Eugene, Cascades, and Coast
Eugene is still looking lovely at peak fall color, though rain and winds are starting to knock the senescing leaves out of the trees. Check out the University of Oregon for fall colors, as they have many fascinating trees including Japanese maples and dawn redwoods. The entire campus is a big arboretum. They also offer a self guided tree tour.
The Coast Range is also peaking. In the Cascades, vine maples and some other species are starting to fade, though big leaf maple is still at peak golden.
For folks staying in the Eugene area this weekend, there are many fun and accessible events. The McKenzie Cider and Craft Beer Festival offers a taste of one of the many things we Oregonians do best, while rockhounds and lapidaries will enjoy a visit to the Gem Faire.
The Coast Range is currently at peak fall color. Siuslaw rangers recommend a drive along the Alsea River on Highway 34. Stop at the Blackberry campground or another day use area along the Alsea River to see bright yellow big leaf maples contrasting dark green Douglas firs. For those spending a weekend on the coast, head outside with a local interpreter for South Slough Birding, or stay inside and enjoy the Stormy Weather Arts Festival.
The Willamette Valley is at peak fall colors! Many towns, like Corvallis, offer walking tours which take you past beautiful architecture and colorful street trees. Riverfronts are also great for leaf peeping.
Portland area trees are currently at peak fall color. Take a walk through the city or the parks, and check out some of this weekend’s exciting activities.
In Portland, take a moment to enjoy a little berry that happens to be the second to most traded commodity around the world, at the Coffee Fair. And if you are hungry, in Forest Grove, be a part of a 78 year tradition at the Verboort Sausage Festival.
Mt. Hood/ The Gorge
Mt. Hood and the Zigzag Ranger district are looking great right now, even though they are a little past peak. Take a drive around Mt. Hood and see some lovely fall colors. On your way back, drive through the Gorge, which is at peak to near peak in some places. Locals love Multnomah Falls for fall foliage photographs.
Central Oregon is currently on the way out, but there are still some pockets that are holding clout. For fall foliage hikes, hit the Upper Deschutes River Trail. Drake Park near downtown Bend on Mirror Pond is glowing now with leaves of gold, a great place to shuffle your feet! It won’t last much longer than another week or two, so come enjoy a fall mix of sun, rain, and wind in Bend. The snow is just around the corner!
If a drive sounds more up your alley, head out to Mt. Washington Drive, or head south of Bend into the Sunriver area. Head out to Powell Butte Saturday for Lord’s Acre Day. This event is celebrating its 66th year and is bit of Americana in Central Oregon. Then, this coming week meet local authors and participate in writing workshops at Nature of Words!
Although the colors in much of eastern Oregon are past peak, fall foliage should still be enjoyable for at least another couple of weeks.
Leaves will crunch under your feet as you walk around rustic towns, while red and gold foliage trembles above (with a flattened petiole, aspen leaves twirl and spin in the wind). Maybe take a bike ride, weather permitting, along the Grande Tour Scenic Byway, where tamarack groves will stand out among evergreens like torches.
With its longer day length and warmer weather, this region will end up being the last part of the state to peak and fade.
Locals recommend a walk around Ashland, especially Lithia Park and Main Street, to see all of the different reds, oranges, yellow, pinks, and greens.