Follow the loop to Fiala Farms
Looking for some old-fashioned fall fun?
Whether it's searching for the perfect pumpkin, stomping around a corn maze or watching a cider-press demonstration, all your favorite Autumn activities are not too far from your front door — and the folks at the Farmlandia Farm Loop are ready to show you the way.
The Farmlandia Farm Loop is a self-guided farm tour that highlights 18 farms around the southern Portland metro area. The loop includes a variety of farm stops, including farm stands with fruits and vegetables, you-pick options, lavender and herbs, specialty native plants, flowers, baked goods and whole grains, tours of a flour mill, amazing local wines and friendly farm animals.
For Lake Oswegans, one of those stops is just a few short miles away at Fiala Farms, a Century Farm in the Stafford Hamlet that has been in operation for more than 100 years.
"In today's world, where so many people care about where their food is from and how it's grown, being close to the urban sector of Portland and areas like Lake Oswego give you an opportunity to come to our farm just five miles away, see where the food is grown, talk to the people who grow it and buy it onsite," says Richard Fiala, the farm's owner. "It's also a chance to understand through communication between farmer and consumer what our farm practices are and how it lines up with your food consumption.
"It really makes a difference to see it grown at the farm," Fiala says.
In addition to connecting the food to the place, Fiala Farms also offers a variety of fall activities to make the most out of every visit.
"Our corn maze has about two miles of trails, and so we think it's our hardest corn maze yet," Fiala says. "About 60 percent (of maze-goers) are coming back out of the entrance instead of the exit. We hide wooden stakes numbered one to 20 in the corn field, and the challenge is to see if you can find all 20 numbers."
To date, only about three groups have completed the task out of around 1,000 who have attempted it, he said.
Admission to the maze runs between $3 and $7, depending on the age of participants, and Fiala says return trips are free once a person has paid for admission.
"You can keep coming back as much as you want through Oct. 31," he says.
The corn maze is just one of many offerings at Fiala Farms this fall. There's also a four-acre pumpkin patch with many pumpkins still available, according to Fiala, and a number of special activities available on weekends. One of visitors' favorites: cider-pressing demonstrations that use a press that has been handed down in the Fiala family since 1868.
Fiala says exact times will vary, but it is safe to assume that cider pressing will take place every hour between noon and 4 p.m. on weekends.
"And then on weekends starting at 11 a.m., we also have a trailer ride that tours you around a nine-acre field," Fiala says. "It's $1 a person and (kids) under 6 are free, but they must be accompanied by an adult."
He adds that the farm has plenty of fall decorations to check out, including corn stalks and gourds, and that some fruits and vegetables also remain from the warmer months.
Other stops on the Farmlandia Farm Loop include Lake Oswego's own Luscher Farm; Stafford Feed, which offers a variety of feed and hay for livestock, horses, poultry, dogs and cats, as well as farm-fresh eggs; and Bosky Dell Natives, where visitors will find more than 30 species of native Northwest plants interspersed with whimsical art, historical treasures and natural features, including rare red-legged frogs, water features and a lovingly-restored creek.