Visit 23 farm stops in the Mid-Willamette Valley
Find produce, flowers and award-winning wines on the new Marion Farm Loop. The route takes you to 23 different farm stops in the Salem, Oregon, area. The trail has everything from flourishing gardens and family-owned farm markets to picturesque wineries and one-of-a-kind accommodations. Here are seven must-do experiences along the trail:
1. Take a scenic drive through Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley
The Marion Farm Loop spans across a gorgeous portion of the Mid-Willamette Valley. From St. Paul, Oregon, to Jefferson, Oregon, the loop will take you on a scenic 120-mile driving route through the valley. Situated between the Coastal Range and Cascade Range, you’ll have breathtaking views of mountains, rolling hills and the countryside.
The valley’s mild climate and fertile soil makes it an ideal farming location. Along the way, you’ll also pass vineyards, hopyards and hazelnut groves.
2. Pick fresh ingredients straight from the farm
The Jones family has been farming in the Willamette Valley for more than 100 years. Today, Jones Farm Produce, located in Keizer, Oregon, grows more than 60 varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables, including pears, nectarines and Indian corn. From May to October, the farm also serves up eight flavors of local ice cream and frozen yogurt.
Go apple picking at Beilke Family Farm, in Brooks, Oregon, from August to November. The nine-acre, u-pick orchard features 15 varieties of apples throughout the year. In the summer months, the farm opens its blueberry fields for both u-pick and we-pick.
Pick your produce directly from the source at Greens Bridge Gardens in Jefferson. The farm offers u-pick on nearly all of its available produce. Find ripe berries and peaches for summer desserts, or gather tomatoes and peppers to keep for winter soups.
Even your four-legged family members can enjoy a trip to Sunnyview Vegetable Farm in Salem. The farm grows an abundance of seasonal vegetables, including lettuce, cucumbers and green beans. Both u-pick and we-pick are available, and dogs are permitted if leashed.
3. Taste foodie finds along the way
E.Z. Orchards is a popular spot among locals to pick up fresh produce and treats year-round. But the farm market is best known for its homemade donuts. The donuts are baked fresh every day, with seasonal flavors such as apple cider, blueberry and pumpkin.
Stop for lunch at Willamette Valley Pie Company. With both indoor and outdoor seating, the retail store serves lunch, smoothies and coffee throughout the year. Don’t forget to grab a slice of pie on your way out!
In the summer months, visit the Minto Island Growers Food Cart. From salads and sandwiches, to wood-fired pizzas and milkshakes, the cart offers a delicious spread of farm-grown, homemade food. The organic farm is also home to one of the only farm-scale tea plots in the country.
The French Prairie Gardens bakery is full of great foodie finds! Cookies, scones, fruit pies and breads are baked fresh every day using as many ingredients from the farm as possible.
4. Visit Wine Country
Wine enthusiasts will appreciate the trail’s wine loop. From well-known vineyards to small boutique wineries, the 60-mile-long experience will take you to six different tasting rooms.
Located just minutes from the heart of downtown Salem, Honeywood Winery is the oldest producing winery in Oregon. The winery offers complimentary tastings seven days a week.
Once told that there was no future in winemaking for women, Sandee Piluso is now the owner and winemaker at Piluso Vineyard & Winery. The tasting room is located in Aumsville, Oregon, on a turn-of-the-century farm. As Sandee is also a master gardener, guest can enjoy picnic lunches in the vintner’s garden.
Pudding River Wine Cellars is a family-owned vineyard and winery in Salem. The winery pours small-lot, boutique-style wines, including Pinot Noir, Syrah and Malbec, out of its barn-inspired tasting room.
Silver Falls Vineyards, in Sublimity, Oregon, sits on a 100-acre farm near Silver Falls State Park. Featuring only estate-grown wines, the vineyard grows 25 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and other varieties.
Vitis Ridge Winery started out as a hobby for Chris and Sharon Deckelmann. The winery now produces more varieties of wine than some large production wineries. The Deckelmanns focus on producing unique wines and specialty blends. The tasting room is located right outside of downtown Silverton, Oregon.
5. Plan a family day on the farm
Bauman’s Farm & Garden, in Gervais, Oregon, hosts one of the largest harvest festivals in the Salem-area and is consistently ranked as one of the best fall celebrations in the valley. The farm offers more than 30 activities for children of all ages. Adults can enjoy the festival’s live entertainment and the farm’s hard cider.
During harvest season, children will enjoy the pumpkin forest, corn maze and caboose at Vince Woods Farm. The farm has been growing pumpkins, squash and ornamental corn for more than 50 years. It’s a staple in the Salem community for affordable fall fun.
The saying, “April showers bring May flowers,” holds true at Schreiner’s Iris Garden in Salem. The farm opens its display gardens each May during bloom season. The 10-acre display gardens feature more than 500 named iris varieties and countless companion plants.
Ballyntyne Learning Farm offers classes year-round for young children. Situated on 40 acres of land in Salem, children are invited to play, explore and grow while learning about animals, plants and the environment.
6. Grow a garden
Find the perfect addition to your garden at Al’s Garden & Home in Woodburn, Oregon. Serving the Willamette Valley since 1948, the store sells everything from shrubs and trees to house plants and produce plants. Gardening basics and new techniques are also taught weekly at in-store seminars and workshops.
The Salem-area is home to beautiful Sebright Gardens, which offers more than 900 varieties of hostas, as well as 150 varieties of ferns and other shade-loving plants. Wander through four acres of display gardens and then select plants to take home for your yard or patio.
Egan Gardens is located on a family farm in Salem. With greenhouses full of flowering plants, hanging baskets and planters, the garden center strives to grow strong, healthy plants that will thrive in your garden. Gardening help is available through weekend classes or by asking staff members, who help grow and care for the plants.
7. Book a stay
Overlooking an 80-acre garden, the Oregon Garden Resort offers spacious rooms in a picture-perfect setting. Located in Silverton, the resort has a full-service spa, outdoor pool and Northwest-inspired food and wines at the resort restaurant. Guests receive free tickets to explore more than 20 specialty gardens located on the property.
Plan a luxurious wine country retreat to Willamette Valley Vineyards’ Winery Suites in Turner, Oregon. With expansive vineyard views and award-winning wines, the suites offer an unforgettable experience. Enjoy dinner in the tasting room or watch the sunset over the vines on your private outdoor patio.
Stay in a restored, two-story country farmhouse at Raintree Tropical’s Country Bed and Breakfast in Silverton. The guesthouse can accommodate up to seven people. Guests can enjoy a lovely garden, toasty fireplace and homemade pastries and fresh fruit each morning.
Know before you go:
- Some locations are open seasonally. Check hours before visiting.
- A free farm loop guide can be picked up at all participating locations, the Travel Salem office or by request. Locations are also listed on the farm loop website.
- Need a ride? Click here for a link to available transportation.
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