: Joshua Rainey Photography

The Great Oaks Food Trail invites you on a self-guided culinary journey through a special part of the Willamette Valley.

Out here you’ll find small towns with big hearts, modern makers honoring local history, and family farms that work hard to preserve the land, including restoring the native great white oak savannah. 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.

Fun fact: In the 1930s, following the repeal of prohibition, Polk County was known as the “Hop Center of the World” as the nation’s largest hop-producing county. You can still see hops growing here today.

Plates of bruschetta and charcuterie sit in front of a lavender martini.
Monmouth's Crush Wine Bar & Tasting Room features a evolving menu of elevated comfort food and drinks. (Photo by Joshua Rainey Photography)

Rooted in Tradition

Dallas to Monmouth

Explore local landmarks celebrating history, wildlife and wine.

Begin your day in nature at Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge, where you can wander through the expansive wetlands and oak savanna while observing an array of wildlife all year round. From here, take your best pick of blueberries, cherries, peaches or apples (depending on the season) at Perryhill Farm.

Take a lunch break at Left Coast Estate, known for sustainable winemaking, where you can enjoy a tasting flight paired with charcuterie, panini or wood-fired pizza on weekends. Next head to the Polk County Museum to learn about the early pioneer heritage of the area. Continue your Polk County history lesson as you make your way to one of Oregon’s oldest and largest wineries, Eola Hills Wine Cellars.

Head to the quaint town of Monmouth, where you can choose one of three self-guided walking tours featuring the historic downtown, Western Oregon University Campus and Eastern Main Street Historic Neighborhood. Once you’ve walked up an appetite, wind down your day at Crush Wine Bar & Tasting Room, a local’s favorite with an evolving menu, fun ambiance and large selection of Oregon craft beverages.

Relax with an overnight stay at the historic Mamere’s Guest House, originally built in 1891. Family owned and operated, the house is warm and welcoming with each room artistically decorated. In the morning, enjoy a delectable breakfast you will not forget.

A slice of berry pie sits on a plate next to the rest of the pie.
Each of Bountiful Pies' handmade artisan pies use locally grown grain flour and more than 2 pounds of fruit. (Photo by Joshua Rainey Photography)

Scenic Sips & Local Bounty

West Salem to Amity

Tour farms and restaurants along a picturesque countryside.

Jumpstart your morning at Brew Coffee & Tap House, serving locally roasted coffee and bites during the day and craft cocktails by night. Take your coffee to go as you walk through the West Salem Farmers Market, open Thursdays from May to mid-September, where you’ll find fresh produce and handmade products. Don’t forget to grab an artisan pie at Bountiful Pies just a few steps away.

Continue to the picturesque Eola-Amity Hills and Bjornson Vineyard, where you can bring your own picnic to enjoy alfresco near the property’s 20-foot waterfall. If you’re in the mood for craft beer, stick to West Salem’s Xicha Brewing to indulge your senses in Latin American flavors and culture.

Make your way to Amity to Blue Raeven Farmstand, a must-stop for handmade seasonal pies and local goods. Next, take a scenic drive out to Brooks Winery to sample award-winning sustainable wines in a rustic tasting room. Then visit Keeler Estate Vineyard to savor the fruits of natural winemaking. Round out your afternoon with smiles at Wings & A Prayer Alpacas, where you can meet alpacas or shop for the softest socks and scarves you’ll ever own.

Finish your day at The Blue Goat, an Amity favorite, and order dishes cooked with time-honored techniques — hearth breads, oak-smoked meats and fire-roasted entrees. Walk across the street to your top-floor flat for an overnight stay at Amity Flats, a restored historic Masonic Lodge, and sleep easy.

Four friends cheers their beers in front of a hop field.
Rogue Ales' beers, spirits and sodas are made with ingredients grown on Rogue Farms in Independence. (Photo by Joshua Rainey Photography)

Paddle, Parks & Pints

Dallas to Independence

Relish in river views and small towns with big flavors.

Awaken your senses at Karma Coffee Bar & Bakery, located in a cute house in downtown Dallas. From there head to Roger Jordan Community Park, where you can stroll with your coffee around the creekside walking path.

Make your way to Monmouth for fresh pizza and a pint at Yeasty Beasty, boasting 26 rotating taps. Nearby in Independence, enjoy a leisurely afternoon at Riverview Park either birdwatching along the Willamette River Trail or taking a mellow kayak adventure with rentals and shuttle service through Woodward Surf Co. Toast to your adventure at Rogue Farms with a pint and tour of the hop farm.

Next treat yourself to something sweet on Main Street. Family-owned and -operated Melting Pot Candy has crafted toffees, truffles and caramels for generations. Independent Ice Cream Shop serves childhood memories in the form of cones, banana splits and homemade ice cream sandwiches.

Unwind and check in at the boutique Independence Hotel, where you can relax amongst nature-inspired décor and views of the Willamette River. Grab a small bite or glass of wine at the hotel’s restaurant, Territory.

When dinner calls, consider Creole- and Southern-inspired cuisine at The Valkyrie Wine Tavern or tasty eats paired with craft brews at Gilgamesh Brewery’s newest location, The River. Save room for dessert and bubbly at Jubilee Champagne and Dessert Bar.

Before you leave town, stop by Ovenbird Bakery for homebrewed coffee and pastries to go.

A child looks down at an ice cream cone with a smile.
Grab a cone, bowl or sundae at Independent Ice Cream Shop, which also serves as a gift shop and tea house. (Photo by Joshua Rainey Photography)

More tasty stops

There are dozens of stops on The Great Oaks 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.

North Polk County

West Salem, Dallas & Rickreall

Independence

Monmouth and surrounding area

Two women cheers wine at a balcony overlooking a river.
Unwind at the boutique Independence Hotel, located along the Willamette River. (Photo by Joshua Rainey Photography)

Travel Tips

This year-round, self-guided food trail is designed to be explored at your own pace – you are welcome to 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 June-September. Seasonality of key products is listed below:

  • Cherries: June-August
  • Hop harvest: July-October
  • Blueberries: June-August
  • Apples: August-October
  • Cider pressing: September-October
  • Wine grape harvest: Fall

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, orchard or beverage tour? The following operators offer tours to select trail stops and can build custom itineraries:

Your experience along the Great Oaks 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 greater Polk County area.

Learn more at greatoaksfoodtrail.com. Explore other Oregon Food Trails at oregonfoodtrails.com.

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