Tranquility is a word many visitors use as soon as the y enter the 160 acres of Horning’s Hideout. That’s how Jane and her son, Bob Horning like it. The two, along with Jane’s late husband, Dick, developed the tranquil setting over the past 52 years.
The peaceful journey starts after exiting Highway 26. The winding road that brings people to this special getaway is filled with twists and turns that take off layer upon layer of stress with each turn. By the time most people arrive at the hideout, they’re in a good mood and back to their basic personality. Even the gravel road that winds deep into the canyon brings a peacefulness to the soul. But watch out, it’s likely one will see a flock of peacocks marching through the underbrush looking for lunch.
The idea for Horning’s Hideout came to Dick and Jane Horning many years after they were married. Dick had a passion for fishing. While dating, the two would often throw a line for entertainment. Before they were married, Dick found and purchased the first 80 acres of the property that would be doubled over 30 years. The original piece had a bubbling creek running through it which made it ideal for the 32 head of cattle that grazed on the lush grass. Later, the family planted hundreds of Christmas trees that eventually would be thinned out for lumber to build the structures on site. Each hand made building has been christened in concrete with hand prints or footprints of family members honoring the construction crew and the date.
In 1972, the family (that now included Bob, Karen, Carl, Earl, La Donna and Joan) built the lake. A year later, and with the encouragement of Doug McCoy in Oregon City from whom they purchased the trout, they decided to open their serene hideaway to the public.
In 1983, the property became Horning’s Hideout, an oasis for fishing and picnicing. Since then, the family has added paddle boats, camping, concerts, three disc golf courses and three wedding sites.
Dick passed away in 1985 with leukemia, but his legacy still lives today.
"Customers have driven our success," said Jane, looking proudly over the three ponds. "This has all evolved because of what our customers wanted."
The Horning family has a lot to be proud of.
Each of the two ponds serves a distinct purpose. The larger one is four acres, and includes brush free casting areas and a small island with a picturesque bridge. The half acre pond provides more intimate fishing – perfect for the smaller fry. Each year, the ponds are stocked with delicious rainbow trout.
The picnic areas
Covered areas abound and make Horning’s Hideout ideal for company and family get-togethers. For those who want to be alone, tables are dispersed throughout the park or one can find a quiet, secluded spot and lay down a blanket or tablecloth.
Some events at Horning’s Hideout make full use of the campgrounds. Approximately 5,000 people can camp out on site during their most popular events. Horning’s offers a variety of campsites from pure and simple tent camping to Recreational Vehicle hookups.
The ground rocks at the Hideout – literally. The annual Northwest String Summit in the summer and String Cheese Incident in October bring famous and not yet so famous musicians from near and far.
Just as they should be, weddings are special at Horning’s Hideout. Three main areas are designed and cleared for this special event. In each section is a covered area, and rental includes two 10' by 20' tents, tables (including linens) and movable chairs. Areas reserved for weddings can be used from 9 a.m. the day of until 9 p.m. the next day.
The disc golf courses
Three 18 hole courses make it fun and challenging to play disc golf at Horning’s Hideout. The first one came about because campers started tying string to the trees and making their own version of disc golf. The short throw course, as it is referred to, is perfect for practicing short throws. It also serves as a night course – solar powered, of course. The second course is medium length and full of par 3's and 4's. The newest course is the more challenging championship course with holes ranging from 255 to 930 feet.
"Pack up your family and find the sweet serenity of Horning’s Hideout," encourages Bob. "We make it fun and affordable for all families – large and small."
Horning’s Hideout, 21277 N.W. Brunswick Canyon Road, North Plains, Oregon 97133, 503-647-2920
Follow the signs once off Highway 26. Many people get lost using GPS or Google maps
Dogs and other pets welcome, but they need to be on leash.
Cost: $3 per person per day for disc golf, picnicing. Fishing(paid for by the pound)
By Cindy Garrison