Update 9/21/12

All over the state our deciduous trees are starting to change from their spring green color to gold, red, and orange, but we are still a ways away from peak fall color. However, another fall activity is being highlighted all around the state.  Now is the time to enjoy the bounty of our gardens and farms.

Eugene Cascades and Coast
Lane County’s trees, especially our Oregon Ash, have started to change color. These trees love the streams and rivers of Willamette Valley. If you are itching to take a picture of some of the more subtle, early leaf color, head out to Cottage Grove now and snap some pictures of foliage and covered bridges.

The Lane County farmers markets are still going strong. Eugene’s Saturday Market, the oldest open air market in the United States, will be bringing us farm fresh food into mid-November. Stop in for fall flavors, mushrooms, nuts, fruit, and vegetables.

Coast

Although the coast is typically a little behind the rest of the state for the color change, we are getting reports of fall color change along the central and northern coast. When combing the coast for fall colors it is recommended that you look for rivers and streams. Some spectacular favorites include Yachats River Road.

This Saturday (22nd) is the Annual Fall Beach Cleanup, put on by SOLVE and the Oregon Lottery. Meet members of your community and enrich your life with service this weekend! Then reward yourself after a hard day’s work with some tasty clam chowder at the Florence Chowder, Blues, & Brews Festival.

Willamette Valley
The Willamette Valley is starting to change as well, though many parts are still very green. Salem is still very green, but once the colors peak a favorite spot to go is the Riverfront Park. Check out the new walking bridge, converted from an old railroad bridge, and snap photos of passing boats and the trees on the shore.

Head on up to Stageland Winery in Salem for Harvest Celebration Weekend. Enjoy live music from Emmy Award Winner Jeff Tassin, the band Torre, and impromptu talents of Mick & Laura. Tickets are limited. Purchase at the winery or online.

Greater Portland
We’re seeing a hint of yellows around Multnomah Falls. Other than that, it’s still pretty green in the Greater Portland area. Locals love to visit the Japanese Garden for fall color change hands down, though some prefer to go a bit further from downtown and wander Tryon Creek State Park.

This weekend is the FEAST Portland.  This is a world class food event, with all kinds of good eats, treats, and classes, so you can eat, learn, network and help local farmers and chefs all at the same time. Tickets are still available here. Can’t make it to the Rose City? Take your tastebuds on a road trip and follow one of the Trails to Feast.

Mt Hood/The Gorge
We’re still hanging tight here in the Mt. Hood/Gorge area. The good news is the weather is still perfect for a fall bike ride and for fall fruits. Salmon River Road, Jones Road View Point, Lolo Pass Road are all lush and beautiful right now.

Punch your piggies into a barrel of Pinot at the 30th Annual St. Josef’s Grape Stomping Festival. The giant 10 foot Oak barrel holds the equivalent of 3,200 bottles of wine! Bavarian music, food, and a little bit of Europe make this family-friendly festival a must.

Central
Central Oregon is the place to go for the first spectrum of color. The leaves are most definitely changing. To see fall color, locals recommend Drake Park by the Deschutes River near Downtown Bend and Shevlin Park to the west.

Bend, Bavaria and beer join forces Friday for Bend Oktoberfest. Sink your teeth into four types of brauts, dumplings and deep fried Twinkies!

Eastern
The leaves are just beginning to change in Baker County. See mustardy yellow leaves mixed with vibrant green along Elkhorn Scenic Byway.

Union County is seeing a little color change too, and with their rust red soil the subtle leaf change really pops. However their tamaracks, which are deciduous trees with needles, are still very green. Locals recommend Mt. Emily Recreation Area for a fall color experience, and if you want a scenic drive head out to the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway.

Lodging communities, restaurants, museums and adventure guides are celebrating the Fall Bounty with some awesome seasonal deals. For some artisanal sweets and spirits head on out to Joseph. Satisfy your sweet tooth with homemade chocolate from Arrowhead Chocolates and then sip on whiskey and spirits at Stein Distillery.

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