The unassuming city of Cottage Grove is the home of one of Oregon’s most gorgeous recreational multi-use trails, the Row River Trail. The paved, mostly flat path offers the perfect adventure: spectacular scenery, interesting history and great accessibility for mobility devices of all kinds. It’s a perennial day trip from Portland for my husband and I, and well worth the drive every time.
The best sections
The 16.2 mile Row River Trail starts in Cottage Grove, runs along Dorena Lake and ends in the community of Culp Creek. Given any time or energy constraints, stay in the middle area. Park at Mosby Creek Trailhead and beeline towards the lake. The Cottage Grove urban section crisscrosses a lot of roads. The tail end near Culp Creek has its natural charms while exposing evidence of the community’s perhaps more vibrant past. The large middle section, however, is a glorious visual spread of historic bridges, grazing cattle, weathered barns, prime lake views, and other surprises. (Trail map)
The Mosby Creek Trailhead parking lot has an ADA vault toilet. There are other ADA smaller vault toilets dotting the trail. A parking pass is not required. The spacious lot also provides plenty of room for unloading mobility devices.
As you roll along it’s interesting to consider that the path was once a railway line serving local mining and lumber industry until 1994.
Along the trail you’ll see Mosby Creek Bridge, the oldest of three historic covered bridges in the area. This Howe truss style bridge was built in 1920 for a cost of $4125 (roughly $50,000 in today’s currency). The bridge is named after pioneer David Mosby who settled on a 1600 acre land claim in the area back in day.
Hollywood has captured the picturesque scenery along the route in three movies, most recently 1986’s Stand by Me starring Kiefer Sutherland and River Phoenix.
Directions: (Mosby Creek Trailhead) 77909 Layng Rd, Cottage Grove, OR 97424
Where to eat: Creswell Bakery
About 9 miles north of Cottage Grove lies a fabulous neighborhood bakery in the town of Creswell. My husband and I always stop here to pick up a picnic lunch for the trail or eat in the bakery’s large, accessible dining room.
Priding them selves on fresh, local produce, the taste and quality of everything from meaty meat pies to seasonal salad specials to a generous selection of freshly baked breads and desserts is always outstanding. Arrive hungry!
The bakery is a ground floor establishment with easy access from the parking lot. Ramps are installed where necessary, and there is an ADA bathroom.
Creswell Bakery is located on a neighborhood side street, so use your GPS or follow the signs. But don’t give up. You’ll see plenty of cars out front, except on Monday when it’s closed.
Directions: 182 S 2nd St, Creswell, OR 97426
Making Accessibility Happen
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