Forests and lakes and natural beauty, oh my! It’s as if you can feel the call of the wild in Marion County, as its captivating blend of diverse landscapes and abundant natural wonders provides ample opportunity for exhilarating outdoor adventures. Adventurers can’t help but be beckoned by the call, and we’ve got all the details on these exciting outdoor activities you won’t want to miss out on!

Outdoor adventure in Marion County
There’s plenty to do at the Detroit Lake Marina, especially with the ability to rent a variety of watercraft options. Photo courtesy: Detroit Lake Oregon

Have Fun on the Water at Detroit Lake Marina

115 Breitenbush Road, Detroit

If you’re looking to cool off during your outdoor adventures, there’s no better place to play on the water than Detroit Lake Marina! The full-service marina offers every amenity you could need to spend a day on the lake. Their small store on the dock provides cold drinks, snacks, and basic supplies for both boating and fishing, but that’s not all! It’s also where all the magic on the water happens. Here, you can also check out their many available options for boat rentals, including pleasure pontoons, ski boats, fishing pontoons, fishing boats, kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards for some stand-up paddle boarding. That’s a lot of watercraft fun, so head on over — the water’s fine!

Outdoor adventure in Marion County
Enjoy flying through the sky in a hot air balloon ride with Balloon Flying Service of Oregon. Photo courtesy: Balloon Flying Service of Oregon

Reach for the Sky with Balloon Flying Service of Oregon

2315 Pringle Road SE, Salem

Take flight during your Marion County outdoor adventure with the help of Balloon Flying Service of Oregon. Since 1989 they’ve been providing daily scenic hot air balloon rides over the cities of Salem and Keizer, weather permitting. It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind experience and quite the adventure in the oldest form of air transportation known to man, with the first hot air balloon taking flight all the way back on November 21, 1783!

Outdoor adventure in Marion County
Visit the magical world of the Enchanted Forest for fairytale adventures the whole family will love! Photo courtesy: Enchanted Forest

Visit the Magical World of the Enchanted Forest

8462 Enchanted Way SE, Turner

If you ever wanted to step into a real-life fairytale for fun and adventure like your favorite heroes, you’ll definitely want to visit the Enchanted Forest! Created by Roger Tofte after realizing there was very little for a family to enjoy together in Salem in the 1960s, he put his creative skillset as a craftsman and artist to use to make this fantastic theme park.

The project wasn’t without its challenges, as Roger had little money at the time, and he was relentlessly teased and doubted by friends and neighbors alike during the initial years of his journey. Still, Roger was determined to make this dream a reality, and on August 8, 1971, the park opened for its first day charging only one dollar for adult admission and fifty cents for kids. Though the first day they only had 75 visitors, the next day, they were greeted by 1,000 happy faces ready to explore Storybook Trail and the rest of the park.

Today guests are still invited to come out and live their wildest fairytale at the Enchanted Forest, with many excellent additions that have been added over the years. Guests can enjoy awesome rides, unique attractions, tasty food options, and even face painting for the kiddos! Open every weekend, and it’s a fantastic adventure for the whole family!

Outdoor adventure in Marion County
Relax and unwind in the great outdoors at the Breitenbush Hot Springs. Photo courtesy: Breitenbush Hot Springs

Relax and Unwind at Breitenbush Hot Springs

53000 Breitenbush Road SE, Detroit

Nestled within the Willamette National Forest are some steamy outdoor adventure activities that you’ll find oh-so relaxing. Breitenbush Hot Springs is a unique and magical place where you can truly unwind and disconnect as they are intentionally disconnected from Wi-Fi and cell service. Join them for a day of relaxation and renewal, or plan a personal retreat so that you may deepen the experience at your own pace with their overnight stay options. Enjoy the scenic beauty of the Cascade Mountains at this tranquil retreat, where visitors can soak in all-natural hot springs, explore the surrounding forested landscapes, and indulge in various wellness activities such as personal massages.

Outdoor adventure in Marion County
Set your adventure limits to new heights with tree climbing at Silver Falls. Photo courtesy: Tree Climbing at Silver Falls

Take on New Heights with Tree Climbing at Silver Falls

20024 Silver Falls Hwy SE, Sublimity

Branch out from your typical day-to-day adventures and take on new heights with the help of Tree Climbing at Silver Falls. Here, you’ll get up close and personal with some of the largest and rarest trees in the world at the only place you can, as Silver Falls is the only tour operator in the United States with government-permitted access to guide participants through this tree-climbing experience. And these aren’t anything like the trees in your own backyard — we’re talking trees as high as 200 to 300 feet! It’s a high-rising adventure and one that is truly a unique climbing activity that lets you explore beautiful ancient forests in a fun and educational ecotour-type experience. And after all, when you’re looking for adventure, you should never settle for ordinary but instead set your heights on the adventure of a lifetime, which less than .001% of the population has done!

The Oregon Garden Silverton
Discover cheerful blooms throughout the year, changing colors with each passing season. Photo courtesy: The Oregon Garden

Take a Stroll Through Oregon Garden

879 W Main Street, Silverton

If you’re looking to spend your outdoor adventure surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the region, then head on over to the stunning botanical garden, The Oregon Garden. Here, adventure seekers will discover 20 specialty gardens within its 80 acres that showcase the diverse botanical beauty of the Willamette Valley and the Pacific Northwest. These gardens have been designed to delight every interest, from their Pet-Friendly Garden to Rose Garden and even a Children’s Garden specially made for the kiddos. Stop by their scrumptious café before heading out to explore, and don’t forget to stop by their gift shop or retail nursery before you go so you can take a little something home from your journey!

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