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Family Biking: It’s bike-to-pumpkins season! Here’s where to go

Posted by on October 2nd, 2018 at 11:32 am

Pumpkins on a bike!
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

Fall has arrived! That means we’re replacing outgrown rain gear, changing our minds about Halloween costumes every five minutes, and planning bike rides to pumpkins.

I was overjoyed to discover we could bike to a real live farm in nearby Boring, Oregon last October and that remains one of my favorite things we did all year. But that’s just one of many options in the area I’ll share in this week’s column and I’d love to hear your go-to pumpkins places, both near and far, simple and elaborate.

Our visit to Liepold Farms last year.

Liepold Farms in Boring, Oregon is just half a mile off the end of the Springwater Corridor Trail…granted that last half mile is pretty unpleasant: Richey Road starts at 35 mph and goes up to 45 mph and has a very small gravel-strewn shoulder. Did I mention it’s also slightly uphill? I consider it crappy, but worth it. And the multi-use trail part is terrific, 14 miles of trail from Cartlandia food cart pod. Here’s my Ride with GPS Cartlandia to Liepold Farms route with points of interest and bathrooms along the way marked.

Liepold Farms didn’t seem to have any bike parking during our visit last year, but it’s a huge space so we were welcome to make a bike pile near the info booth. The farm has it all with a hay ride, corn maze, oodles of pumpkins and apples for purchase, a plethora of food options at the weekend barbecue, and pet dogs are welcome! The 2018 Liepold Farms Fall Festival opened September 23rd and runs all October from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. most days.

The Portland Nursery kid activities are in a cozy rain-proof tent.

Portland Nursery. Nurseries are terrific non-farms places to get pumpkins. The Stark Street location of Portland Nursery has a terrific Apple Tasting Festival with tons of kid activities:

Portland Nursery Annual Apple Tasting Event

1st Weekend Kids Tent
Friday October 12, 10:00am – 5:00pm

  • Pumpkin Painting
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Games
  • Coloring

Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 13-14, 10:00am – 5:00pm

  • Face Painting
  • Pumpkin Painting
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Games
  • Coloring

2nd Weekend Kids Tent
Friday October 19: Field Trip Day, 9:30am – 1:30pm

  • Ms. Pearl’s Variety Show
  • Penny’s Puppet Show
  • Olive & Dingo Musical story time

Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 20-21, 10:00am – 5:00pm

  • Face Painting
  • Pumpkin Painting
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Games
  • Coloring

We visited on a disgustingly rainy day last year and even still had a great time choosing big pumpkins and painting little pumpkins. I was very impressed by the amount of bike parking, but I hear it doesn’t accommodate all the bikes when the weather is nicer.

Portland Nursery caboose-adjacent bike racks had plenty of room on a rainy day last year.

You heard it here first: I’ll be leading a Kidical Mass family bike ride to the festival on Saturday, October 20th. Details available on the BikePortland Calendar soon.

Rossi Farms has a paint-buffered bike lane and a gorgeous view of Mt. Hood when you visit once the sun has moved west (not pictured, I visited too early in the day).

Rossi Farms. Rossi Farms is primarily a special event venue, but usually hosts a pumpkin patch in October. They’re not decided on whether or not they’ll do pumpkins this year so I’m keeping an eye on their Facebook page. The farm is conveniently close to the I-205 Bike Trail, though there are a few busy streets to cross.

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Bushue’s Family Farm. This farm, like Liepold, is in Boring, but it’s a bit farther off the Springwater Corridor trail, requiring four miles of country road riding. I’ve heard wonderful things about the farm, though it doesn’t permit pet dogs.

Sauvie Island Pumpkin Patch. Sauvie Island seems to be the most popular pumpkin patch in the area and some people bike to it, but most people drive there. I have never biked on highway 30 and may never make it to Sauvie Island. However, TriMet line 16 gets one to within 2 miles of the pumpkin patch, which I find intriguing.

Claustrophobic, subterranean grocery store pumpkins.

➤ Grocery stores. I’d love to hear in the comments if you have a favorite grocery store pumpkin patch. When we lived in Seattle we liked getting pumpkins from our closest Whole Foods Market, in a make-shift hay bale patch in the underground parking garage.

Have I missed any other fun pumpkin places? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading.

Remember, we’re always looking for people to profile. Get in touch if it sounds like fun to you. I’d especially like to feature families of color so please get in touch or ask friends of color who bike with their kids if they’re interested in sharing their stories. And as always, feel free ask questions in the comments below or email me your story ideas and insights at madidotcom [at] gmail [dot] com.

— Madi Carlson, @familyride on Instagram and Twitter

Browse past Family Biking posts here.

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  • Gary B October 2, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Fun idea! Thanks for the info. With respect to Sauvie Island, Kruger’s Farm has a nice pumpkin patch, too, and is a bit closer to the #16 stop than The Pumpkin Patch.

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    • Chris October 2, 2018 at 2:57 pm

      I will add that Kruger’s Farm has been a HUGE supporter of cyclocross racing over the years and deserves our business, IMHO.

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    • Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist)
      Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) October 2, 2018 at 6:33 pm

      Good to know! Thanks for adding to the list 🙂

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      • Gary B October 3, 2018 at 9:44 am

        By the way, with me being new to the cargo bike scene… you mentioned the #16 to Sauvie being intriguing. Your cargo bike doesn’t go on the bus, right? I just assumed this to be the case for myself (it’s a midtail cargo, fwiw), but I thought I should verify since you sort of brought it up.

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  • joan October 2, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    A great option for folks in north and northeast Portland, especially if they don’t want a long ride: Fazio Farms, between Columbia Blvd and the Columbia River east of MLK. You can ride up N Williams or Rodney most of the way. They have a pumpkin patch, hayrides, a couple of donkeys and other animals, a corn maze, and other kid-friendly stuff. I’ve gone a few years and it’s never been that crowded, which is great. Here’s their website: http://faziofarms.com/index.html

    Caveat: I just noticed that their website says no dogs, including service animals, which I’m pretty sure is illegal.

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    • Chris I October 2, 2018 at 12:35 pm

      With more and more people abusing the service dog designation, you are going to see push back like this. It’s a shame, really.

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    • Librarian October 2, 2018 at 1:30 pm

      I wouldn’t want to speculate as to the reason, but it looks like the ADA does allow for service animals to be excluded in certain circumstances. See https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html

      Q25. When can service animals be excluded?
      A. The ADA does not require covered entities to modify policies, practices, or procedures if it would “fundamentally alter” the nature of the goods, services, programs, or activities provided to the public. Nor does it overrule legitimate safety requirements. If admitting service animals would fundamentally alter the nature of a service or program, service animals may be prohibited. In addition, if a particular service animal is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it, or if it is not housebroken, that animal may be excluded.

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    • DalePalmer October 2, 2018 at 4:40 pm

      I went to Fazio’s last year and I think it’s one of the better options in town.

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    • Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist)
      Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) October 2, 2018 at 6:41 pm

      Oh wow, thanks for sharing this, Joan! And ha, it’s actually closer to us (in SE) than Liepold Farms in Boring. I might check it out solo soon. I figured the reason some farms allow dogs and others don’t is that the farm animals get scared…but yeah, that shouldn’t apply to service animals, though I can see how the farm animals wouldn’t care about the distinction.

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      • joan October 3, 2018 at 11:39 am

        So many people abuse the service dog designation that I can see how it would be tempting for a business to refuse all dogs. But there were only a few farm animals when I was there.

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  • Moto Metal October 17, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    You got to have a bigger and sturdier carrier for those big pumpkins. And they got to well balanced when you are carrying two on each side.

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