Southern Gateway to Willamette Valley Wine Country
Cottage Grove is a great place to start your Willamette Valley Wine Country excursion. Get off the freeway and stop by one of our many eateries, or grab a snack for the road. We even have two wineries within a short distance of town to get you started.
After you've visited Saginaw and Iris Vineyards, you can take Main Street right through historic downtown and out to the beautiful Loraine Valley west of Cottage Grove. There, you will find many more wineries and farms wtih fresh produce along Territorial Road. Opportunties abound.
The ATF established the Willamette Valley AVA (viticultural area) in the Federal Register in 1984. It stretches from the Columbia River in the north to just south of Eugene in the south, where the Willamette Valley ends; and from the Oregon Coast Range in the west to the Cascade Mountains in the east. At 5,200 square miles (13,500 km), it is the largest AVA in the state, and contains most of the state’s wineries. The boundaries of the Willamette Valley AVA were established in 1984, and since then six new, smaller AVAs have been created within the northern portion of Willamette Valley AVA. The Willamette Valley has a cool, moist climate, and is recognized worldwide for its Pinot Noir. Although this distinction is not officially recognized, many wine connoisseurs further divide the Willamette Valley into northern and southern regions, the dividing line being the approximate latitude of Salem (approximately 45° north latitude). ~ South Willamette Wineries Association
Mural depicting 1920’s Main Street at 5th and Main.
The Main Street commercial historic district of Cottage Grove is the most intact collection of early twentieth century buildings in Lane County. It has been a primary business center since it was built over 100 years ago. Building bricks and lumber came almost entirely from local sources, as did the building labor. Many of the buildings were designed by noted architect, John Hunzicker, giving downtown a cohesive look. This district was the focal point of local farming, Bohemia mining activities and a regional headquarters for a substantial wood products industry. Today, antique shops, boutiques, restaurants, and parks welcome visitors to our historic district. We hope you enjoy its small-town history and charm!
In 1998, The Bureau of Land Management converted a portion of abandoned Oregon Pacific & Eastern (OP&E) rail line into a 16.2 mile multi-use trail. The rail line was once used to haul ore, logs, and passengers between Cottage Grove and Disston. Now, this rails-to-trails project is used by bicyclists, horseback riders, joggers, and walkers out for a stroll.
Enjoying an Afternoon Bike Ride on Row River Trail
The Row River Trail is one of the main recreational attractions in the area. The trail starts at Trailhead Park near downtown, winds its way through Cottage Grove, and takes you into beautiful countryside east of town. Sights include: 3 covered bridges, a five mile stretch along Dorena Lake, and plenty of places to stop and eat lunch.
If you don’t have time to explore the entire trail, there are many places to park and enjoy just a section. Hike along the lake, or rent a bike and see how far you can ride before sunset. Then, come on into town and grab a bite at one of our many restaurants. You couldn’t ask for a better day.
Track Heading into Disston Circa 1910
As the Covered Bridge Capital of Oregon, Cottage Grove is home to six covered bridges including the last remaining covered railroad bridge West of the Mississippi River. The Chambers Railroad Bridge is on the National Registry of Historic Places and was fully restored in 2011. There is also a State of Oregon Covered Bridge Scenic Byway as well as a newly designated Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway which is incredibly popular with cyclists and pedestrians alike. The covered bridges can be toured easily and are less than 20 minutes from the Historic Downtown area (Download Covered Bridge Map). Even if you aren’t the physically active type, just basking in the area’s natural beauty is refreshing recreation. The unspoiled Oregon Coast is only 90 miles away, featuring sand dunes, beaches and rocky shorelines. There are a number of excellent restaurant venues in the Cottage Grove area, some offering live entertainment.
See the Bridges
This bridge was constructed in 1997 by volunteer labor to celebrate Cottage Grove’s centennial. Materials came from two Lane County bridges that had been demolished It rests on abutments of the old Main Street Bridge, which stood until the 1950’s.
Located a half-mile upstream from Centennial Bridge, Swinging Bridge was built for foot and bicycle traffic and was mostly used by children crossing the Coast Fork to get to school. The present bridge is at least the fourth built on this site. Earlier versions of the bridge could be made to swing side to side - hence its name!
Built in 1925 by lumberman J.H. Chambers to cross the Coast Fork of the Willamette from his sawmill to the timberlands west of town, this is the only covered railroad bridge west of the Mississippi. Unfortunately it was in use for just seven years before the sawmill burned down. The bridge was recently acquired by the city of Cottage Grove. Restoration through local funding and a National Historic Covered Bridge Restoration Grant begin in the summer of 2010. It is now open to the public once again.
Mosby Creek Bridge
Constructed in 1920 and restored in 1990, this is the oldest bridge in Lane County, and its one lane remains open to traffic today. The structure has semi-circular portal arches, ribbon openings on the roof line of each side, and, board-and-batten cladding on the exterior.
Constructed in 1930 and restored in 1996, this structure has semicircular portal arches, ribbon openings at the eaves, and decorative S-curve brackets. The deep water below the bridge is considered one of the best swimming holes in the county.
Constructed in 1949 and restored in 1996, this bridge was built after the construction of Dorena Dam on the Row River, forming the present day lake. The Dorena Bridge once tied the roads on the north and south sides of the lake; now closed to traffic, the bridge is a popular wedding site.
Constructed in 1925 and restored in 1995, this bridge features white portals and red sides. Currin Bridge replaced an earlier covered bridge built in 1883 by a prominent local bridge builder, Nels Roney.
Here are some links to more information on our local Covered Bridges: