The greater Portland area is filled with exquisite urban parks and gardens that will ignite the city in fall color this season. To get away from the boulevards and busy streets, drive only a few minutes from downtown to one of Oregon’s many Pinot-producing wineries, kayak-friendly waterways, or the captivating Mt. Hood foothills.
- Enjoy some of Portland’s most spectacular fall colors while strolling through Hoyt Arboretum. Pick up a free self-guided tour of fall foliage at the Hoyt Arboretum Visitor Center.
Popular Spots for Fall Foliage:
- Lone Fir Cemetery – 2115 SE Morrison St. Portland OR 97214 / (503) 797-1709
Lone Fir is Portland’s oldest cemetery, and is brimming with beautiful trees including sugar maples, big-leaf maples, beech, chestnut, carpets of leaves, mossy graves, and plenty of paths for wandering. Circumambulate the whole cemetery in 20 minutes – or spend an hour or two strolling all the paths, the historic rose garden, the military statues and the beautiful graves.
- Portland Japanese Garden – 611 Southwest Kingston Avenue Portland, OR 97205 / (503) 223-1321
Widely praised, Portland’s Japanese Garden is beautiful in every season but autumn is perhaps the most dramatic and colorful. See Japanese maples and many other Asian trees and shrubs in fiery autumn color, set off against the subtle shades of our native conifer and big leaf maple woodland setting. Gaze out across the city to see leaves changing color and dropping in neighborhoods all over the city. It is a shame to walk the garden in less than an hour and easy to spend two or more wandering the paths and pausing long enough to appreciate the tranquil atmosphere.
- Elk Rock Garden, 11800 SW Military Lane, Portland OR 97219 / (503) 636-5613
Maples, magnolias, oaks and any number of other deciduous trees are dropping leaves fast and furious. Some trees drop foliage early (like most ash); others late (like hornbeams, chestnut, oak and Styrax). Check in at the booth, make a little donation or buy a plant, and stroll the paths and lawns until you catch a view of the mighty Willamette, far below. Expect to spend at least an hour wandering – easily three if you walk up the Madrone Trails to look down over the river.
- Hoyt Arboretum – 4000 Southwest Fairview Boulevard, Portland, OR 97221-2706 / (503) 865-8733
Hoyt Arboretum ranges over 187 ridge-top acres and some 12 miles of trails. It contains collections of trees, many of which go through autumn transformations including birches, maples, oaks, magnolias, witch hazels and more. It may take years to really explore Hoyt, but there’s plenty to see in a one- or two-hour walk through the nearer trails.
- Forest Park – NW 29th Ave & Upshur St to Newberry Rd, Portland OR 97219 / (503) 823-PLAY (7529)