Bonkers over berries? Sample dozens of types of berries at the 2015 LifeWise Oregon Berry Festival in Portland’s Ecotrust Event Area. Visit the Healthy Berry Pavilion on July 17 or 18 and meet Oregon growers and related berry businesses.
It’s the summer berry picking season in Oregon, which means it’s time for fresh berries of all varieties. The Beaver State is plump with u-pick options from the Willamette Valley to near Mount Hood and beyond.
But this summer, why not add a little more flavor to your berry picking with a side adventure or two? Many of Oregon’s best fruit-picking areas are also close to some fantastic, family-friendly hikes and rides. Fill a cooler with ice to keep your morning’s pickings cool, then saddle up for a scenic family ride or hit the trail for a waterfall cool-down. Here are three fun berry picking adventures to get you started.
Note: It’s always best to call u-pick farms in advance to see what fruit is available.
The only trouble with a berry picking adventure in Hood River is deciding which adventure to take. This Columbia Gorge town is a hive of activity, whether it’s windsurfing on the river, hiking nearby trails or cycling the 14 miles roundtrip between Hood River and Mosier. Little legs would do well on the 3.5-mile Tamanawas Falls hike about 25 miles south of Hood River on Highway 35 or on the 4-mile roundtrip hike to Falls Creek Falls just across the river and north of Carson, Wash. As for u-picks: try Hilda’s Organic U-Pick, Mt View Orchards or Draper Girls Country Farm.
There’s adventure enough in heading to an island in the Willamette River for berry picking at farms like Bella Organic, Kruger’s Farm and Columbia Farms U-Pick to name just a few. But there’s much more to explore than the produce fields on Sauvie Island. Make a day out of it by bringing along the bikes for an island ride. (Probably best for adult riders.) Feeling more like a post-picking stroll? Head to the island’s east shore and hike the beach and trail toward Warrior Rock Lighthouse before cooling off with a quick dip in the river.
The Willamette Valley’s bounty and natural beauty are on full display in and around the town of Silverton, a quaint city just 40 miles south of Portland. Peppered with nearby u-pick options for blueberries, strawberries and all kinds of vegetables, Silverton is also just a stone’s throw from Silver Falls State Park. The park is renowned for its waterfall hikes, which offer up some stunning and serene scenes. Get your picking done early at Fariji Farm or Zurbrugg Blueberries, then head to Silver Falls for a cooling amble on any of the trails that wander past the park’s cascades.