Discover The Best Activities In Cottage Grove, Oregon

Things To Do In Cottage Grove Oregon

Hey there, fellow travelers! Are you tired of searching for the perfect small-town getaway? Trust me, we know the feeling. But let me tell you about Cottage Grove, Oregon – a hidden gem that’s about to steal your heart.

Picture this: a charming town with six historic covered bridges, offering a unique blend of outdoor adventures and cultural experiences. It’s like stepping into a postcard, but better!

Our guide will walk you through the best activities in Cottage Grove, from scenic bike tours that’ll have you oohing and aahing at every turn, to local brewery visits where you can raise a glass with friendly locals.

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or a culture buff, this town has something special waiting for you.

So, pack your bags and get ready to fall head over heels for Cottage Grove. It’s the kind of place that’ll have you planning your next visit before you’ve even left. Don’t say we didn’t warn you – this little Oregon treasure might just become your new favorite escape!

Key Takeaways

  • Cottage Grove, Oregon offers a mix of outdoor adventures and cultural experiences, including a 35.8-mile scenic bike tour of covered bridges, the Bohemia Gold Mining Museum, and craft beer tasting at Coast Fork Brewing.
  • The town features vibrant murals depicting local history and culture, which can be explored through a self-guided walking tour in the downtown area.
  • Annual events like Bohemia Mining Days, held since 1959, celebrate the town’s mining heritage with parades, reenactments, and live music.
  • Visitors can stay at accommodations like the Best Western Cottage Grove Inn or Lily of the Field Bed & Breakfast, both offering comfortable amenities and easy access to local attractions.
  • Nearby attractions include water skiing on Cottage Grove Lake and day trips to neighboring towns like Creswell and Eugene, which offer wineries, museums, and scenic hiking opportunities.

Top Activities in Cottage Grove, Oregon

Things To Do In Cottage Grove Oregon - Tranquil creek flowing through lush forest in Cottage Grove, Oregon, showcasing natural beauty.

Cottage Grove offers a mix of outdoor fun and cultural experiences. From scenic bike rides to gold mining history, there’s something for everyone in this charming Oregon town.

Scenic bike tour of covered bridges

We love exploring Cottage Grove’s covered bridges by bike. Our favorite route is the Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway, a 35.8-mile loop that showcases the area’s rich history and natural beauty.

  • Start at Trailhead Park on 10th and Main Street in downtown Cottage Grove
  • Ride the Row River Trail, a National Recreation Trail, along the north side of Dorena Lake
  • Pass three covered bridges on this section: Mosby Creek, Currin, and Dorena
  • Enjoy mild difficulty level, perfect for riders of various skill levels
  • Take in views of the river, forests, and rolling hills
  • Stop at Bohemia Park for a picnic or rest break
  • Visit the Bohemia Gold Mining Museum to learn about local history
  • Explore downtown Cottage Grove’s murals and shops after your ride
  • Total distance: 35.8 miles, with options for shorter routes
  • Best time to ride: spring through fall, when weather is mild

Visit to Bohemia Gold Mining Museum

At the Bohemia Gold Mining Museum in Cottage Grove, we’re treated to a fascinating glimpse into Oregon’s mining history. This free-admission gem offers a treasure trove of artifacts and stories from the area’s gold rush era.

For just $5, visitors can try their hand at panning for gold under expert guidance. The best part? You’re guaranteed to find some shiny flakes and get to keep your discoveries.

Our group finds the museum’s exhibits both educational and engaging. Ranked as the 8th best attraction in Cottage Grove, it’s a must-visit spot for history buffs and curious travelers alike.

The knowledgeable staff brings the past to life, sharing tales of miners’ struggles and triumphs in the Bohemia Mining District. It’s a perfect activity for those seeking a quiet, enriching experience away from the hustle of bigger cities.

Outdoor adventures at Bohemia Park

Bohemia Park offers a perfect blend of nature and recreation for those seeking a quieter outdoor experience. We’ve found this gem to be a hub for various activities that cater to all ages and interests.

  1. Symphony in the Park: Enjoy classical music under the stars during summer evenings. Local and visiting orchestras perform here, creating a magical atmosphere.
  2. Ballet Recitals: Watch graceful dancers perform on the park’s open-air stage. These events showcase local talent and professional troupes alike.
  3. High School Celebrations: The park hosts graduation ceremonies and other school events. It’s a great place to see the community come together.
  4. Family Picnics: Pack a lunch and spread out on the lush grass. There are plenty of shaded areas and picnic tables available.
  5. Playground Fun: Kids can burn off energy on the modern playground equipment. It’s safe and well-maintained for worry-free play.
  6. Walking Trails: Stroll along the paved paths that wind through the park. They’re perfect for a leisurely walk or a brisk jog.
  7. Outdoor Fitness: Use the park’s exercise stations for a full-body workout. They’re spread out along the trails for a varied routine.
  8. Bird Watching: Bring binoculars to spot local and migratory birds. The park’s diverse vegetation attracts a variety of species.
  9. Photography Opportunities: Capture the beauty of the park in different seasons. The changing colors and landscapes offer endless photo possibilities.
  10. Community Events: Check the park’s schedule for festivals, markets, and other gatherings. It’s a great way to mingle with locals and experience small-town charm.

Craft beer tasting and brewery tour

Cottage Grove’s craft beer scene offers a delightful experience for beer enthusiasts. We’ve found some great spots for you to enjoy a cold brew and learn about the local brewing process.

  • Coast Fork Brewing stands out as a must-visit destination. This family-friendly brewery features a shaded beer garden and cozy indoor seating, perfect for relaxing with friends.
  • The brewery’s menu goes beyond just beer. They serve award-winning sandwiches, homemade soups, fresh salads, and delicious pot pies made from scratch using local ingredients.
  • Located just off Main Street, Coast Fork Brewing & Feed Store is easy to find. Its central location makes it an ideal starting point for your Cottage Grove beer tour.
  • Brewery tours at Coast Fork offer insights into their brewing techniques. You’ll learn about the different types of hops and malts used in their unique recipes.
  • Tasting flights allow you to sample a variety of their craft beers. From light lagers to hoppy IPAs, there’s something to suit every palate.
  • The knowledgeable staff can guide you through your tasting experience. They’re happy to explain the flavor profiles and brewing processes of each beer.
  • Coast Fork often features seasonal brews. These limited-edition beers showcase local ingredients and innovative brewing techniques.
  • The brewery’s commitment to sustainability is evident in their practices. They source ingredients locally and employ eco-friendly brewing methods.
  • After your tasting, you can purchase growlers or cans to take home. It’s a great way to enjoy your favorite Cottage Grove brews long after your visit.
  • The laid-back atmosphere at Coast Fork reflects the charm of small-town Oregon. It’s an ideal spot to unwind and soak in the local culture.

Explore local murals on a walking tour

We love exploring the vibrant murals that adorn Cottage Grove’s streets. These colorful artworks offer a unique glimpse into the town’s rich history and culture.

  • Local artists have created stunning murals celebrating Cottage Grove’s past. One notable piece commemorates Opal Whitely, a local writer who gained international fame with her childhood diary.
  • The downtown area features several murals on old brick buildings. These paintings depict scenes from the town’s mining heritage and covered bridges.
  • A self-guided tour allows us to take in the artwork at our own pace. Maps are available at the visitor center, highlighting each mural’s location and significance.
  • The Coca-Cola mural stands out as a nostalgic favorite. Its vintage design harkens back to the early 20th century, adding charm to the historic district.
  • We can spot murals showcasing the area’s natural beauty. Scenes of the Willamette Valley’s lush landscapes and the McKenzie River grace some walls.
  • The murals serve as outdoor history lessons. They bring to life important events and figures from Cottage Grove’s past, making learning fun and accessible.
  • Local businesses often incorporate murals into their storefronts. This adds character to the shopping experience and supports the town’s artistic community.
  • The mural walk connects us with active merchants in the historic downtown. We can pop into shops and cafes while admiring the outdoor gallery.
  • Each mural tells a story, inviting us to pause and reflect. The artwork sparks conversations about local lore and traditions.
  • The changing light throughout the day affects how we see the murals. Morning and evening walks offer different perspectives on the same pieces.

Discovering the Best Small Towns in Oregon Including Cottage Grove

Oregon’s small towns offer a treasure trove of experiences for those seeking quieter getaways. Cottage Grove stands out as a gem among these charming communities. Our town earned the All-America City award twice, in 1968 and 2004, recognizing its civic engagement and innovation.

Just a short 20-minute drive south of Eugene-Springfield, Cottage Grove boasts a rich tapestry of covered bridges, cascading waterfalls, and vibrant cultural offerings.

Visitors to Cottage Grove can immerse themselves in a blend of history and modern amenities. The town’s covered bridges provide picturesque backdrops for leisurely bike rides or walks.

Music lovers will find live performances to enjoy, while theater enthusiasts can catch local productions. Craft beer aficionados won’t want to miss our breweries, and food lovers will delight in our diverse eateries.

Nature beckons too, with nearby lakes perfect for water skiing and scenic trails leading to breathtaking waterfalls.

Things To Do In Cottage Grove Oregon – Transportation and Lodging

Getting to and staying in Cottage Grove is easy and comfortable. We’ll guide you through the best ways to reach this charming Oregon town and where to rest your head at night.

Transportation options to Cottage Grove

We’ve got the scoop on getting to Cottage Grove, Oregon. Here are the best ways to reach this charming small town:

  1. Drive: The most flexible option. Take I-5 south from Portland or north from California. Exit 174 leads straight into town.
  2. Bus: Lane Transit District (LTD) Bus #98 runs daily round-trips between Eugene and Cottage Grove. It’s budget-friendly and eco-conscious.
  3. South Lane Wheels: This local public transit system provided about 17,300 one-way rides last year. It’s perfect for exploring once you’re in town.
  4. Fly: The closest airport is Eugene Airport (EUG), about 30 miles north. Rent a car or catch a shuttle to Cottage Grove.
  5. Bike: For the adventurous, the Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway offers a unique approach. Pedal through stunning landscapes to reach Cottage Grove.
  6. Rideshare: Services like Uber and Lyft operate in the area, offering door-to-door convenience.
  7. Shuttle: Some hotels and attractions offer shuttle services from Eugene. Check with your lodging for options.

Best Western Cottage Grove Inn

We’ve found a great spot for your stay in Cottage Grove. The Best Western Cottage Grove Inn sits less than a mile from the local airport, making it easy to reach. It’s got all the comforts you need – free Wi-Fi, microwaves, and mini-fridges in every room.

Plus, there’s a hot breakfast each morning to fuel your adventures.

After a day of exploring, you can unwind in the indoor pool or hit the fitness center. Need to catch up on work? The business center‘s got you covered. Laundry facilities are on-site too, so you can pack light and stay fresh.

With free local calls and in-room coffee makers, this inn offers a cozy base for your Cottage Grove getaway.

Lily of the Field Bed & Breakfast

Nestled on 1,200 acres of pristine land in Cottage Grove, Lily of the Field Bed & Breakfast offers a tranquil escape with breathtaking meadow and mountain vistas. This charming Craftsman-style home welcomes guests with open arms, providing a peaceful haven for those seeking respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Our cozy rooms and inviting common areas create an atmosphere that feels like a home away from home, perfect for unwinding after a day of exploring the local covered bridges or sampling craft beers at nearby breweries.

At Lily of the Field, we pride ourselves on our attention to detail and warm hospitality. Guests can start their day with a delicious homemade breakfast before setting out to discover the hidden gems of Cottage Grove.

From our convenient location, visitors can easily access popular attractions like the Bohemia Gold Mining Museum or embark on scenic bike tours through the countryside. For wine enthusiasts, we’re happy to recommend local wineries where you can savor Oregon’s renowned vintages.

Sweet Springs Family Farm

We love Sweet Springs Family Farm, a charming spot at 71393 London Rd in Cottage Grove, Oregon. This hidden gem offers a unique bed and breakfast experience, perfect for those seeking a taste of rural life.

The farm’s focus on organic food, preserving, and baking gives guests a chance to savor fresh, homegrown flavors. With a stellar 4.8 rating from 13 reviews, it’s clear that visitors appreciate the farm’s commitment to quality and hospitality.

At Sweet Springs, we can immerse ourselves in the rhythms of farm life while enjoying comfortable accommodations. The owners’ passion for sustainable agriculture shines through in every aspect of the stay.

We’ll wake up to the scent of freshly baked goods and spend our days exploring the lush grounds or learning about organic farming practices. It’s an ideal retreat for those of us looking to unwind and connect with nature in a quieter, more intimate setting.

Dining and Events in Cottage Grove

Cottage Grove offers a variety of dining options and events for visitors. From local breweries to annual celebrations, there’s always something tasty or exciting happening in this charming Oregon town.

Local restaurants such as Coast Fork Brewing and Carl’s Jr.

We’ve explored some great dining options in Cottage Grove. Here’s a closer look at two local favorites that offer something for everyone:

  1. Coast Fork Brewing: This family-friendly spot boasts a shaded beer garden and cozy indoor seating. They serve up craft brews alongside a varied menu that includes vegan options. Their shepherd’s pie and sandwiches have earned positive reviews from locals and visitors alike.
  2. Carl’s Jr.: For those seeking fast familiar fare, this chain restaurant provides affordable meals. Menu prices range from $3 to $10, making it a budget-friendly choice for travelers. They offer a mix of burgers, salads, and other fast-food staples.
  3. Dining Atmosphere: Both establishments cater to different moods. Coast Fork Brewing offers a relaxed, community-focused vibe, while Carl’s Jr. provides quick, casual dining.
  4. Menu Variety: Coast Fork Brewing shines with its locally-inspired dishes and craft beers. Carl’s Jr. sticks to classic American fast food, ensuring reliable options for picky eaters.
  5. Price Points: Coast Fork Brewing’s prices reflect its craft focus, while Carl’s Jr. keeps things wallet-friendly. This gives visitors a choice based on their budget and dining preferences.
  6. Local Flavor: By choosing Coast Fork Brewing, you’ll get a taste of Cottage Grove’s local food scene. It’s a great way to connect with the community during your visit.

Annual events like Bohemia Mining Days

Cottage Grove’s annual events offer a glimpse into the town’s rich history and vibrant community spirit. Bohemia Mining Days stands out as a cherished celebration, bringing locals and visitors together for a weekend of fun and nostalgia.

  • Bohemia Mining Days Festival: This beloved event has been a Cottage Grove tradition since 1959. It honors the area’s mining heritage with parades, historical reenactments, and live music.
  • Historical Reenactments: Watch as costumed performers bring the past to life. They showcase the daily lives and challenges of early miners and settlers in the Bohemia Mining District.
  • Parades: The festival features colorful parades with floats, vintage cars, and marching bands. These processions wind through downtown Cottage Grove, creating a lively atmosphere.
  • Live Music: Local and regional bands perform throughout the festival. Enjoy a mix of genres, from folk and bluegrass to rock and country.
  • Mining Demonstrations: See firsthand how gold was extracted in the old days. Experts demonstrate panning techniques and other mining methods used during the area’s gold rush.
  • Arts and Crafts Fair: Browse handmade items from local artisans. Find unique souvenirs, jewelry, and artwork inspired by the region’s history and natural beauty.
  • Food Vendors: Sample a variety of local and regional cuisines. From classic fair foods to gourmet options, there’s something to satisfy every palate.
  • Family-Friendly Activities: Kids can enjoy face painting, carnival games, and educational workshops. These activities make the festival fun for all ages.
  • Costume Contest: Dress up in your best 19th-century attire and join the costume contest. Prizes are awarded for the most authentic and creative outfits.
  • Guided Tours: Take a guided tour of historic sites around Cottage Grove. Learn about the town’s mining past and see preserved buildings from the era.

Exploring Nearby Attractions and Planning Trip Ideas

Cottage Grove is a great starting point for exploring Oregon’s hidden gems. We’ve found some exciting day trips and activities near town that’ll make your visit even more memorable.

Day trip to Creswell and Eugene

We love exploring the charming towns near Cottage Grove. A day trip to Creswell and Eugene offers a perfect blend of small-town charm and city attractions.

  1. Start in Creswell: This quaint town is known for its farmers market. Don’t miss the Creswell Bakery for mouthwatering treats.
  2. Drive the Territorial Highway: This scenic route is home to several wineries. Stop at Iris Vineyards or Sweet Cheeks Winery for a tasting.
  3. Visit Eugene: Oregon’s second-largest city has plenty to offer. Check out the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art or stroll through the vibrant downtown area.
  4. Explore the University of Oregon campus: Take a self-guided tour of this beautiful campus, home to the famous Hayward Field track.
  5. Grab lunch at a local spot: Try Cornucopia or Marché for farm-to-table dining experiences.
  6. Shop at the 5th Street Public Market: This upscale shopping center features local artisans and boutiques.
  7. End your day with a sunset hike: Head to Spencer Butte for panoramic views of the Willamette Valley.

Water skiing on nearby lakes

Cottage Grove Lake offers a thrilling water skiing experience for visitors seeking outdoor adventure. Our team has compiled a list of essential information for those looking to enjoy this exciting activity on the lake’s calm waters:

  1. Prime location: Cottage Grove Lake’s scenic surroundings make it an ideal spot for water skiing enthusiasts.
  2. Calm waters: The lake’s tranquil surface provides perfect conditions for both beginners and experienced skiers.
  3. Equipment rentals: Local marinas offer ski rentals, including skis, life jackets, and tow ropes.
  4. Best times: Early mornings and late afternoons typically offer the smoothest water conditions for skiing.
  5. Safety first: The lake has designated areas for water skiing to ensure the safety of all visitors.
  6. Boat launches: Multiple access points around the lake allow for easy launching of personal watercraft.
  7. Skill levels: The lake accommodates various skill levels, from novice skiers to advanced slalom enthusiasts.
  8. Lessons available: Local instructors offer water skiing lessons for those new to the sport.
  9. Scenic views: Skiers can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding forests and hills while on the water.
  10. Other water activities: In addition to water skiing, visitors can enjoy boating, swimming, sailing, and fishing at Cottage Grove Lake.

Self-guided mural walking tour

We invite you to explore Cottage Grove’s vibrant history through its stunning murals. Our self-guided walking tour showcases ten spectacular works of art in the downtown historic district, each telling a unique story of this charming Oregon town.

  1. Tribute to Taylor’s Checkerspot: Start your journey with this mural honoring the endangered butterfly species native to the area.
  2. Gold Rush Legacy: Admire a colorful depiction of Cottage Grove’s mining past, capturing the excitement of the local gold rush era.
  3. Hollywood Connection: Marvel at the “Buster Keaton” mural, featuring scenes from the 1926 silent film “The General” shot in Cottage Grove.
  4. Early Settlement: Learn about the town’s founders through a detailed mural portraying pioneer life and early development.
  5. Natural Beauty: Enjoy a large-scale painting showcasing the lush landscapes and outdoor attractions surrounding Cottage Grove.
  6. Cultural Heritage: Discover the diverse influences that shaped the town’s identity through a mural celebrating local traditions.
  7. Agricultural Roots: View a pastoral scene highlighting the importance of farming in Cottage Grove’s history and economy.
  8. Artistic Expression: Pause at a mural dedicated to the town’s thriving arts community and creative spirit.
  9. Transportation Evolution: Trace the development of local transit through a mural featuring covered bridges, railways, and modern roads.
  10. Community Pride: Conclude your tour with a mural embodying the strong sense of community that defines Cottage Grove today.

Guide to Cottage Grove’s covered bridges.

Cottage Grove’s covered bridges are iconic landmarks that tell the story of Oregon’s past. We’ve put together a guide to help you explore these historic structures and the scenic routes that connect them.

  1. Centennial Bridge: Built in 1987, this 84-foot span is the newest covered bridge in Cottage Grove. It’s located in downtown and serves as a pedestrian walkway.
  2. Chambers Railroad Bridge: Constructed in 1925, this unique bridge is the only remaining covered railroad bridge west of the Mississippi. It spans 78 feet over the Coast Fork Willamette River.
  3. Mosby Creek Bridge: Dating back to 1920, this 90-foot bridge is the oldest in Lane County. It’s situated on Mosby Creek Road, offering picturesque views of the surrounding countryside.
  4. Dorena Bridge: Built in 1949, this 105-foot bridge crosses the Row River. It’s a popular spot for photographers and history buffs alike.
  5. Stewart Bridge: Constructed in 1930, this 60-foot bridge spans Mosby Creek. It’s known for its charming red color and rustic appearance.
  6. Currin Bridge: Built in 1925, this 105-foot bridge crosses the Row River. It features a unique architectural style with exposed trusses.
  7. Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway: This 36-mile route takes cyclists past several covered bridges. It follows the Row River Trail and offers a family-friendly bike vacation opportunity.
  8. Lane County Covered Bridge web page: This resource provides detailed history, pictures, and information on each bridge in the area.

Things To Do In Cottage Grove Oregon Conclusion

Cottage Grove beckons with its charming blend of history and outdoor adventure. We’ve explored the covered bridges, delved into gold mining lore, and savored local brews. Our journey through this Oregon gem revealed a wealth of activities for all tastes.

From scenic bike rides to mural tours, Cottage Grove offers a perfect escape for those seeking small-town charm. We hope you’ll visit soon and create your own memorable experiences in this delightful corner of the Pacific Northwest.

Things To Do In Cottage Grove Oregon FAQs

1. What are the top things to do in Cottage Grove Oregon?

Cottage Grove offers a variety of activities. You can explore historic covered bridges, hike scenic trails, or visit local museums. The town’s charming Main Street is perfect for shopping and dining. Don’t miss the beautiful murals scattered throughout the city.

2. Is Cape Perpetua near Cottage Grove?

Cape Perpetua is about a two-hour drive from Cottage Grove. It’s a stunning coastal area with dramatic ocean views. The cape offers hiking trails, tide pools, and a visitor center. It’s a great day trip option for nature lovers staying in Cottage Grove.

3. Are there any outdoor activities in Cottage Grove?

Yes, Cottage Grove has plenty of outdoor options. You can bike the Row River Trail, fish in Dorena Lake, or golf at local courses. The nearby Umpqua National Forest provides opportunities for camping, hiking, and wildlife viewing. Cottage Grove is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

4. What unique attractions can I find in Cottage Grove?

Cottage Grove has several unique attractions. The Bohemia Gold Mining Museum showcases the area’s mining history. The Cottage Grove Speedway hosts exciting races. The town is also known as the “Covered Bridge Capital of Oregon.” You can take a self-guided tour of these historic structures.

Similar Posts