: Rogue Creamery

The Perfect Picnic in Southern Oregon

Pack your basket with treats from local producers and savor these outdoor spaces.
June 10, 2024

There’s no better way to experience the bounty of Southern Oregon than with a relaxing picnic under the region’s madrone trees and alongside its rushing rivers on a nice day. Whether it’s a date with your sweetie, an outing with your family or a woodsy adventure in a local park, make your next alfresco outing a celebration of local food from family farms and artisan producers. Here’s your guide to planning the perfect picnic in Southern Oregon.

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A picnic bench on a grassy area with views of a river.
TouVelle State Recreation Site (Photo by Lanessa Pierce)

Fill a Basket With Goodies on a Trip to the Rogue River

The Southern Oregon Artisan Corridor — where several popular food purveyors sit next to each other in Central Point, 4 miles north of Medford — makes it easy to stock up your picnic basket. The award-winning Rogue Creamery sells house-made blue cheese and many other kinds from their own factory and trusted producers, as well as everything you need for a charcuterie plate, including jams, nuts, olives and cured meats. The European-inspired Coquette Bakery prepares an ever-changing lineup of fresh breads, pastries and sandwiches. Ryan Rose Wines offers pours of pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, malbec and other Rogue Valley-grown wines in a handsome tasting room. Wrap up your shopping trip by purchasing hand-made chocolates, truffles, caramels and more at Lillie Belle Farms, which uses a banana glaze, fresh Bing cherries and other creative ingredients in its offerings. 

Where to Picnic

Once you’ve stocked up, head about 8 miles north to TouVelle State Recreation Site. The park sits along the Rogue River and near the base of Upper Table Rock, and both natural features provide the idyllic backdrop for a romantic getaway. Unfurl a blanket in the park’s meadows, or throw a tablecloth over one of its many picnic tables. (Save your bottle of wine for home, though, as this park doesn’t allow alcohol.) Keep an eye out for the great blue herons that nest nearby, and search for fish in the slow-moving waters of the Rogue River.

A picnic table near the edge of a river under a shady tree.
Cantrall Buckley Park (Photo by Lanessa Pierce)

Share Treats and Views With the Family in the Applegate Valley

South of Grants Pass and west of Medford, it’s easy to fill up on goodies from more than a dozen vintners, growers and producers across the fertile Applegate Valley. Many of these family-run businesses are part of the Rogue Valley Food Trail, a self-guided tour of the region’s locally inspired food-and-drink scene.

Kick off your family’s picnic planning with a trip to Whistling Duck Farm, 13 miles south of Grants Pass, where an on-site store, housed in an old barn, sells all manner of fare from neighboring businesses. The extensive selection at Whistling Duck’s farm store includes creative snacks, honey, cheese, breads and local meats. A short drive away sits Blossom Barn Cidery, which specializes in perries — alcoholic beverages similar to cider that are crafted exclusively from Oregon-grown pears. Let the little ones play lawn games or take turns at a vintage arcade machine while you sip a flight and decide which cans to buy. Afterward, swing by Super Natural Chocolate Co. for dessert. The local chocolatier’s gluten- and dairy-free output includes cupcakes, chocolate-dipped marshmallows and several varieties of handcrafted truffles.

Where to Picnic

When you’re ready to dig in, head to Cantrall Buckley Park along the Applegate River. The semi-forested park hosts several riverside picnic tables, a shady playground and restrooms. Several on-site sculptures reflect native plants that visitors might see around the park and across the broader Applegate Valley.

A staircase leading to a small deck built around a tree with a view of the Toketee Falls waterfall.
Toketee Falls (Photo by Nickie Bournias)

Tackle Waterfall Adventures With Snacks Near Roseburg

Roseburg makes an excellent home base for hiking the northernmost stretch of the Rogue Umpqua Scenic Byway, where several short trails lead to waterfalls tumbling over rocky cliffs and into forested canyons. Before heading out, visit a few stops along the Great Umpqua Food Trail to pack a perfect post-hike picnic.

Start shopping at the Umpqua Valley Farmers Market, open on Saturdays all year long. There, dozens of local vendors sell several picnics’ worth of food items — including fresh produce, baked goods, honey and hummus. You’ll want a refreshing beverage after your hike, pick up a few cans of craft ales and lagers from Two Shy Brewing. A few of the brewery’s beers are named for regional landmarks, including the chocolaty Mt. Bailey Cream Porter and the pine-tinged Umpqua Trail IPA.

Where to Picnic

If you’re traveling OR-138, which heads east from Roseburg and past a number of waterfalls, your options for picnic sites are limited only by your schedule. Relax with your treats in the shadow of the 50-foot Susan Creek Falls, at a picnic table near the Toketee Falls trailhead and at the Diamond Lake Overlook — a small rest area with outsized views of Diamond Lake and Mt. Bailey.

About The
Author

Matt Wastradowski
Matt Wastradowski is a travel and outdoors writer living in Portland, Oregon. He’s written about the outdoors, craft beer, history, and more for the likes of Outside, Portland Monthly, and Northwest Travel & Life—and has written three Oregon-centric guidebooks for Moon Travel Guides.

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