With the activities of summer at rest and the anticipation building for snow flying on the mountains, fall is finally at its peak in the High Desert.
Central Oregon offers Leaf Watchers a place to view splashes of golden yellows, burning reds and oranges and even beautiful shades of purples set among snow-capped mountains and crisp, sunny skies.
Enjoy a leisurely day in Bend starting off with a stroll downtown. A personal favorite spot of mine is on Wall Street, between the Des Chutes Historical Museum and Amity Creek Elementary School, where the variety of vibrant maple trees tower over the street and engulf you in color. Next head to beautiful Drake Park, nestled along the Deschutes River with a peek-a-boo view of South Sister Mountain and autumn trees lining Mirror Pond. Hop on a bike or in your car for a short ride to Mt. Washington Drive to enjoy golden aspens and maples in a spectrum of colors. From there, head down to the Old Mill District and catch the vibrant fuchsia of the burning bush and other deciduous foliage throughout this historic part of Bend. For a more secluded experience awash in fall color, hike or mountain bike along the Upper Deschutes River Trail or Shevlin Park.
Take the opportunity to travel on Highway 242 before November 1st when it closes for the winter. The loop tour taking Hwy 20/Hwy 126/Hwy 242 offers views of powerful waterfalls and brilliant fall colors contrasting against a volcanic landscape and can be enjoyed along this Scenic Byway when traveling in or out of Central Oregon.
Please come to enjoy autumn in Central Oregon. For more ideas visit Central Oregon Visitors Association or call at 800.800.8334.
Kristine McConnell, Guest Contributor
Central Oregon Visitors Association