October is on its way out, but the peak color season for fall foliage is here or very close in many regions of the state. Leaf-peepers should take advantage of this prime time for viewing on their way to haunted houses, picturesque parks and fall festivals around Oregon.
Eugene, Cascades & Coast
The fall color change is at peak in higher elevations of the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region and near peak in lower elevations. Vine and big leaf maple are at their most vibrant, while paper birch, Oregon white oak and walnut trees are near peak. Highway 242 and the Aufderheide Drive are still accessible and provide an assortment of colors. Highway 126 still has some bright spots of color. Find an array of activities and special deals at the Fifth Street Public Market Harvest Festival. Get the kids in the Halloween spirit with a trip to the Booo Barn or the Howl-O-Ween Haunt. Mingle through music, food and entertainment at the 30th Annual Mushroom Festival and Plant Sale.
The fall color change is near peak along the Oregon Coast. Scale Marys Peak, the highest point in the Coast Range, for pristine views of fall foliage and the Pacific Ocean or rake in a full range of reds, yellows, greens and oranges around Cape Perpetua, the highest point on the Oregon Coast. The Oregon Coast Aquarium caters to visitors both young and old with its Halloween-themed Creatures of the Day & Night. Put a hop in your step with some Irish folk music at Ceili by the Sea.
The fall color change is at peak in portions of the Willamette Valley. Cheer on the runners at the 2nd Annual Silver Falls Half Marathon while enjoying the stunning sights and sounds of Silver Falls State Park. Bob for apples and decorate a pumpkin at the Corvallis Elks Lodge Halloween Extravaganza or spend Halloween with Harry, where the Corvallis-OSU Symphony Orchestra will perform music from the Harry Potter films. Catch captivating colors and falling leaves on the Oregon State University campus or in Avery Park.
The fall color change is near peak in the Greater Portland area. Watch the transformation of greens and golden yellows to oranges and reds downtown at the Portland Farmers Market. Enjoy some fall family fun at the Oregon Zoo or relax with a weekend cruise along Sunset Drive in Sherwood. Scope out a surplus of scarecrows and vivid autumn hues at the Oregon Garden’s Harvest in the Garden or wander along the Halloween Fantasy Trail at Wenzel Farm.
Mt. Hood/Columbia River Gorge
The fall color change is at peak in parts of the Columbia River Gorge and near peak around Mt. Hood Territory. Multnomah Falls is in the middle stages of color change. Find plenty of autumn adventure and harvest produce at a plethora of pumpkin patches in the area or explore Oregon’s haunted history on a Walk with the Spirits. Pick fresh fruit, visit a vineyard and pet an alpaca along the Fruit Loop in Hood River County. Spot rich golds and reddish hues with great views atop Timberline Lodge and along Salmon River Trail.
The fall color change has reached peak and is starting to fade in parts of Central Oregon. Leaves are falling, creating colorful piles of pinks swirled among reds beneath the maples. A patchwork of oranges, golds, yellows, and amber beneath the mountain ash, dogwood and weeping birch trees. Stop at Sunriver Resort or make your way to Mirror Pond for a dramatic display of fall color. Head to DD Ranch Pumpkin Patch for a hay ride or brave your way through a trio of attractions at The Scare Grounds. Take a walk through yesteryear on a guided tour through the Historical Haunts of Downtown Bend or hop on your bike for the Day of the Dead Cyclocross Festival.
The fall color change is near peak in Eastern Oregon. In Union County, the tamarack are lit up like torches, while wild roses and huckleberry bushes are turning orange and red. At lower elevations, deciduous trees are elegantly draped in red, gold, orange and purple. Tour historic La Grande – a tree city for 28 years – to spot some stunning color and visit the Eastern Oregon University campus to view several century trees. Drive The Grande Tour or travel the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway to catch a glimpse of game animals heading to lower elevations for winter. Finish your day watching a beautiful sunset in Baker County.
The fall color change is near peak in parts of Southern Oregon. Linger in Ashland’s Lithia Park for a scenic stroll or warm up with roasted marshmallows, hot cider and live music at Spooky Nights, hosted at the Douglas County Museum. Keep the kids entertained with movies, food and fun at Canyonville’s 10th Annual Haunted House.Explore the vast beauty of Crater Lake or wind your way through the area’s wineries at Roam the Rogue.