: Allison Smith

The Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail offers a self-guided journey through a bountiful land of historic farms and trailblazing spirits. These businesses are committed to sustainable practices to last through the next century and beyond. Find your themed route below or download the official brochure.

For 130 years Tyee Wine Cellars has been family-owned and offering vintage blends.  (Photo by Allison Smith)

A Taster’s Tour

Monroe to Albany

Savor scenic views and liquid libations with the locals

Start the day above a misty vineyard at BlueBird Hill Cellars Farm and B&B north of Monroe, where breakfast comes with homemade jams. Then let your designated driver steer you towards Tyee Wine Cellars for vintage blends made on a 130-year-old family farm. 

If your visit syncs with summer, pick northern highbush blueberries at Kiger Island Blues; or enjoy apples and sweet cider in the fall. Afterward visit bike-friendly First Alternative Co-op, a Corvallis staple since 1970, to pack a picnic of local organic foods. Consider a sip trip with Oregon Travel Tours or for some pedal-powered fun cycle the Kings Valley Loop to the next stops.

Venture west to Philomath, where Pheasant Court Winery is known for distinctive big reds and dry whites. Neighboring Compton Family Wines produces fruit-forward, earthy wines using French cooperage. At Lumos Wine Company, organic wine is poured in a former dude ranch barn — and you can stay in an original guest cabin. Nearby a historic covered bridge acts as gatekeeper to Harris Bridge Vineyard and its specialty pinot gris and pinot noir vermouths. Linger along the hillside of Monmouth’s Airlie Winery, owned and operated by women, with nine signature varietals to enjoy. Then visit Emerson Vineyards, a multigenerational labor of love, for happy sips and fun conversations with the winemakers.

Your farm-to-table dinner is served at local favorite Frankie’s Restaurant in Albany, a fine dining experience with casual ambiance. For a night cap and games, treat yourself to Albany’s brewstillery, Deluxe Brewing and Sinister Distilling. After all, you have a lot to cheers to.

Fresh flowers can be found blooming between April-July along the Mid Willamette region. (Photo by Reed Lane Photography)

Makers and Innovators

Philomath to Albany

A farm-fresh feast through community art and history

Ease into the day and nourish your spirit at The Dizzy Hen in downtown Philomath, where chefs have a farm-fresh take on down-home cooking. Then it’s time to peruse ceramic
treasures made by a master potter at Donovan’s Place, a working Christmas-tree farm with lodging. Next, join a fun horticulture workshop at Starker Arts Garden for Education (SAGE), which grows food for those in need.

You don’t have to be an academic to explore historic Oregon State University, but sharp eyes will help you ace the colorful Corvallis Murals Scavenger Hunt around town. Later, head to the seasonal Corvallis Farmers Market on the downtown riverfront followed by craft beers on the roof of Sky High Brewery.

When lunch calls, grab a bite at Block 15 Brewing, famous for wild ales and locally sourced pub fare. During the school term, students at LBCC Culinary Arts open The Santiam Restaurant with gourmet dishes prepared by future chefs. Fueled up, head east to Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site for a free guided tour of Oregon’s last water-powered mill, built in the mid-19th century. Discover maker culture is on display at Albany’s Honeybrine Market, with local artisan products and frequent events are hosted in the charming warehouse space.

Taste the region’s flavors with an elegant dinner at Sybaris Bistro, where a new eclectic menu is adopted every month. After-dinner drinks and games await at the shared warehouse of Vivacity Fine Spirits and Calapooia Brewing. When it’s time to end the night rest easy at 206 1/2 Historic Hotel, perched above Margin Coffee in the heart of downtown Albany.

Thompson's Mills is the last water-powered mill built in the mid-19th century. (Photo by Kristi Crawford)

Flora and Fauna

Alsea to Corvallis

Discover nature’s wonders in food and the outdoors 

Begin your journey along the Marys Peak to Pacific Scenic Byway, following coastal breezes into the valley. Idyllic mornings at Alsea’s Leaping Lamb Farm Stay might include feeding lambs before breakfast. Next, visit Alsea Trout Hatchery to see steelhead spawning from November through March, or reserve a nursery luncheon tour at The Thyme Garden April through August.

The Coast Range’s highest point, Marys Peak, dazzles with wildflowers from spring through summer but year-round it offers stunning 360 views. Re-fuel at Philomath’s Gathering Together Farm, an organic vegetable farm serving lunch and dinner on a cozy covered deck. 

Continue along farmlands to Iron Water Ranch to take a fiber arts class and meet sheep. Neighboring Bryant Family Farm offers 19 varieties of U-pick blueberries in the summer, while home horticulturalists can grab organic supplies and garden-themed gifts at Urban Ag Supply. Just across the Willamette River, Springhill Cellars is an ideal stop for high-quality wines and views. Then amble over to celiac-safe Midway Farms to peruse the farm stand and join a cooking class, cider-pressing party or twilight yoga.

Oregon’s local ingredients take the spotlight at Castor Kitchen, featuring elevated Southern comfort food. Cap the day with craft cocktails and a panoramic view of Marys Peak at 4 Spirits Distillery, where sales benefit military veterans. Tomorrow, consider bird watching at William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, picking organic strawberries at Fairfield Farm or learning about dry-land farming at Monroe’s eco-farm Lilliputopia. Further exploration awaits with Best Oregon Tours or on the South Willamette Valley Food Trail.

Enjoy a pint on the outdoor balcony at multiple breweries along the trail. (Photo by Allison Smith)

More tasty stops

There are dozens of stops on the Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail, from bakeries to restaurants, farms and growers markets, to wineries and distilleries and indulgent take-home treats. Make your base camp in one of these charming towns and find a delicious farm-to-table meal around the corner. Here are some of the locales to explore.

Monmouth

Albany

Corvallis

Philomath

Alsea

Lebanon

Monroe

Sweet Home and Shedd

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TRAVEL TIPS

This year-round, self-guided Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail is designed to be explored at your own pace – you can start and finish wherever you like. We encourage you to inquire at individual businesses about seasonality and hours of operation before visiting.

High season varies per business but is typically May-Oct. Seasonality of key products is listed below:

  • Blueberries: June-July
  • Strawberries: May-June
  • Flowers: April-July
  • Apples and Cider: September-October
  • Hazelnuts: October-November
  • Wine Harvest: September-October
  • Pumpkins: September-October

The working farms along this trail provide some of the most unique and engaging experiences. We ask that you respect the invitation to enter each property and be cautious around farm animals and equipment. Children must be supervised at all times and you should be prepared to follow all site-specific rules. For your safety and comfort, be prepared with appropriate footwear, sun protection and water.

Interested in a guided farm, foodie and beverage tour? The following operators offer tours to select trail stops and can build custom itineraries:

Your experience along the Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail should not end when you leave the area. We encourage you to bring a taste of your journey back home to share with friends and family as a reminder of the bounty available in the Mid-Willamette Valley.

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