If you’re looking for a long, paved trail to get some good miles in, either by foot or by wheel, the Row River Trail is a great choice. With multiple access points, trailheads, and other adventures close by, there are many options for those looking to explore this beautiful part of the Willamette Valley.
The 15.6-mile trail is set along an abandoned rail line and connects the towns of Cottage Grove and Dorena. Originally the rail line was built to service the mining and logging industries in the area. It was abandoned 1994. Today, the adapted trail is open to hikers, bikers and horseback riders. It’s a popular spot for walkers and runners as well.
The trail winds through a variety of habitats and properties ranging from urban settings to farm and timber lands and riverbanks. It also passes by three historic covered bridges in the area. Some are right along the trail, while others are just a short distance off of the main path. They were built in the early to mid-1900s. Some trailheads have facilities (vault toilets and water), while others are more primitive. The trail is maintained by the Bureau of Land Management, the City of Cottage Grove, as well as volunteers who look after small sections.
If you want to skip the more urban sections of the trail, start your adventure at Mosby Creek trailhead. It shortens the trail, but there are fewer road crossings and less traffic to avoid. It’s also where some of the filming for the 1985 movie Stand by Me took place. The trail’s end at Culp Creek has ample parking, vault toilets and picnic tables.