Stay active, win prizes – week seven of #VentisWinterChallenge is here!  Adventuring in the outdoors is one of our favorite family activities.  Hiking in winter adds to the education and fun for kiddos.  Frozen trails, changing environments and wet feet all make for memorable experiences.  Here are our top 5 winter family hikes in the Willamette Valley:

  1. Shellburg Falls – Mehama:  Close in proximity to Salem in the East Valley and a easy to moderate hike for young kiddos.  A short 1.5 mile hike to the main waterfall of this hike.  Most maps and trail guides call for a longer hike, but for a simple out and back with the family, hit the main fall and turn back around.  http://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/oregon/shellburg-and-stassel-falls-trail
  2. Mary’s Peak – Philomath: A bit of a drive from Salem, but explore Corvallis before or after this hike and enjoy the view from the Oregon Coast Range’s tallest peak.  Snow may cover the road for the last mile, in the middle of winter, but this is a great early or late winter hike when the snow is melted above 3,000 feet elevation.  http://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/oregon/marys-peak
  3. McDonald Forest – Corvallis:  Oregon State University’s research forest is in our backyard.  Make the drive down 99W and adventure with the family from one of the many trailheads.  We especially love Peavy Arboretum and all that it has to offer. http://cf.forestry.oregonstate.edu/mcdonald-forest-trails
  4. Forest Park – Portland: An amazing urban forest setting with trails upon trails to choose from.  The hike from Lower Macleay Park to Pittock Mansion is a fun one! http://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/oregon/lower-macleay-park-to-pittock-mansion
  5. McDowell Creek Park – Lebanon: An amazing two waterfall hike, out and back, with a fall at each end.  The hike features a fun stair/deck system as you descend aside the first fall.  http://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/oregon/mcdowell-creek-falls-trail

This week’s giveaway is a $25 Venti’s gift card and reusable water bottles for the whole family!  Simply click this link to our Facebook post, and tag a friend in the comment section.  A winner will be selected randomly Monday, February 13th.

We also want to see photos of you being active this winter!  Post a photo (viewable to the public so we can find it) of your fitness/outdoor activity and in the caption tag #ventiswinterchallenge.  At the end of the 13 weeks, we’ll randomly select a winner for a Venti’s gift card and swag pack.  One photo permitted per fitness/outdoor adventure, but you can post as many adventures as you want!  Snag a pic with the Venti’s swag in the photo for an additional entry.