Weekly Update 10/13/2011

Vine maple at Fall Creek

Vine maple at all elevations is beginning to pop. Image taken near Fall Creek Reservoir, courtesy Andy Redick

Whether by train, bus, bicycle or foot – there’s no wrong way to enjoy the early emergence of fall color around Oregon. While many portions of the state are still in the beginning phases of color change, higher elevation areas are starting to see signs of peak color approaching. Take the camera along on a fall foliage train tour, or fuel up the car with your own itinerary for a ride along one of the state’s scenic byways this weekend.

Fall Creek Reservoir

Road near Fall Creek Reservoir. Image courtesy Andy Redick

Eugene, Cascades & Coast
The fall color change is nearing peak in higher elevation areas within the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region, and still in the beginning stages in Eugene-Springfield and at the coast at Florence. View a variety of color on vine maple, big leaf maple and other deciduous trees as you drive Highway 126 east toward the Cascade Mountains, or take advantage of seasonal scenic drives along the Aufderheide or historic Highway 242. At the lower elevations, leaf watchers reported some bright color spots along the Fall Creek National Recreation Trail. Enjoy the harvest season on wheels with Kidical Mass: Pumpkin Ride or sample some Oktoberfest beers and brats at the Capella Market Fall Festival in Eugene.

Drive Route 26 to Seaside to see some early spots of color on the Oregon Coast.

Drive Route 26 to Seaside to see some early spots of color on the Oregon Coast.

The fall color change is just beginning along the Oregon Coast. Amber hues and hints of orange and yellow are creeping in around Cape Perpetua, while reds and oranges are appearing on vine maples in the Tillamook Forest. Drive Route 26 to Seaside to see some early yellows and a few fallen leaves. Kayak, canoe or paddle-board your way across the water at Stand Up! For the Bay or hop aboard a history trek on the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad. Savor scenic drives along the Coquille River via Highway 38 and Highway 42, or find the perfect pumpkin at Mahaffy Ranch.

Willamette Valley
The fall color change is in the beginning stages in most of the Willamette Valley, though yellows and reds are starting to pop at higher elevations. Fuel up from Salem for a scenic drive to Detroit Lake or allow your senses to be sidetracked along the Santiam Pass via Oregon Route 22. After a long day’s drive, kick back for a first-rate flick at the Salem Film Festival.

Greater Portland
The fall color change is just beginning in Greater Portland. Greens are steadily turning to yellow with hints of orange. Venture out to Washington County during apple season, while taking in views of the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route. Whether its cider, pie or caramel coated fruit you’re after, apples are abundant at the Cedar Mill Cider Festival and the Heirloom Apple Festival at Smith Berry Barn. Hike through Hoyt Arboretum to identify some early signs of autumn at the Fall Color Preview Tour.

Mt. Hood/Columbia River Gorge
The fall color change is happening in Mt. Hood Territory and along the Columbia River Gorge. Find some flourishes of yellow and vine maple red at Lost Lake. Spot some salmon running at Eagle Creek or check out Chinook and steelhead at the Bonneville Dam. Take the family over for an assortment of autumn flavors and activities at the 29th Annual Hood River Valley Harvest Fest.

Central Oregon
The fall color change is still in the beginning phases through much of Central Oregon. Spot some splashes of yellow and orange in Drake Park or head through the historic neighborhoods of Bend, home to many large deciduous trees.

Eastern Oregon
The fall color change is just beginning in Eastern Oregon. Rope in the region’s untamed beauty along the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway or the Elkhorn Scenic Byway. Photographers and sightseers alike will savor the scenes upon the Sumpter Valley Railroad Fall Foliage Train.

Yellow aspens near Chiloquin

Yellow aspens near Chiloquin. Image courtesy Andy Redick

Southern Oregon
The fall color change is just beginning in Southern Oregon. Though still mostly green, shades of yellow, orange and brown have been spotted in Roseburg along with blooming snapdragons in Riverside Park. Stewart Park and Douglas County Park also provide previews of the changing of colors. Wander to Wildlife Safari for an assortment of kids’ activities at Camp Millennium’s Pumpkin Patch or climb aboard the Fall Color Bus Tour in Klamath County.


2 thoughts on “Weekly Update 10/13/2011

  1. I’m looking for a good walk where a lot of crunchy leaves are left on the sidewalk or path–want to take the kids stomping through them… in Eugene preferably…even just one block, perhaps around the University? Suggestions?

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