips for more EV itineraries around the state.

about author Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.

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  1. Melody says…

    Are these close enough to bike to? Where is the best place to rent a bike? Thanks!

    Written on June 12th, 2013 / Flag this Comment
  2. Cari says…

    @Melody there is a Scenic Bikeway in Cottage Grove that ties a number of the bridges together on the same route. I recommend Rainy Peak Bicycles in Cottage Grove for rentals.
    Read more about the ride —-> http://rideoregonride.com/inspiration/itineraries/covered-bridges-scenic-bikeway/

    Written on June 14th, 2013 / Flag this Comment
  3. Rosemary Robinia says…

    Does anyone know of a B&B somewhere in the middle of these bridges? I was thinking of a 2-day trip to see them all at once.

    Written on July 2nd, 2013 / Flag this Comment
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