Did you know there are 50 covered bridges in Oregon? Most of them can be found around the Willamette Valley and the coast. This past fall Oz and I decided that we would make it our goal to visit all 50 covered bridges. The idea started one day while I was still in real estate and we had a visitor from the Albany Visitors Center. He had lots of great handouts of things to do and see in Albany and the Willamette Valley. Among his handouts was a map and list of the covered bridges of Oregon.
So far it has been a great bonding experience for us and Charlotte. We listen to good music in the car, tell silly stories and take time to enjoy our wonderful state. Its also been great for an inexpensive date ideas. (just gas money, some lunch and maybe a hot chocolate for the road). Its a great activity for both the sunny and rainy days. I kind of prefer going on rainy days since most of the time we are driving. We’ve also included a lot of hiking and side activities in our touring that has been half the fun of the whole experience.
#1 Irish Bend
We started out our tour in our own backyard so to speak. There is a covered bridge on the OSU campus right along the bike path and the Llama herds.
We took some great family photos in October when the leaves were turning orange and red. It made for a really great back drop.
I spotted these great mushrooms along a path while we were walking. They were so amazing!
Just outside of Alsea was the Hayden covered bridge. This one we visited in November as part of my “birthday” date.
Just behind the Hayden bridge was a Christmas tree farm and an old barn. Oz found this old, weathered chair in the middle of an over grown grassy patch in front of the barn.
The Harris covered bridge is just outside Kings Valley. There was a cute little winery just in front of the bridge that I would love to check out when the weather gets warmer.
#4 Fisher School
For Charlotte’s birthday in February we took a trip to the coast and visited 3 covered bridges along the way.
The Fisher School covered bridge was a little ways off the beaten path. It is also known as the Five Rivers Bridge because it was built where 5 small rivers come together.
Happy 2nd Birdthday Charlotte!
On our way to the second bridge as part of Charlotte’s birthday tour we saw a couple of free roaming cows on the road. Right after this we also spotted about 6 elk in a field near the car.
#5 North Fork Yachats
The back roads lead us to the 2nd bridge we saw on Charlotte’s birthday. The North Fork Yachats bridge is located close to the coast and Cape Perpetua view-point.
After the North Fork Yachats bridge we kept heading to the coast. The GPS lead us on the back roads mostly only used by the Forestry Dept. The roads were muddy and unpaved, we were all glad we made it to the other side without getting stuck. This is at the top of the mountains just before reaching the coast. It was a very foggy day.
Along the coast we stopped and did some hiking around the tide pools near Yachats.
Charlotte lead the way down to the Spouting Horn along the ocean front.
After Cape Perpetua we headed to Newport, ate lunch and played on the beach. Then when it was time to head home we stopped at the Chitwood covered bridge along Hwy 20. It was nice to be back on a major road and not have to worry about getting stuck in the mud.
On a lovely day in spring we headed up to Mount Angel area for a birthday party. On our way there we took a detour in Stayton to visit the Stayton-Jordan covered bridge.
It is located in a cute little park with lots of walking/biking paths. If we had more time it would have been a great spot to have a picnic.
#8 Gallon House
From Stayton we drove through Silverton and drove through the Gallon House covered bridge. We were running late to the birthday party so we didn’t stay very long at this one.
Well, that’s it for now. 8 down, 42 more to go. Next I think we will check out the ones located in Linn County. Since it is close to home they will be easy to see multiple in one trip. I think I will also try to add fun activities to each stop like having a picnic, going fishing, playing a game of cards, to make each stop even more memorable. If you have any ideas for this please let me know!
If you would like to know more about the covered bridges in Oregon there is a great website by the Covered Bridge Society of Oregon. http://www.covered-bridges.org/ I will be adding on the this list as we visit more bridges. Stay tuned!