As we start to callout a few early reports of fall, find early color reports on a few regions we heard from below. Then follow along with Fall Foliage Editor and Adventure Specialist Gabrielle Lent as she runs through a Fall trip through Corvallis.
FALL FOLIAGE SPOTTING UPDATES:
(note: information based on responses from our leaf peepers by 9/19/2016)
- Warm days and cool nights are combining to start fall color through Bend.
- Check out a few fall events in the area.
- Corvallis is just beginning its color change. Tips of trees and blushes of red starting to pop on trees around town.
- Back Country road drives are popular for Fall viewings around Corvallis.
- Eugene is starting to see color change as well. Small percentage of color change so far is in maples.
- Popular spot to see color change is along Pearl Street and Jefferson Street in Eugene, as well as a drive along Highway 126
east or west of town.
- Highway 101 is still looking very green near Central and Southern Oregon Coast. Fall colors starting to sprout as you head inland from the Coast.
- En route to Agness from Gold Beach, there’s a sweet spot near Huntley Park. Many
maples there reported changed to red and orange hues.
- Fall color is just starting in Oregon Coast’s Hebo Ranger district as well. Early fall transitions noting vine maples turning a ruby color, and deciduous trees showing yellow and brown. Drift Creek Falls Trail, Niagra Falls Trail and Hart’s Cove are noted as great hikes to check out.
- Color change is just starting to make a shift in Southern Oregon.
- Fall is in the air in the Tualatin Valley! Colors are starting to pop through the area’s Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route, dotting with orange through the pumpkin patches. Watch for a guest blog post from Tualatin Valley here this week!
- Color change just beginning in surrounding areas like Hillsboro. Leaves are a brilliant crimson with orange mixed.
Willamette Valley Trip Spotlight: Corvallis
Traveling north up River Road and riding it through to the end line of Eugene, passengers are welcomed to Junction City by fields of weathered cornstalks, bright orange pumpkins and trees beginning to blush with the compliments of autumn. Family owned farms such as Lone Pine and Thistledown prepare for the season with produce and games for kids. Follow the curves of the road and make a right onto Love Lake where Hentze Farm sits peacefully in white picketed splendor. These wide open spaces, dotted with splintered farmhouses and rusted machinery, offer scenic daytrips accessible by bike or by car. Keep in mind, share the road!
From Hwy 99 E veer left onto the nice new blacktop of Noraton Road. Note the willow trees blowing in the wind, the rainbows created in the mists of watering devices and feast your eyes on this paved stretch of large contrasts. Just beyond the low clearance of a tattooed railway bridge, lines of filbert trees litter the earth with fallen nuts juxtapose fields of squash, corn, tiny Christmas trees and shoulders adorned with wild blue flowers living in tall, golden grasses. A little maneuvering and a right turn onto Hwy 99 W will lead to 3rd Street in downtown Corvallis, a Tree City USA street lined with flaming matchsticks of red maple, ash, cherry and sweet gum maybe two weeks away from full peak color.
Just outside its urban center, Corvallis is home to several wildlife and nature reserves, E.E. Wilson Park being a highlight. View the park’s display of caged and cared for pheasants, then explore the historical site frequented by birders and fishermen. The reserve is an unofficial orchard of apple, pear, plum and filbert trees that at this point in the year are dropping more fruit than they bare. Tenacious pink sweet peas and blackberries still prevail, but as fall draws more near, they feel the fade of summer.
In this same area, take Independence Hwy to Buena Vista to access Lukiamute State Park. Color here will be stunning in the next few weeks and secluded picnic tables offer front row seating for this lovely show. The remnants of harvested hop plants are now dry brown bunches hanging down from high wires in the fields of Rogue Valley Farms, an excellent stop for an outdoor lunch. When the day is done, return to Eugene via Peoria Road, passing through Harrisburg and the city of Coburg for a magnificent full-circle fall experience.