Our ‘Just Up The Road’ series features nearby businesses and attractions that we love. We’ll try to show a unique side of these places that aren’t necessarily highlighted on websites or in brochures. I hope you enjoy these peeks into our neighborhood, and can plan to visit one of these spots in addition to your visit to the winery!
The weather was so lovely yesterday that it inspired Clyde and I to take the afternoon off. We wanted to see something new, yet still take it pretty easy, so we settled on visiting a nearby privately-owned trout hatchery called Westover Farms. We didn’t take our fishing poles (oops!), but still had a great time poking around the idyllic property. This hatchery has a LOT to offer, whether or not you are a fisherman!
First of all, the scenery was absolutely beautiful! Spring-fed waters keep the hatchery thriving and the air temperatures cool, even in the full sun. We spied lots of rainbow trout in the streams, plus a couple of turtles and two muskrat (a first for me!).
My attempts at photographing fish in the water didn’t come out too successfully, but in real life, the water was so clear that it was easy to see all the trout. There were about three fishermen out while we were hiking around the farm, and we heard about various amounts of success catching the fish!
The hatchery not only stocks Westover Farms’ streams, but also sells fish to stock private property owners, governmental agencies, and even restaurants in a 6-state region. That’s a lot of fish! These fingerlings were excited to see us walk up, but alas, we didn’t have any food for them to eat.
There is a fly shop (pictured above) to supply you with gear, licenses, snacks and souvenirs. You can purchase a pass to fish by the day or half-day, and the farm staff can assist with guided tours for large or small groups, plus lessons and equipment rentals if you need.
Behind the shop, you’ll find restrooms and this cozy lodge gathering room. There was a water cooler in this room, plus a whole stack of games to keep yourself entertained when you aren’t fishing or hiking.
You can stay overnight at one of several cabins on the property. This is the aptly named ‘stone house’ which was once a winery building up near Hermann. Clyde and I loved to hear that tidbit! The inside of this house was just as lovely as the outside, with a large fireplace, 2 bedrooms, and all the kitchen equipment you would need to cook up any trout that you catch.
The farm also boasts a conference center with large TV, wi-fi, and plenty of table space. As you can see, Clyde was checking out the huge fireplace, wondering if he could burn up any paperwork that the conference might force upon him. 🙂 Other activities available on the farm included a shooting range, hiking trails, and a playground for the kids.
While Clyde was salivating over the large fish in the streams, I have to admit that I was looking at all the wildflowers and landscaping around the farm. Much of the areas around the streams and buildings are well-manicured, but in the woods and the wild areas there were abundant asters, daisies, black-eyed susans, and wingstem. Mounds of the orange jewelweed pictured above lined many of the stream edges.
We had a great time exploring Westover Farms, and appreciate them letting us poke around for an hour or two. If you are looking for a luxurious place to stay and/or fish, you can’t go wrong here. The farm is about a 15 minute drive from Peaceful Bend, so once the fish stop biting, you can swing on over for a glass of wine and a few fish tales! Check them out online here, or visit their facebook page here for more information.