The Southern Oregon Lavender Trail
The Southern Oregon Lavender Trail is a small group of lavender farms, a lavender demonstration garden and an organic nursery which specialized in growing & selling lavender plants. The group has formed a kind of co-operative association to support one another and to provide visitors with different perspectives on a common theme. In 2014 there were more farms on the lavender trail (including ours!) and they accompany the ever growing number of vineyards and tasting rooms on the Applegate Valley Wine Tour.
Visiting each of the farms along the Southern Oregon Lavender Trail in June, and July will take you through the Applegate Valley, surrounded by the outstanding natural beauty of the Siskiyou Mountains. Each of these lavender farms are open for visitors between June and July when the lavender is in full bloom. The Southern Oregon Lavender Festival has been extended to two weekends for 2017; June - 23rd - 25th and July 7th - 9th and we would recommend you try to visit during the festival as many venues offer craft workshops and demonstrations which are well worth booking ahead for. The Oregon Lavender Farm Tour is a state-wide celebration organised by the Oregon Lavender Association and this year it coincides with the second weekend of our Lavender Festival.
We suggest that you allow at least one whole day to visit all of the farms on the trail or perhaps spread it out over two days; weekend trip would allow you to sample more of what the Applegate Valley has to offer. You can enter the trail from the north at Grants Pass or from the south at Jacksonville. The itinerary laid out below assumes you will come from Medford but you can simply work it in reverse if you wish.
1. The OSU Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center – Lavender Garden
The lavender garden, first planted in 2003, is a joint project of the Jackson County Master Gardeners and the Herb Society of America. It is the only herb garden in the Pacific Northwest registered with the Herb Society of America. It covers approximately 4,000 square feet and contains about 250 labelled plants. The botanical names of many of the plants are displayed and additional reference information is available in the Master Gardeners office located inside the Extension Building. Most of the original plantings were generously donated by Jim and Dottie Becker of Goodwin Creek Gardens. It’s definitely worth a visit to see the demonstration garden which show some of the most established lavender plants in the area.
OSU Demonstration Garden
569 Hanley Road
2. Jacksonville, Oregon
If you are travelling from further afield then you may wish to consider an overnight stay in the National Historic Landmark town of Jacksonville Oregon which is the perfect pace for a vacation getaway. Jacksonville is nestled in the rolling hillsides of woodland at the entrance to the Applegate Valley and is brimful with historic homes, boutique shops, spas and quaint cafes. There are also miles of woodland trails around the Britt festival site for those who like an early morning stroll among the deer and wild turkeys. A trolley bus runs in the summer months and will take you on a tour of the brick and wooden homes, the old cemetery and a quite wonderful range of shops and restaurants.
After stopping for a leisurely breakfast at Stim Coffee (try their amazing lavender shortbread cookies and a cup of stumptown coffee - they even offer a lavender latte in the summer for the adventurous!) at the corner of California and 5th Streets, take a scenic drive west along highway 238 towards the rural oasis that is the Applegate Valley.
Look out for paragliders over Woodrat Mountain to your left; you will often see their brightly colored wings in the air riding the warm air currents. Many of the local wineries welcome fliers to drop by and land in their fields so you might get lucky and witness this.
3. Lavender Fields Forever
After almost 8 miles (12 minutes or so) you will reach the town of Ruch. You will pass the Ruch Country Store on your right, and then turn left onto Upper Applegate Road on your left and after 1.7 miles turn right onto Hamilton Road. The first lavender farm on the lavender trail is situated about half a mile along on the left and there you will be greeted by Bonnie and John Rinaldi at Lavender Fields Forever.
John & Bonnie have a beautiful farm with a great barn store and they run distilation sessions and classes during the summer months.
Lavender Fields Forever
375 Hamilton Road
4. Other Points of Interest on Highway 238
From the Rinaldis, turn left on Hamilton Road and left on Upper Applegate Road. You will next pass Valley View Winery who primarily use grapes from the Applegate and Bear Creek Valleys and was the first Rogue Valley bonded winery since Prohibition. Owners Ann, Mark and Mike Wisnovsky and winemaker John Guerrero will welcome you in their beautiful tasting room every day from 11am – 5pm.
Valley View Winery
1000 Upper Applegate Road
A left turn onto Highway 238 will pick up the Southern Oregon Lavender Trail and soon after you will see Fiasco Winery on your left. Fiasco have planted lavender plants among the vines which can be seen from the road. If you have time to stop by you will find a beautiful Old World European garden where owners Pamela and Dave Palmer will happily greet you.
8035 Hwy 238
You will next pass Longsword Vineyard and their breath-taking Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. Their tasting rooms are open regularly and you will often find owner Matthew Sorensen there 12 till 5pm.
8555 Hwy 238
After about 4 miles you will pass The Devitt winery where Sue and Jim Devitt has been growing vines since 2003. You’ll see the open sign when the tasting room is open.
11412 Hwy 238
Next, you will pass by Les and Rachael Martin’s Red Lily Vineyards on your left where they produce great Spanish tempranillo - well worth a try! They too have a lovely tasting room as well as a private riverside beach.
Red Lily Winery
11777 Hwy 238
Keeping west along highway 238 you will reach the town of Applegate in about three and a half miles. You will find the Applegate store and post office on the left and the Applegate River Lodge on your right. The Applegate River Lodge is a large log built building right on the river which was recently featured in one of Gordon Ramsay’s TV shows. They host romantic dinners for two and wedding parties alike and have guest rooms for small parties.
Applegate River Lodge
15100 Hwy 238
Tel: 541.660.0244 or 541.846.6082
5. The English Lavender Farm
That's Us! We're next on the trail; take a left turn immediately after the big green Pioneer Bridge and we are about 8 miles or ten minutes drive up on the right hand side.
The English Lavender Farm
8040 Thompson Creek Road
Tel: 541 846 0375
6. Applegate Valley Lavender Farm
Leaving The English Lavender Farm turn left back on to Thompson Creek and turn left when you reach Highway 238. The next farm on the Southern Oregon Lavender Trail is the most established lavender farm in the area; Deborah Thompson’s Applegate Valley Lavender Farm is situated before the Provolt store on the left.
Deborah, also known as the French Farm Girl, has a picturesque farm with lots of vintage home decor as well.
Applegate Valley Lavender Farm
15370 Hwy 238
7. Goodwin Creek Gardens
Turn left (carefully, as Highway 238 can be busy on Festival days) out of Applegate Valley farm and drive to the Provolt store where you will take a left onto Williams Highway.
At the Y junction take the right hand fork onto Cedar Flat Road. Goodwin Creek is at number 970 on the right after Kincaid Road.
Goodwin Creek is a certified USDA Organic Nursery which has been providing the highest quality plants for lavender growers and the general public for over 35 years. Run by Jim and Dottie Becker, the nursery was established in 1977 and is still family run; they grow not only organic lavender but many other heirloom and contemporary plants. They also make soaps, dry lavender and sell ceramic diffusers. Goodwin Creek have 100 varieties of lavender and you can purchase plants directly at the nursery.
Goodwin Creek Gardens
970 Cedar Flat Road
8. Whistling Duck Farm
Before heading back to Jacksonville your visit to the Applegate would not be complete without a stop at the Whistling Duck Farmstand (open every day from 10am to 6.30pm).
Whistling Duck are famous for gorgeous fresh fruit and vegetables grown in the Applegate by Mary and Vince Alionis and family.
Whistling Duck Farm
12800 Hwy 238