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Linn County Covered Bridge Tour

The Linn County Covered Bridge Tour is one of the highlights of Linn Counties Heritage. Most of the trip can be driven on country back roads through the rolling hills of the Willamette Valley. The entire route is Corvette friendly. Since most of the route is through the country, make sure you have plenty of gas and snacks. There are a few opportunities to purchase gas and snacks, but being prepared is probably a good idea.

We hold our meetings in Albany, so the directions are starting from there. If you are arriving via I-5, take I-5 exit 233 (Highway 20) and head east. Turn left on Highway 226 toward Scio. During summer months there are a couple of fresh fruit and vegetable stands not too far down highway 226. Turn left on Cold Springs Road. Turn right at the stop sign in Crabtree. In a very short distance, turn left onto Hungry Hill Drive. You will reach Hoffman Bridge in about 4 miles.

Click Thumbnails to open photo albums
Hoffman Bridge Hoffman Bridge - Hoffman Bridge was constructed in 1936 and spans 90 feet across Crabtree Creek. The Hoffman Bridge is part of the route and has a Corvette friendly asphalt deck.

After passing through Hoffman Bridge, continue on Hungry Hill Drive. Turn left on Highway 226 towards Scio. Turn left onto Gilkey Road, which is located close to the 45mph sign as you enter Scio. At the stop sign, turn right onto Goar Road. Gilkey Bridge is ahead.

Gilkey Bridge Gilkey Bridge -  Gilkey Bridge is a good place to take pictures. If the photographer is positioned on the far side of the bridge, each car can have it's picture taken as it exits the bridge. Cars behind will be hidden from view, assuming they are not right behind the car being photographed. There is a pretty good amount of shoulder room for parking on both sides of the bridge. Gilkey Bridge was constructed in 1939 and spans 120 feet across Thomas Creek. The Gilkey Bridge is part of the route and has a Corvette friendly asphalt deck.

After passing through Gilkey Bridge, continue on Goar Road. Turn right on Robinson Road, which goes into Scio.

At the stop sign, turn left if you wish to go to the bathroom, get a drink, or get a snack. Scio Food Center will be on the right. It is a small but, full service grocery store. They have a larger variety of individual drinks than most mini markets. They only have a single restroom, which is located in the back left hand side of the store. Turn left leaving the store to get back on the route.

At the stop sign, turn right if you do not wish to stop at the Scio Food Center.

Turn left onto Highway 226. Turn left onto Richardson Gap Road. Shimanek Bridge is on Richardson Gap Road.

Shimanek Bridge Shimanek Bridge - Shimanek Bridge is probably one of the worst places to take pictures with cars as it seems to be a pretty busy bridge. Of course, the amount of traffic could vary, but it was pretty busy when we were there. If you want to park and take a closer look, there is quite a bit of shoulder space after you turn onto Shimanek Bridge Drive, which is where they thumbnail picture was taken. Shimanek Bridge was constructed in 1927 (rebuilt 1962) and spans 130 feet across Thomas Creek. The Shimanek Bridge is part of the route and has a Corvette friendly asphalt deck.

After crossing Shimanek Bridge, turn right onto Shimanek Bridge Drive. Turn left onto Highway 226. Turn right onto Morrison Drive.

Hannah Bridge Hannah Bridge - Hannah Bridge was constructed in 1936 and spans 105 feet across Thomas Creek. The Hannah Bridge is not part of the route, but it does have a Corvette friendly asphalt deck so driving across it and back can be part of the trip if you like.
Break Spot
(Optional)
Sweetbrier Train Park  Sweetbrier Train Park is a nice place to take a break (Reservations required). Ride the 2ft. gauge train through the woods for 1 mile, have a picnic, play games with friends or family or just enjoy the environment. Don't know if they still do it, but years ago, one member used to take the kids to ride the train to purchase Halloween pumpkins. Sweetbrier Park is open for groups of ten or more people, by reservation only, from Memorial Day Weekend through Halloween. Find more information on the Sweetbrier Train Park Web Site.

Sweetbrier is located about 4 miles East of the Hannah Bridge turnoff on the left hand side of Highway 226. 

Turn Right onto Highway 226 leaving Sweetbrier, if you are continuing on with the tour.
 

Leaving Hannah Bridge, turn left onto Highway 226. Turn left onto Richardson Gap Road. Turn Left onto Larwood drive. Larwood turns into Fish Hatchery Road. Turn Right to cross Larwood Bridge, or go straight to go onto the Roaring River County Park.

Larwood Bridge Larwood Bridge -  Larwood Bridge has a small county park adjacent to it. This is a pretty nice little park right on the river with picnic benches and grills. It also has restroom facilities. Also, it's probably first come first served, whereas you can make reservations at the Roaring River County Park. Larwood Bridge was constructed in 1939 and spans 105 feet across Crabtree Creek. The Larwood Bridge is part of the route and has a Corvette friendly asphalt deck.
 
Break Spot
(Optional) 
Roaring River County Park  Roaring River County Park - While the Roaring River County Park is not a covered bridge and it is not really a part of the Covered Bridge Tour, it is located only a short distance past the Larwood Bridge Turnoff. It is a pretty nice park with a lot of open field space. The number 1 shelter is the smallest and least desirable of the three options, unless you want to be in the shade. The number 2 pavilion is a huge covered space that would be great for a large crowd. The number 3 shelter is very nice with a lot of picnic tables. All three area's have grills that can be used. There are volleyball nets by shelters 1 and 3. While toilets are available year round, flush toilets are only open during the summer months and are nearest to shelter 2. Find more information at the Roaring River County Park Website.

Roaring River Country Park is just past the Larwood Turnoff on Fish Hatchery Road if you are taking advantage of this facility. 

The following can be included as part of a Linn County Covered Bridge Tour, or the tour could be stopped here. The bridges above are clustered relatively closely, whereas the following are more spread out. If you go the back roads route, it's about 20 minutes from the Larwood Bridge to the Weddle Bridge.

To stop the tour here, back track to Highway 226.

To continue on, turn left onto Meridian towards Lacomb/Lebanon. Meridian becomes Lacomb Drive. There is a combination gas station and mini market in Lacomb. Turn left onto Bellinger Scale Road towards Waterloo/Sweet Home. Bellinger Scale Road goes past Mallard Creek Golf Course, if you are so inclined. Turn left onto Berlin Road. At the 4 way stop continue straight and go up the hill. Berlin Road becomes Pleasant Valley Road. Follow Pleasant Valley Road to Highway 20 in Sweet Home. Turn Left onto Highway 20. Turn Right onto 12th Avenue and follow the small signs to Weddle Bridge.  We found this was one of the better, fun to drive, sections of the tour.

Weddle Bridge Weddle Bridge - Weddle Bridge was constructed in 1937 and spans 120 feet across Thomas Creek. The Weddle Bridge is closed to through traffic except for special events such as the Sweet Home Sweet Ride charity for kids car show. It does have a Corvette friendly wood deck.

Back track to Highway 20. Turn Right onto Highway 20. After leaving Sweet Home, follow Highway 20 for about 13 miles toward Bend. This portion of Highway 20 is pretty fun if you don't get jammed up behind slow moving traffic. Turn Left about a half mile West of Cascadia.  The turn is just after a Cascadia church sign on the right and just before a little ghost town thing. If you get to Cascadia, you have gone to far.  Going to this bridge also takes you past Foster Reservoir and dam which is a nice loop with picnic, camping and swimming areas. The road over the dam re-opens April 1st, 2010.

Short Bridge Short Bridge - Short Bridge was constructed in 1945 and spans 105 feet across the South Santiam River. This bridge is not part of the route, but it does have a Corvette friendly asphalt deck so driving across it and back can be part of the trip if you like.  There is basically no room to park on either side of this bridge.

Departing Short Bridge, Turn right onto Highway 20 towards Sweet Home. Follow Highway 20 most of the way through Sweet Home. Turn Left onto Highway 228 West. Follow Highway 228 West to Crawfordsville. The Crawfordsville Covered brides is almost parallel to the Highway 228 West bridge that crosses the Calapooia River.

Crawfordsville Bridge Crawfordsville Bridge - Crawfordsville Bridge was constructed in 1932 and spans 105 feet across the Calapooia River. The Crawfordsville Bridge runs parallel to the main road, but it closed to vehicular traffic. You can walk across it if you like. Parking is extremely limited here.

Leaving Crawfordsville Bridge, turn left onto Highway 228 to get to I-5. Turn right onto Highway 228 to go back to Sweet Home.

 The whole loop, including stops to take pictures and a quick lunch, took us about four and a half hours. We returned to Albany via I-5.


If you find any incorrect information on this tour, please let me know and I will correct it. CLICK HERE


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