here 1 LegacyPostID: numheaderimagerows: 1 LegacyFeaturedImage: 2021/06/840-salem_willamette-valley-vineyards-3-1000.jpg

Your Guide to the Marion Farm Loop

By Matt Wastradowski

Salem may be the largest city in the Willamette Valley, but you don't need to travel far to experience its deep roots as an agricultural hub in the region. Just outside the city, for instance, you'll find orchards growing apples and peaches, rolling hillsides covered in wine grapes, fields of juicy berries, and farms that provide fresh, seasonal produce to local restaurants.

Explaining the Marion Farm Loop | Location | What to Do

Willamette Valley Vineyards hosts a popular tasting room just south of Salem.

You can experience this agriculture in a variety of fun ways along the 30-stop Marion Farm Loop. The loop, part of the larger Oregon Farm Loop project, aims to connect visitors with the food they enjoy through farm tours, tastings, and other outings that can't be enjoyed just anywhere.

So after you've downloaded a brochure from the loop's official website, dig deeper into the heart of the Willamette Valley with this overview of the self-guided Marion Farm Loop.

The self-guided Marion Farm Loop is made up of 30 farms, markets, orchards, cafes, and even an outdoor beer garden—all in the heart of the Willamette Valley. It was crafted to showcase the many ways in which agriculture is central to our region's food scene—from the farms where ingredients are grown to the restaurants, wineries, brewpubs, and markets where you can enjoy the literal fruits of their labor.

Here are a few ideas for how to plan your trip:

  • You can experience as many, or as few, stops as you'd like along the loop—and in any order that fits into your travels.
  • Many farms and markets close between November and March, so check with your preferred destinations before heading out in winter.
  • Consider making Salem your home base, as Oregon's state capital is centrally located within the broader loop.
  • Give yourself up to a full weekend to visit a handful of stops along the loop.

TopWire Hop Project is a seasonal outdoor beer garden that sits in a hop farm near Woodburn.

Bauman's Farm & Garden pours award-winning cider, sells fresh produce, hosts an on-site bakery, and more.

The Marion Farm Loop sits entirely within Marion County, extending from the banks of the Willamette River in the north to forested farmlands—and the very western edge of the Cascade Foothills—in the south.

Salem and Keizer are the biggest cities within the loop, but other communities along the way include Aumsville, Stayton, Sublimity, Silverton, Woodburn, and Aurora.  

The loop heads through Salem but otherwise follows backroads and byways that gently curve through orchards and farmland. The only traffic jam you'll encounter on these roads is when you get stuck behind a tractor.

Marion Farm Loop

Agriculture connects us with the foods and beverages we love so much—so get a feel for how it all begins at working farms along the loop.

  • Bauman's Farm & Garden offers fresh produce (picked daily), an on-site bakery, house-made hard cider, and a colorful nursery all year long.
  • For another kind of farming, stop by Minto Island Growers (just outside Salem) to check out Oregon's only farm-scale Camellia sinensis tea garden.
  • Celebrate the region's wine grapes with stops at Honeywood Winery; Oregon's oldest winery pours more than 50 varieties.
  • While away an afternoon at TopWire Hop Project, an outdoor beer garden surrounded by acres of hop plants—many of which were used to produce the beers on tap.

Part of what makes the Marion Farm Loop so special is the sheer variety of businesses that welcome visitors and showcase the region.

  • The café at Willamette Valley Pie Co. specializes in fresh pie, frozen fruit, smoothies, and more—all crafted from berries processed by the third-generation farm.
  • Check out Oregon's only honey tasting room at Flying Bee Ranch; sample several creative honeys, and head home with a jar of your favorite.

Flying Bee Ranch hosts Oregon's only honey tasting rooms—and offers flights if visitors would like to sample several varieties.

Learn about visiting local farms, perusing farmers markets, and finding other fun ways to mingle with the Willamette Valley's agricultural delights. 

Learn about the many crops that grow across the Willamette Valley, when they're in season, where to find them.

Get the skinny on the many farm loops and food trails that crisscross the Willamette Valley and showcase its rich agricultural heritage.

Your adventure begins with the official Willamette Valley Travel Guide. Request your complimentary printed guide or download a digital guide today.

©2024 Willamette Valley Visitors Association

Site by Drozian Webworks