Oregon day trip: Silverton

Find pup paradise a stone's throw from Salem

Silverton Pet Parade

The Silverton Pet Parade draws animal lovers from around Oregon.

John Clark

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Dog in costume
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Silver Falls park
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Flowers inside Oregon Garden in Silverton.
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Silverton map

  • Silverton, Oregon map

    Getting there: From Portland, take I-5 south to exit 271 and follow State 214. Coming north on I-5, take exit 256 and follow State 213.

Street scene: Restored 19th-century buildings tower above Silver Creek.

People population: 9,500

Dog population: 1,523

Town hero: Bobbie, the collie who found his way home from Indiana in 1924.

Don’t miss: The mural devoted to his 2,500-mile trek or the replica of him and his doghouse (Lewis St. at S. Water St.).

Dress code: Anything goes—just ask Stu Rasmussen, a lifelong resident and the nation’s first transgender mayor.

Morning treat: A cinnamon roll with dried apricots and walnuts from Rolling Hills Bakery Café (closed Sun; $3.50; 106 N. First St.; 503/873-8489).

Cheapest parking on the planet: Here, a penny buys 12 minutes. A dime? Two hours.

Reel bargain: First-run flicks are $6.50 at the 1935 Palace Theatre (200 N. Water St.; 503/ 873-2233).

Local hangout: The knitting table at the Purl District (closed Sun; 115 N. Water; 503/873-6178), where talk and tea are free.

If you go in May: The daphne is blooming at the Oregon Garden, and the dogs are barking for the annual Silverton Pet Parade (May 15).

Can’t make the parade? Hit the Silverton Wine & Jazz Festival (May 8; $25).

1. The main event: Locals and dog-toting tourists alike get a kick out of the Silverton Pet Parade, held annually since 1932 in honor of Bobbie, the faithful pooch. Ogle pups of every breed (usually some goldfish, chickens, and horses too) as they take to the streets in costume. The people-watching’s also fun. May 15; free; parade starts at Coolidge St. and runs along Main St.; 503/873-5615.

2. Four-legged hikers welcome: Typically, Fido has a tough time finding a pretty trail that’ll take him. Not so at Silver Falls State Park, 15 minutes south of Silverton, home to 25 miles of dog-friendly trails. We love the bike path that goes straight to the swimming hole. (Note: The ban on dogs for the narrow Canyon Trail portion of Trail of Ten Falls must be heeded, as sheer drop-offs make it too dangerous for pups.) $5 per vehicle; 20024 Silver Falls Hwy., Sublimity; 503/873-4395.

3. Really? A public garden allowing dogs? At the famed Oregon Garden, plant lovers are actually encouraged to walk their leashed pups around the 80 acres overlooking the Willamette Valley. The Pet Friendly Garden has ample shade, bowls of water, edible plants, and advice on how lively dogs can happily coexist with flowers. Ask for poop bags at the entrance. $10; 879 W. Main St.

Next: More Silverton spots for dog lovers

 

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