Summer is taking its sweet time this year, sending temperatures soaring into the mid 90s in the first week of September. Fall is slowly creeping in, bringing crisp nights and mornings, so the leaves are inching towards their autumn glory.
This is prime weather for celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, a landmark conservation bill that protects nearly 110 million acres from coast to coast. Wilderness celebrations are planned around the state this weekend.
Eugene, Cascades & Coast
The big leaf maples around Alton Baker Park in Eugene are starting to show hints of yellows, creating a halo of color for football fans headed to Autzen Stadium on Saturday.
Honor the anniversary of the passing of the Wilderness Act by exploring the Six Wilderness Wonders of the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region. Watch as these untouched areas start to change before your eyes. Sunday’s forecast will be perfect for strolling the hundreds of booths at the Coburg Antique & Vintage Fair on Sunday, September 7, 2014.
Summer is lingering on the Oregon Coast, giving the slightest hint of red to the native vine maples. True color change is expected by the end of September. Celebrate the land on which our fall foliage so brightly blazes with the Wilderness 50th Grand Finale at Cape Perpetua on Saturday, September 6, 2014.
It’s been a hot summer in the Willamette Valley, but fall colors tend to pop in cooler weather. Expect a bold display of seasonal transformation around the end of the month. Usher out the green and gold foliage of summer while attending Antiques in the Streets, a local fair held in historic downtown Albany and located along the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway.
Trees around Portland are not ready to show their colors as summer continues in the city. You can still find a farmers market almost every day of the week. These outdoor markets won’t be here much longer, so be sure to catch the great deals on local produce and artisan crafts before they’re gone for the season!
Mt. Hood/The Gorge
Leaves are holding on to their green this early in September, but those vibrant colors of autumn should be making their appearance by the middle of this month. If you’re near Hood River in these last hot weeks of summer, take a trip to Tamanawas Falls, where you can duck behind the waterfall and into a cool, dry cave. This four mile hike is family-friendly and located along Highway 35.
Visit Central Oregon to capture the first glimpses of fall. Signs of fall color are sprouting up in the Sisters Wilderness Area, near Black Butte Ranch and Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery. In Bend, reds are appearing on maple leaves. While you’re there, treat yourself to the Sisters Folk Festival, happening all weekend long, September 5 – 7, 2014.
Though they have yet to crossover, color change is expected on trees and foliage in Eastern Oregon by the end of September. With the feeling of fall rising in the air, now is a great time to pack up the car for a scenic, end of season drive. Embark on the Steens Loop Tour Route, a 59-mile stretch that rests at an elevation of 10,000 feet. Be on the lookout for bighorn sheep and other mountain creatures as you make your way toward the summit, and take note of the changing plant life that surrounds you.
After experiencing the first frost in July, the abundant, ground-covering plant known as Newberry’s knotweed has morphed itself from a neutral green to vivacious red. It is predicted that Southern Oregon’s deciduous trees will make their colorful switch by the third week of September, but for now, it’s still summer over here. Savor the season with a hike along the North Umpqua River Trail. For a full day in nature, try starting your adventure at the Deer Leap Segment trailhead, located near Idleyld Park outside of Roseburg. Experience fantastic views from 500 to 1,500 feet above the river as you travel by foot, horse, or mountain bike down this challenging path.