Take a well-deserved detour in Southern Oregon and journey to Glendale, a small town with a lot of personality.
“Glendale is one of the friendliest communities I have ever worked in,” says David Hanson, superintendent for the Glendale School District. “Everyone really wants to make this a better place that attracts more people to the area.” For example, volunteers are working hard to restore the iconic 1901 Springer Martin House.
Nestled about six miles from Interstate 5 and 30 miles north of Grants Pass, the 1,000-person community is easy to access and for good reason. The town sits at the end of the Cow Creek Tour Route, a 45-mile scenic drive through western Oregon’s historic mining country. The route follows its namesake, Cow Creek, which was a hot bed for Oregon’s gold rush in the late 19th century. (You can still try to strike it rich at the Recreational Gold Panning Area.)
A paralleling railroad, built in 1869 during the rise of nickel mines, is still active and transports goods between California and Oregon.
Like most of Douglas County, Glendale has historically been known for timber. But Glendale has stood out among other Oregon timber towns. In the 1960’s, the Glendale-based timber company Swanson Group was one of the first in the state to adopt small log technology. Still today, Swanson Group calls Glendale home, employing nearly 400 people and maintaining a large presence in town.
Because Glendale’s main industry is timber, there’s no shortage of trees. A short walk from the city center will lead you to a number of wooded areas, perfect for finding peace and solitude. A handful of creeks and ponds dot the forested landscape, attracting many species of animals.
“There is an abundance of wildlife in the area,” says Hanson. You might see a deer, fishers or even a Northern spotted owl.
If you’re in town when Cycle Oregon’s Week Ride comes through Glendale, keep your eyes peeled. Hanson says, “In the fall, it is not unusual to see large herds of elk in and around the community.”
Watching wildlife can work up an appetite. Fortunately, there are some good choices: Nano’s Mexican Restaurant, Bobby and Shela’s Cow Creek Cafe and a deli called Picker’s.