Enchanted Forest – Turner, Oregon - Atlas Obscura
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Turner, Oregon

Enchanted Forest

This charmingly homemade amusement park has been growing for 40 years despite originally being dubbed, "Idiot's Hill." 

A hillside theme park built by Roger Tofte, who based many of its features on classic fairy tales. 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 the 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, the Enchanted Forest opened its doors on August 8, 1971, and has drawn tourists and families for over 40 years.

Rides at Enchanted Forest include the Big Timber log ride, Ice Mountain bobsled roller coaster, and most recently the medieval-themed Challenge of Mondor. However, the Forest’s most charming features are the folk art-y cement sculptures found throughout the park which showcase Tofte’s vision of a fairytale wonderland. There’s Humpty Dumpty who greets visitors near the park entrance; psychedelic mushrooms; fairies and dog heads coming out of flowers; the old woman’s shoe house; a giant witch face in a tree. The list goes on.

Visitors can treat themselves to many other games and shows. Among its most unique features are the Fantasy Fountains, a 359-water-jet fountain light show, complete with original music by Roger Tofte’s daughter, Susan Vaslev (who, in fact, wrote and recorded all the muzak heard throughout the park). Other standbys include a rifle shooting game, haunted house, and comedy theatre.

The gift shops throughout the park also offer a plethora of seemingly 1980s deadstock items emblazoned with the Enchanted Forest name, from miniature pennants to pencil cases and plastic snow globes.