Visiting each of the farms along the Southern Oregon Lavender Trail will take you through the Applegate and Rogue valleys, surrounded by the outstanding natural beauty of the Siskiyou Mountains. Each of these lavender farms will be open for visitors between mid-June and early August when the lavender is in full bloom. The Southern Oregon Lavender Festival takes place at the peak of the lavender harvest, and it’s recommended you try to visit during the festivals as many farms offer craft workshops and demonstrations, which are well worth planning ahead for. Be sure to check each farm’s website for open hours before visiting.
Allow yourself at least one whole day to visit all of the farms on the trail or perhaps spread it out over two days; a weekend trip would allow you to sample more of what the Applegate and Rogue valleys have to offer. Last year I took a quiet drive through the foothills of the Siskiyous during the festival weekend, stopping at each farm on the route to admire the natural beauty of fields of vibrant purple. I learned to make lavender wands, a lavender wreath, how to distill my own hand-picked blooms to make lavender essential oil and I ate my fill of lavender shortbread and lavender lemonade!
If you are traveling from further afield, then you may wish to consider an overnight stay in the National Historic Landmark town of Jacksonville, the perfect place for a weekend getaway. Begin your scenic drive along Highway 238 and don’t forget your camera!
The first stop is Dos Mariposas Vineyards & Lavender Farm in Medford. Their lavender products are made from estate-grown lavender, and are never treated with pesticides or chemicals. Products such as pure essential oil, hydrosol and lavender lotions will be available during the lavender festival weekends along with wine and cider tastings.
Next make a stop at OSU Lavender Garden in Central Point, east of Jacksonville, home to 16 species and subspecies of lavender. Take a self-guided tour and watch the gardeners at work.
As you drive west along Highway 238, look for paragliders over Woodrat Mountain to your left. After almost 8 miles (12 minutes or so) you will reach the town of Ruch. Pass the Country Store on your right, and then turn left onto Upper Applegate Road and after exactly 1.7 miles turn right onto Hamilton Road. You will arrive at the first lavender farm, which is on your left about a half-mile down. There you will be greeted by Marcy and Rob Rustad at Applegate River Lavender Farm in Jacksonville. Take in the views of the Siskiyous, the gorgeous mature lavender field and indulge yourself with u-pick lavender, artisan-crafted lavender products, and delightful lavender culinary treats. Return to Upper Applegate and head south and you will soon come upon the most recently added farm to the trail, Kingfisher Farms in Jacksonville. View the newly planted lavender fields and enjoy the farm hospitality of Annita and Bruce Phillips.
Keeping west along Highway 238, you will soon reach the town of Applegate with the Applegate Store and Post Office on the left and the Applegate River Lodge on your right. Cross the green Pioneer Bridge and immediately turn left onto Thompson Creek Road. A leisurely drive for about 10 minutes (7.8 miles) will bring you to The English Lavender Farm in the town of Applegate, where my husband and I grow an entire hillside of English lavender. Watch for deer and wild turkeys along the way!
Continuing along Williams Highway, you’ll soon reach Goodwin Creek Gardens in the town of Williams, which has been run by Jim and Dottie Becker since 1977 and includes a lavish selection of lavender as well as nearly 600 other species.
Make your way back to I-5 and head over to the town of Rogue River for a stop at Lavender Alley in the town of Rogue River. Visitors will conclude the trail with a very memorable experience with hands-on activities and farm-made products featuring the farm’s 13 shades of lavender. Don’t miss enjoying some shade and refreshments while sitting in the custom built pergola, designed by owner Ally Dao.