Mt. Hood Territory: Uncover Its Hidden Secrets

Lake Oswego Sculpture with Cori Solomon

When people imagine the Willamette Valley, they usually think of the area between Salem and Portland. This location covers the mid-portion of Oregon because it encompasses most of the Willamette Valley AVA and its sub-appellations. Mt. Hood Territory is another area offering travelers numerous options of activities to discover. Cities in the Mt. Hood Territory include Lake Oswego, Canby, Oregon City, West Linn, Wilsonville, and Villages of Mt. Hood. In this article, let us take a tour of the area to discover its draw.

Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego landscape feels newer. After parking your car, wander through the local boutique shops and restaurants of this stylish, quaint town. With a strong arts community, one can experience the town through its Gallery Without Walls. Each year new sculptures are installed within the city limits, leading one on an art journey through the town and along the lakefront. The eclectic group of sculptures entices one to see everyone. Each year approximately 20 new sculptures appear because some are sold to local patrons.

Gallery without Walls Sculpture © Cori Solomon

Gallery without Walls Sculpture

During a visit to Lake Oswego, one must stop by Kyra’s Bakery, a haven for the gluten-free. Find an array of delicious pastries, cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, and more. As a multiple winner of Cupcake Wars, Krya Bussanich shows us that gluten-free baked goods do not have to be dry and tasteless. When you meet her, you immediately observe that the energy she exudes goes directly into her bakery. The sparkle in her eyes radiates to the sparkles on her cupcakes.

Kyra Bussanich, owner of the gluten-free Kyra's

Kyra Bussanich, owner of the gluten-free Kyra’s

Milwaukie

Milwaukie is the home of Bob’s Red Mill, an employee-owned mill. If one is lucky during a mill tour, they will meet Bob Moore while he entertains everyone with melodies as he plays his piano. Following the tour, head over to Bob’s Red Mill Restaurant to savor a sandwich or entrée created with grains from one of their products. Their gluten-free products are perfect for those with dietary restrictions.

Bob's Red Mill - Mt. Hood Territory

Bob’s Red Mill

Alpacas Anyone

Located in Molalla, Oregon, one finds the Alpacas at Marquam Hill Ranch. Owners, Jennifer, and Bill Cameron educate those who desire knowledge about Alpacas. Two types of Alpacas come in a variety of colors; the Huacaya, producing a denser, softer sheep-like fiber, and the Suri, which produces silkier fibers. One leaves knowing more than they ever wanted to comprehend about Alpacas.

Mt. Hood Territory -Alpacas of Marquam Hill Ranch

The Alpacas of Marquam Hill Ranch

Field and Vine

Offered year-round Field and Vine, farm to table dinner events happen at local area farms or wineries throughout the Willamette Valley. Except during winter months, one typically dines under the stars except during winter months. The dinners feature local products and include the wines of a local Willamette Valley winery. Find a fun way to discover the Willamette Valley’s food scene.

Field & Vine Farm to Table Event

Field & Vine Farm to Table Event

Mt. Hood Territory Wine Tasting

Visiting the Willamette Valley must include a stop at a few wineries. Four wineries to consider in the Mt. Hood Territory:

Beckham Estates: Andrew Beckham, a ceramics teacher, decided to go into winemaking, but he took it a step further by adding the art of amphora winemaking into his process. He makes his own amphorae and currently sells many of his vessels to other wineries. I would say Andrew is Oregon’s and perhaps the USA’s expert on making Amphora wine. His wines are exceptional.

Andrew Beckham with his Amphorae

Andrew Beckham with his Amphorae

Christopher Bridge Wines:  This family-owned property has been in the family since 1952.  From cattle ranching to winemaking Chris and Susanne Carlberg took over the winery in 1993.  Although the emphasis is on Pinot Noir, Chris brings in a breath of fresh air and florals to his wines by creating some unique wines with both German and Alsatian grapes grown on his property.  Find unusual varieties such as Kerner, Ehrenfelser, Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt, Siegerrebe, and Grüner Veltliner.

Christopher Bridge Wines - Mt. Hood Territory

Christopher Bridge Wines

Whiskey Hill Winery: A family affair that began with farming and grew into marketing Country Weddings, now produces wine. The idyllic setting offers magnificent views. As wine is essential for a wedding and located in Pinot Country, the wine of choice is Pinot Noir. Today they produce Pinot Noir, including a white version as well as other wines. One must try the French hybrid called Leon Millot.

Whiskey Hill Wines - Mt. Hood Territory

Whiskey Hill Wines

Wooden Shoe Vineyards and Tulip Farm: The best time to visit the winery is in the spring when one indulges in Wooden Shoe’s floral beauty during their Tulip Fest. The wine tasting room has an eclectic variety of wines, from Albarino to Moscato in whites wines to Pinot Noir, Marechal Foch, and Tempranillo in their reds wines. Try the Sweet Tempranillo. Also, the Wooden Shoe grows hemp and sells a line of hemp and CBD products.

Dining in the Mt. Hood Territory

Mt. Hood Territory’s most popular restaurant, Allium in West Linn, features Farm to Table cuisine. Combining new American with European Cuisine, the restaurant exemplifies the Pacific Northwest cuisine meets French Bistro concept.

Allium Restaurant in West Linn

Allium Restaurant in West Linn

Accommodations

Hotels in the Mt. Hood territory area primarily consists of large scale chains. Opting for something different with the quaint old-world charm of the area, one discovers Sandes of Time Bed & Breakfast, a delightfully welcomed stay. Located in Milwaukie, a suburb on the outskirts of Portland, the hospitality is superb, the rooms comfy and the 2-course breakfast delicious. Al and Terry Sande make you feel right at home.

Terry and Al Sande, Owners - Sandes of Time Guest Suite

Terry and Al Sande, Owners – Sandes of Time Guest Suite

If nature or skiing is your thing, Mt. Hood Territory offers many activities for the adventurer, including hikes, biking, kayaking, fishing, river rafting, and various winter sports. You, too, can discover the hidden gems that make Mt. Hood Territory a place to visit.

Note: Common to the wine and travel industry, this writer received hosted winery visits, food, and accommodations in the Mt. Hood Territory. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure.

A different version of this article on the Mt. Hood territory was initially featured in Travelworld International Magazine.