The fall colors are beautiful right now, and opportunities to see them are waning as the rains are starting to set in. We recently took a drive up the Row River to enjoy the turning leaves. On our drive, an obvious place to stop and enjoy was the Dorena Covered Bridge. One thing that makes this bridge, especially, such a nice stop is the easy access. There is a small parking lot as you pull off the road; and while you can drive across the bridge, the only thing on the other side is another small parking lot. Since there is relatively no traffic, it is easy and convenient to get out of the car and experience this bridge in person.
Built in 1949, the Dorena Bridge was constructed about a year after Dorena Dam was finished. This is a fact I personally find interesting – that the knowledge, funds, and resources were available to build a dam like the Dorena Dam, but wooden covered bridges were still being built for automobiles.
A few other random facts: The bridge is 105 feet long. The windows were added in 1996 when the bridge was refurbished to allow better ventilation in order to keep the bridge dry and prevent rot.
Getting there: From freeway exit 174 head east onto Row River Road. In 4 miles, the road technically becomes Shoreview Drive. Take no turns and in approximately 6.5 more miles (11 miles total) you’ll reach the parking lot for the Dorena Bridge on the right.