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Peaceful, rural and laid-back, Halfway, OR sits surrounded by forest in the middle of scenic Pine Valley. Halfway shot to national fame back in 1999 when it agreed to change its name to half.com in exchange for educational funding from the owners of the website. However, the domain was soon sold, and the town reverted to its original title, which refers to its location halfway between the neighboring communities of Pine and Cornucopia.
These days, Halfway is mostly known as a family-friendly place with a real small-town vibe and a strong community spirit, showcased in several local events throughout the year. Visit in August and you and your pooch can take part in many outdoor activities as part of the annual fair and rodeo festival!
There’s no designated dog park in Halfway, but you and your pooch are still sure to sniff out something to do. Heritage Square Park is a furrific little spot for a leashed walk, and with so much natural splendor in the area, it should come as no surprise that Halfway is close by some fantastically Fido-friendly hiking options. You might have to drive a little to get the best for your buddy, but you’ll find some opportunities for off-leash adventure fur-ther afield!
With Hell’s Canyon and all the pawesome trails around it so close to Halfway, you’d be barking mad not to check it out! Tucked away in the bordering Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, the area is pretty popular with serious hikers and scenery-seeking tourists alike. It’s easy to see why -- Hell’s Canyon is the deepest gorge in the entire United States, and the view from the overlook is spectacular. There are over nine hundred hiking trails in the whole wilderness area, with difficulty levels varying from easy enough to truly punishing. Be sure to look up a trail map before you go!
Eagle Cap Wilderness area is a real mutts-visit! This vast preserve is the most-visited in Northeast Oregon, and with good reason -- the wilderness contains over three hundred miles of trails for you and your buddy to sniff and explore, and the landscape varies from Alpine peaks to glaciated valleys to meadows and forests. Not only that, but Eagle Cap Wilderness is studded with serene and peaceful lakes and shot through with streams. You’ll find a trailhead in Cornucopia, just twenty miles away from Halfway (though some maps mark it as being in Halfway itself). Remember to bring bags and water!
You’ll need to drive an hour to Baker City to get to a fenced area where your furry friend can run free, but once your four-pawed pal gets through the double gates of Partners for Paws Dog Park, you’ll be glad you took the trip! Conveniently located just off I-64, there’s plenty of room in this pawesome park for the most rambunctious of pooches to burn off their excess energy. The park also has a separate small dog area, so your pup can play and socialize no matter their size, and waste bags and water are provided. Just bring your pup and prepare to play!
Make no bones about it, you and your pooch are sure to find somewhere to chow down in Baker City’s downtown area! The city’s charming and historic central district is home to a plethora of fur-friendly eateries. Mexican on your mind? Check out D&J’s Taco Shop. Their steak burritos are excellent, and they cater to canines outside. For a quick bite, consider stopping in at Charley’s Ice Cream Parlour and Delicatessen, where the tomato basil soup is freshly made and wagging tails are welcome outside. Or if you’re looking for something a bit more upmarket, you and your pooch can dine al-fresco at the stylish 1889 Cafe at the Geiser Hotel. You’ll have to call ahead to make a reservation, but the steamed Puget clams are to die for!
This part of Oregon is dotted with ghost towns -- from abandoned Gold Rush settlements like Cornucopia to more established communities that happened to get in the way of reservoirs, like Robinette. Copperfield was once such a place -- a true Wild West mining town complete with saloons and shoot-outs, abandoned in the early twentieth century. Now, though, it’s the site of a lush, well-developed park -- a pawfect excursion for pups and owners who like their nature a little more maintained! Located just south of Hell’s Canyon Wilderness Area, the park features a stunning oxbow lake and a couple of short walking trails.
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