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Tofteland

04/01/17 at 07:01am in Tofteland
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Once upon a time, in a land not far away, there was a desperate dad who was perplexed by how few local family attractions he could take his family to.

So he bought 20 acres of rolling hillside just south of Salem, Oregon, and over the next seven years built a peculiar theme park straight from a storybook.

By 1971, Roger Tofte opened the Enchanted Forest to the public with the help of his family and more than 45 years later, the park is now a staple of the Northwest.

Today the 87-year-old is often seen whizzing around in a moped carrying cement across the park to fix damaged attractions.

‘I just keep going for as long as I can,’ said the father-of-four who has no plans of retiring.

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‘I’m not doing stuff that I used to some years ago but I’m still able to climb ladders and let the younger guys do the heavy lifting.’

And he always has work to do as Mr Tofte’s DIY artistry and craftsmanship has been responsible for building a vast majority of the park.

There are six rides at the park with the most popular being the Ice Mountain bobsled roller coaster, the Big Timber log ride which is the largest of its kind in the Northwest according to Mr Tofte and the medieval-themed Challenge of Mondor that caught the eye of a familiar corporation.

‘We had four engineers from Disney come out when we put on our Mondor ride because it was one of the only ones in the States at that time because it just follows a wire in the floor,’ Mr Tofte said.
‘They came up from Disneyland one time to look around and I took them around the park and they were pretty impressed with the atmosphere of the whole place.’

But the Enchanted Forest main attraction still remain the classic depictions of fairy tales and nursery rhymes – from Humpty Dumpty, the Three Bears, the Seven Dwarfs, Peter Pumpkin Eater and more – vying closer to their uncanny origin stories.

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