Grab your sunscreen and shades, you sun-starved Pacific Northwest students! The sun has finally shown its beautiful
face. Now a problem arises: how to pass the time? You’ve been cooped up in dorm rooms, coffee shops, and shopping malls, while rain pattered on the windows. But now there are new things to do in a world beyond the walls of your rainy prison, a world called the outdoors. There are many activities to explore in the Salem area when the weather takes a pleasant turn.
1. Bush’s Pasture Park: Take a stroll with friends or a special someone. The 90.5-acre park has multiple fields for playing Frisbee or football, or lazing around in the sun. The park is covered with flower gardens and trees and is also home to the historic Bush Estate House. It contains many trails for walking or jogging and has playground areas, picnic tables, horseshoe courts, tennis courts, and a gazebo. It is located on Mission Street and open from 6:00 a.m. to midnight. For more information, go to: http://www.cityofsalem.net/Residents/Parks/ParkTour/Pages/Bush%27s%20Pasture%20Park.aspx
2. Riverfront Park: Along the Willamette River nestled in downtown Salem is Riverfront Park, with 23 acres filled with
activities. It contains an amphitheater, playground, covered pavilion, large grassy areas, the EcoEarth Globe, even a carousal. It’s perfect for rollerblading, bike riding, Frisbee games, or jamming with instruments. For more information, go to: http://www.cityofsalem.net/Residents/Parks/ParkTour/Pages/Riverfront%20Park.aspx
3. Silver Falls State Park: If pleasant trails and breathtaking waterfalls are your thing, then Silver Falls State Park, l30 minutes east of campus, is the perfect outing for you. This temperate rainforest park contains 10 waterfalls and includes lodges, gift shops, and various places to camp overnight. Though thousands of people visit the park each year, it is large enough to find peaceful seclusions among the firs, hemlocks and cedars. It costs $5 for parking and is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, go to: http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_211.php
4. Historic Deepwood Estate: A 1894 Queen Anne Victorian Home sits on 4 acres of manicured gardens and nature trails, near the heart of downtown Salem. The estate has tours from 9 a.m. to noon (closed Tuesdays), and costs $4. However, you can take a lovely walk through the gardens and nature trails completely free of charge. For more information, go to: http://historicdeepwoodestate.org/historic/estate/calendar_event/421/
5. Saddle Mountain Hike: Want something more challenging than a walk in the park? This hike offers a view that stretches from the Pacific Ocean to Mt. Hood. With moderate difficulty, this 5.2-mile round trip is covered with red alders, salmonberries, and Douglas fir, with a lookout tower at the summit. Saddle Mountain is near Necanicum Junction, 12 miles east of Seaside, Oregon. Grab your friends, backpacks, trail mix, and head out! For more information, go to: http://www.portlandhikersfieldguide.org/wiki/Saddle_Mountain_Hike
6. Flower Festivals: Springtime is packed with events celebrating the blooming of flowers. In March and April, the Wooden Shoe Bulb Company in Woodburn hosts a flower festival; there you can walk through fields of brilliant tulips. In May, Keizer hosts its annual Iris Festival. North of Keizer, Schreiner’s Iris Gardens has 200 viewing acres of gardens open to the public, free of charge. Near Silverton, you’ll find even more irises at Cooley’s Gardens, where they display 200 artistic tall bearded iris floral arrangements and offer weekend entertainment. For more information, go to: information, visit http://web.oregon.com/trips/salem_gardensofeden.cfm.
7. Salem State Capitol: A sunny day is a perfect opportunity to visit Oregon’s State Capitol, which is just minutes away from Corban’s campus. Most easily accessible from Court Street, the Capitol has beautifully kept courtyards, while the main building is open to the public and offers tours as well.
8. Fro Yo: Warm sunny day? Want a frozen yogurt with that? Both Limeberry (on Liberty Street in South Salem) and Sweet Papaya (on Lancaster) are great places to grab friends for a refreshing frozen yogurt treat.