Trail of the Month: Harvey Creek Trail

Wine plus hiking equals … wiking!

By Brian Barker March 25, 2016 Published in the April 2016 issue of Portland Monthly

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Image: Brian Barker

A-wiking we will go, a-wiking we will go, heigh ho the dairy-o, a-wiking we will go! OK, so maybe the song won’t catch on. But the hybrid concept of “wiking”—hiking around wine country, that is—has become popular for obvious and understandable reasons. And this ready-made excursion amid the famed Jory soils of Dundee provides a great introduction to a very, very relaxed version of outdoor adventure.

Harvey Creek occupies a little draw folded between a high-elevation spread of vineyards and cattle and a peaceful hilltop neighborhood, easily accessed from Highway 99, yet tucked away from the springtime rush of oenophiles in the small Willamette Valley town. From the lower trailhead at NE Red Hills Road, enter a forest lush with moss, sword ferns, maples, and firs. Harvey Creek burbles on the left, and a short wooden footbridge provides a quick photo op. Zigzag up a steep portion of hill, pass a sunny meadow ideal for picnicking, and keep left at a pair of trail intersections. After just half a mile, the path tops out at the Dundee Pioneer Cemetery. A quick loop around the plots adds a dose of history and sweeping views across the valley. Now for the wine: Return to NE Red Hills Road via Harvey Creek. From there it’s just 0.3 miles up the quiet dirt road to the doorstep of Purple Hands Winery, where a crop of outstanding pinot noirs can be sipped inside a charming 1935 bungalow.

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Post-Hike Watering Hole: Pinot noir anchors the addictive house barbecue sauce at Storrs Smokehouse in Newberg, and the eccentric house version of a brisket sandwich, complete with provolone cheese, house-made kraut, and a ciabatta bun, is an unexpected hit. Look for refreshing local beers like Heater Allen on tap, or grab a bottle of a standby like Ninkasi or Deschutes from an enormous vintage wooden cooler.

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