This hillside theme park was built by Roger Tofte, who based many of its features on classic fairytales. Sections of the Forest include Storybook Lane, inspired by Alice in Wonderland and Mother Goose, as well as Tofteville, an old western town.
Noticing that the Salem, Oregon area had little to offer in “family entertainment,” Tofte purchased a swath of land just off of Interstate 5 and single-handedly began creating a series of quaint, fairytale-based attractions. Tofte’s coworkers looked at his endeavor as a true act of foolishness and dubbed the project “Idiot Hill.” But despite the lack of faith, Enchanted Forest opened its doors on August 8, 1971, and has drawn tourists and families for over 40 years.
Attractions at Enchanted Forest include the Big Timber log ride, Ice Mountain bobsled roller coaster, and most recently, the medieval-themed Challenge of Mondor. But the Forest’s most charming features are the folk art-inspired cement sculptures that showcase Tofte’s vision of a fairytale wonderland. Wander around, and you’ll spot Humpty Dumpty greeting visitors near the park entrance; psychedelic mushrooms, fairies, and dog heads poking out of flowers; an old woman’s shoe house; and a giant witch’s face in a tree.
Visitors can also treat themselves to an assortment of games and shows. The Fantasy Fountains are a particular highlight. The 359-water-jet fountain light show is complete with original music by Tofte’s daughter, Susan Vaslev (who, in fact, wrote and recorded all the music heard throughout the park). Other fun attractions include a rifle shooting game, haunted house, and comedy club
The gift shops throughout the park also offer a plethora of items emblazoned with the Enchanted Forest name, from miniature pennants to pencil cases and plastic snow globes.