Local Farms: Marion Farm Loop

Just in time for fall harvest season, Marion County farms, wineries and country businesses announce the opening of the Marion Farm Loop. The 120-mile scenic rural driving route directs visitors to 23 different farm stops, making it easy to find the best of the local bounty. A new website has been created, along with printed and online maps which provide directions and descriptions of the farm stops, as well as open hours.

“By trying the Farm Loop, local and out-of-town travelers will easily locate producers of fresh produce, plump pumpkins, stunning landscape plants, Christmas trees and the latest wine releases,” said Mary Stewart, Oregon State University Extension faculty for Marion County. In addition to products, many farms offer educational and heritage arts programs and classes, outdoor recreation and lots of family fun.

“By selling products locally, these farms are able to keep their sales closer to home. At the same time people can meet their local farmer, and see firsthand how food and fiber is produced,” added Ms. Stewart. That knowledge goes a long way in a educating a society that is three and four generations removed from the farm.  

Several itineraries have been developed within the Full Farm Loop to customize the Farm Loop experience – The Full Farm Loop is 120 miles long, the North Loop is 55 miles long, the South Loop is 68 miles long, the Wine Loop is 60 miles long, the Fresh Produce Loop is 95 miles long, the Flower and Nursery Loop is 50 miles long and the Fall Harvest Family Loop is 92 miles long.  “If you only have a short time to visit the Farm Loop, just pick out the stop or stops you want to visit that day, and use the interactive map to plot your route,” said Stewart.

The website also features a Seasonality Chart that shows what’s ripe and ready to harvest on the farms.

The Marion Farm Loop was made possible by a collaboration of the local farms, Oregon State University Extension Service’s agritourism program and Oregon Agritourism Partnership (Oregon Farm Loop). Travel Salem will provide marketing support to connect the Loop with visitors.

The Farm Loop initiative grew out of research of the local farm direct marketing community and an industry needs assessment conducted by Stewart in 2016.

For more information about the Marion Farm Loop, connect to https://www.marionfarmloop.com/ email agritourism@oregonstate.edu or call OSU Extension Service in Marion County at 503-588-5301.