Where to See Fall Foliage in the Tualatin Valley

fall color 2016 by colin mortonFall is in the air—catch it in the Tualatin Valley. In Portland’s backyard, the Tualatin Valley is home to some of the area’s best farms, wineries and nature parks that will undoubtedly be sporting the season’s most vibrant colors. The rich landscape will be drenched in hues of earthy golds, oranges, reds and browns. When visiting Portland this fall, add a few days in the nearby Tualatin Valley. With just a few minutes’ drive, you’ll be transported to a completely different way to explore fall foliage.

For a leisurely tour through the Tualatin Valley’s harvest season—and its accompanying colors—take a drive along the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route. This 60-mile driving route through the Tualatin Valley’s countryside showcases the juicy fruits of summer exchanging reign with the hearty crops of fall. Your eyes can feast on the cheery reds of freshly-picked apples, as well as the charming barns that match them in color. Your drive will be dotted with orange as the route’s popular pumpkin patches show off all of their gourd glory. Of course, even the trees along the route will be boasting fall foliage with tinges of yellow, followed by weeks of orange and red. The Tualatin Valley receives gentle winds from the Oregon coast range that create the perfect rustling of leaves during a fall afternoon.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t insist that you check out some of the wineries of the northern Willamette Valley for a picture-perfect view of fall’s color change. As we delve deeper into the first weeks of fall, each vineyard’s vines will transition into an elegant ombre of green and yellow. With grape harvest arriving early this year, vineyard-goers can enjoy not only the views of fall foliage, but also the happy buzz of the “crush” season. In the tasting room, we consider the burgundy Pinot Noir wines yet another fall color to savor.

For those who prefer an active way to enjoy fall foliage, see the colors change while kayaking (or canoeing!) along the Tualatin River.The striking foliage along the river gracefully reflects its colors in the slow moving waters. Along the river, Brown’s Ferry Park is one of our favorite spots for a moment of autumnal Zen. Looking for a guided river tour? Register for the September 30 Autumn River Paddle Trip with the Tualatin Riverkeepers.

Cyclists also choose the Tualatin Valley for primo fall foliage viewing on two wheels. Experienced cyclists can pedal the 50-mile Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway for an up-close view of fall’s changing crops. The car-less Banks-Vernonia State Trail welcomes cyclists of all levels to enjoy its dense canopy of trees, which erupt in earthy colors during the fall months.

Share photos of your fall experience in the area with the #ORFallFoliage , #traveloregon and #tualatinvalley hashtags. Show us how you experience autumn in the Tualatin Valley!

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