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Jarrod Lyman | 09/30/2021 | Molalla

Things To Do: Molalla

Please Note: Areas of the Molalla River Recreation Corridor were impacted by the 2020 Riverside Fire. Closures and other impacts may be in place; check with the BLM before making any travel plans. 

Don't let the small size fool you, there is plenty to do in the town of Molalla. Heritage? Big time. Farm fun? You got it. Adventure? Big check, especially if you consider jumping out of a plane "adventure." Molalla has it all.

Options for adventure abound in Molalla. So if you're the outdoorsy type who likes a little thrill or big action or even something indoors, but fun and new, you'll find it here.

Starting with the big thrills, Skydive Oregon is one of the preeminent skydiving schools around. They offer tandem jumps for first timers, with options to go 14,500 or 18,000 feet off the ground. You're well above Mt. Hood at that level, so you're seeing much of the Willamette Valley, the Mt. Hood National Forest and the mountain itself, not to mention the coastal range to the west as you take in the views during your descent. Be sure to opt for the video/photo package, so you get plenty of proof to show your friends that you did indeed go through with it. 

Couple and a tent near the Molalla River

The Molalla River Recreation Corridor is one of those places you need to visit if you consider yourself outdoorsy, because you can pretty much do all the things here. Love to hike? It has more than 20 miles of great trails taking you along the river and through towering trees. Mountain biking? You can bring your bike for a lot of those trails, too. You'll also find equestrian trails and camping, all along one of the only untamed tributaries to the Willamette River. The corridor also serves as a gateway to Tablerock Wilderness, a true hidden gem in Oregon's beautiful, natural areas. 

Pacific Northwest Live Steamers, Engine 19

The Molalla Train Park, run by the Pacific Northwest Live Steamers, is a mandatory place to visit if you have young kids. The visit may be for them, but chances are you'll have a blast, too, as you ride around the scenic grounds aboard H-scale model trains. One of the best parts is it's free! The park is run by volunteers from the Pacific Northwest Live Steamers club. They operate the park out of their own pockets and off of donations from guests and revenue from the snack shack. 

The trains themselves are incredibly detailed and accurate representations of their full sized counterparts. And they aren't short on power either; they easily tow cars filled with people along the park. Be sure to bring the train lover in your life for an afternoon they will never forget. 

Haven't had a chance to see why escape rooms have become so popular? Escape Molalla is your chance to get that firsthand experience. Open Friday–Sunday, you and the rest of your group are locked in a themed room and given a set amount of time to find all the necessary clues and, as the name suggests, escape. Currently they are running an old west-style saloon where you have to find missing money, or a science lab where you must search for a desperately needed antidote. The stories are fun, unique and engaging, and your friends will certainly have the time of their lives solving the puzzles. 

Class from sign making workshop holding their signs at The Rustic Shed in Molalla

Not all adventures require an increased heart rate; sometimes it's just fun trying something new. 

If you've been to any kind of interior décor store in the past couple of years, you've no doubt seen some of beautiful, hand-painted signs. With inspirational sayings, simple welcome messages or even funny quips, these signs are all the rage. Have you ever thought about trying to make one of these yourself? The Rustic Shed holds workshops where they help you craft your very own farmhouse décor piece. These are perfect for your own home or office, or even as a gift. Check their website for available class times and get ready to create a gorgeous piece that will hang in your home (or someone else's home) for years. 

Splat Action paintball

Splat Action Paintball is the state's largest and longest running paintball park. This is where the pros go when they want to get in some time, and it's also where the beginners go to first get introduced into the sport. 

The staff provides as much or as little equipment as you need for your time at the park. You can come with nothing, and they'll get you fully outfitted with safety gear, paintball gun and ammo, camo clothes etc. Once outfitted, you head out on the grounds, which feature nearly 50 acres of wooded space with obstacles, cover, foxholes, bunkers, structures and more. 

Speaking from first hand experience, it is some of the most fun you can have outside. Get a group of friends together and enjoy what will very possibly become a regular outing for the crew. 

The land around Molalla is some of the most fertile farmland people have ever cultivated. Here we grow fruits, vegetables, flowers, Christmas trees and of course, fun. 

Open for Business Sign - Out in the Garden Nursery

From fresh fruits and vegetables to fun animals, the farms around Molalla offer a great many distractions from daily life. 

Head out to Alpacas at Marquam Hill Ranch to hang out with some adorable alpacas. If you're feeling particularly flexible, go during the summer when they hold Alpaca Yoga classes during the evenings. 

Out In The Garden Nursery specializes in shade plants specifically for your garden. You won't find rows of big box store style flowers that everyone has at their house. Out In The Garden provides unique plants specifically for their ability to grow here and for their beauty. And while there, be sure to stop by and say hello to the adorable and friendly goats that will be clamoring for your attention. 

The Molalla Farmers Market is billed as a "true farmers market," featuring only items grown, harvested or created in the area. Open on Thursdays late May through September, you'll find fresh fruit and vegetables, jams, honey, flowers spices and other amazing creations direct from the producer. Highlight: Golden Artisan Goat Cheese creates the most amazing goat cheeses you've ever experienced. They craft rustic, French-style cheeses sourced from their own goats and made in small batches. 

Seeing as how Molalla go its start in the mid-1800's, there's a lot of history to be found here. Explore a little and you'll find the stories of years past and realize that history is still very much alive. 

Dibble House & Molalla Museum Historical Society

The Dibble House Museum is one of city's most famous heritage sites. Horace Dibble built the home around 1859. It's actually quite unique for the location and era, as its style more closely resembles Colonial-era New England houses. His family lived in the home until 1904 where ownership changed hands a pair of times before being sold to the Molalla Area Historical Society, which was formed for the specific purpose of preserving the house and turning it into the museum it is today.

Right next door is the Von der Ahe House. Originally built in 1869 as a farm home near Carus, the structure was purchased by the Molalla Historical Society and relocated in 1972. Both of the homes are stops along the Mt. Hood Territory Heritage Trail, where you can learn even more about the history of the homes and their families. 

Molalla Buckeroo Bull Riding and Rodeo Sign

Seeing as how the Molalla Buckeroo Rodeo, an official PRCA event, has more than 100 years of history behind it, it certainly deserves its own entry. Happening every year over the 4th of July, some of the best cowboys and cowgirls around make their way to Molalla to compete in all the traditional rodeo events. There's also a carnival at the complete with all the rides, games and fair food you could ever want. Even if you're in Molalla outside of the rodeo time, you can get a hint of the action at the city's Rodeo Walk of Fame. Here some of the biggest names are honored for their contribution to keeping the historic sport alive. 

No matter what you like to do in your time off, you'll find ways to keep everyone entertained in Molalla. When exploring, be sure to use our #mthoodterritory hashtag, so we can follow along on your adventures. 

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