Valentine's Day Adventures!
Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, which means you could celebrate your time with your partner with a “surprise” of the old standards: chocolate, flowers, and wine. Instead, why not mix things up by taking your loved one on a mini-adventure? Here are three ideas to take Valentine’s Day outside and establish a new romantic tradition!
Day Hike + Picnic
Probably the simplest activity to plan, a day hike and picnic make for an easy way to get outside and spend some one-on-one time with your loved one. If you want to keep things super-easy, browse for picnic areas at The Right Trail and load up a backpack with your favorite snacks and beverages.
For shorter hikes with easy access to picnic tables, consider Peavy Arboretum, Fort Hoskins, or the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge. Or, if you have a more challenging destination in mind, keep things classic and simply bring along a ground cover to create a dry lounging area and a soft cooler for your favorite charcuterie items and drinks. And don’t let restrictions on booze dampen your spirits–try mixing up a mocktail with sparkling water, citrus, and fresh fruit for a fancy beverage that will help hydrate you for the hike back to the car.
A Bicycle Built for Two
If you and your partner prefer two-wheeled adventure, the Willamette Valley provides the perfect environment to combine road, gravel, or mountain biking with an assortment of local wineries. This time of year, many wineries are closed for the season, but one fantastic option open nearby is Cardwell Hill Cellars. Start the day off with a challenging gravel ride on the 40-mile Wren Gravel Loop. If you follow the loop clockwise, you’ll pass right by Cardwell Hill Dr. along Kings Valley Highway as the ride draws toward its conclusion. Hop off the saddle and reward your efforts with a glass of wine and stunning scenery on Cardwell Hill Cellars’ patio. Equip your gravel bike with a handlebar bag and stuff it with your favorite snacks to complement your drinks.
For a road ride option, start in Adair Village and work your way north along Buena Vista Rd. toward Independence. From Independence, head east to Riverside Road S, then work your way alongside the Willamette River toward Ankeny Vineyard. With a large outdoor patio and wood-fired pizza ovens, you and your partner will be in for the perfect post-ride snack to fuel up for the ride home.
And if you want to test your coordination and really mix things up, we do offer a tandem bike for rent through the Peak Sports Bike Shop…
A Little Snow Can’t Stop You
For couples that prefer cold-weather adventures, consider spending Valentine’s Day snowshoeing through a section of the Willamette National Forest. From Corvallis, head east along Highway 20 toward the Hoodoo Ski Area. Turn left at the Santiam Junction and head north a few miles until you arrive at Maxwell Sno-Park. From the parking lot, several trails are available to explore. Use a trail map to navigate a few short miles toward the Mountain View Shelter where on a clear day you’ll be rewarded with views of Mount Washington, North Sister, and Three Finger Jack.
If you’re aiming for a shorter excursion, bring along snacks and drinks to re-fuel before the return trip. If you’d rather extend your visit, the Mountain View Shelter offers overnight visits on a first-come-first-served basis (with room for up to 15 people – so privacy isn’t guaranteed) and is often stocked with firewood to keep your visit toasty. Accommodations are spartan, so be sure to bring a sleeping bag, and other backpacking essentials to ensure you’re fully prepared. Be aware that you’ll need a Sno-Park permit for parking.
Need More Ideas?
Visit the Peak Sports Outdoor Store to chat with one of our helpful sales guides. We’ll help make your Valentine’s Day adventure truly special! With tons of local adventure knowledge, our sales guides would be happy to offer trip recommendations based on your needs and point you toward gear to help you make the most of your romantic getaway!