Oregon Fall Foliage Weekly Update 10/5/2013

Eugene, Cascades & Coast
All of the rain in the last few weeks has continued the reluctance of the Eugene trees to change, plaguing us with a lack of fall colors. In higher elevations and sporadically throughout the valley, you can find vine maples that are starting to turn to a yellow-red, as well as some of the Oregon ashes turning to an off yellow. If things keep up like this, you can expect to see the fall peak in the Eugene area in the next two to three weeks.

Celebrate everything autumn at the Oregon Covered Bridge Festival today, October 5, 2013 in Cottage Grove. Watch pumpkins be catapulted hundreds of feet, take a leisurely hot air balloon ride to see the natural landscape, or take a tour (self guided, or with a local historian) of the covered bridges. With a forecast of sunshine expected today, there is no reason to not stop by the Oregon Covered Bridge Festival to enjoy the celebration.

Oregon Coast
At this time there hasn’t been much change within the town of Florence, but if you drive along Highway 126 between Eugene and Florence, you will see some lavish fall colors. While some trees are nearing their peak and other are just starting, it is definitely worth the scenic trip.

Down towards Coos Bay you can also see some trees turning mostly to a mixture of reds and oranges. The drive, just south of Coos Bay from Charleston to Bandon, will prove to be a memorable one. If you are looking to experience some outdoor fun around Coos Bay, pick some pumpkins up at Mahaffy Ranch and take a ride on their new covered hay wagon.

Willamette Valley
Joining Salem with the lavish red colors is Corvallis, as they are now seeing some red as well. It is still early, but the trees are around halfway turned so in about a week they will be much closer to their peak.

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Historic downtown McMinnville by Oregonbliss via Instagram

If you are in the area, check out Willamette Park along the river to see some of the reds or head over to 2 Towns Ciderhouse to celebrate the season along with their third anniversary today. They will be serving all their local seasonal ciders along with live music and food from local food carts.

Greater Portland
Besides the few bits and pieces of fall color scattered throughout the city, there is still a week or two left before you can expect to see lots of color in the greater Portland area.

If you’re looking to get outside to enjoy some fresh air and “Get Dirty for Good”, then volunteer for the Great Willamette River Cleanup, happening today.

Central Oregon
Throughout Central Oregon you can find some trees that have changed into full color. Within Bend, the change is just getting started but is expected to ramp up into full force within the next two weeks. Oranges and deep reds are what should be expected if you pass through town.

While in Bend, be sure to stop by the Bend Fall Festival from Friday, October 4, 2013 to Sunday, October 6, 2013. There will be fall-themed activities including free live music, artists, a homebrew competition, a pumpkin pie contest, and more, offering something perfect for people of all ages.

Base Camp Baker

Color in Baker City, courtesy of Base Camp Baker Facebook

Eastern Oregon
The autumn colors are just beginning in the valleys of Baker County and are about to hit their peak in the foothills of the Elkhorn and Wallowa Mountains. There is a cold front that is expected to hit this area soon, so you can expect the peak to follow. Over in La Grande, the leaves are just starting to turn. You can expect to see a brilliant mixture of reds and off-yellows.

If you are looking to take in as much of this natural beauty as possible, be sure to make the drive along the foothills of the Wallowa’s on the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway, and along the Cornucopia Highway between the towns of Halfway and Cornucopia.

Southern Oregon
The colors in southern Oregon are varied, with some just starting to turn and others almost at their peak. Jacksonville (just outside of Medford) has yet to see any real colors start to change. You will find an abundance of fall colors near The Lake of the Woods Resort. The entire area is a photo waiting to happen, especially with the snowcapped mountains showing just above the tree line.

Enjoy the abundance of scenery and harvest colors at Lake of the Woods by stopping by their last fishing derby of the year on Saturday September 28, 2013 from 8 a.m – 4 p.m., or grab a bite to eat at the Lake House Restaurant before it closes in the next few weeks for the winter.

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Weekly Update 11/11/2011

Strong winds and steady rains have made way for winter, though Oregon’s fiery fall foliage is still abundant in several portions of the state. Gain an early start on your Christmas shopping at holiday bazaars or relax and enjoy the late autumn ambience on art walks and wine tours. Honor our Veterans at a variety of parades and patriotic events across Oregon. With the onset of wintery conditions in some areas, be certain to visit tripcheck.com before taking off on your adventures around the state.

The Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway in Cottage Grove

Eugene, Cascades & Coast
The fall color change is at peak in the lower elevations of the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region. Leaves are starting to fade and are completely gone in some higher elevations. Spark your holiday shopping while enjoying some tasty treats at the 16th Annual Holiday Food & Gift Festival or take advantage of pre-season sales at the Holiday Open House.  Sample over 20 coffee infused beers at the 16 Tons Coffee Stout Fest, including a local favorite from Oakshire. Bound your way through the brisk November air at Run with the President. Highway 126 and the Aufderheide still provide scenic drives though Highway 242 will be closed once it sees a bit more snow or ice.

Fall colors and blue sky in Astoria

Coast
The fall color change is at peak along some portions of the Oregon coast, while other parts are near peak. Bring back the sounds of summer by catching the Beach Boys in concert at Chinook Winds Casino Resort.  Before the holiday rush kicks in, women can savor some downtime at the Women Only Weekend. Tantalize your taste buds at Lincoln City’s Seafood and Chowder Cook-Off or sample some fine wines at the Seaside Downtown Wine Walk. With winter on the horizon, mark your calendars for festive family fun along the coast. Ring in the holiday season at the Shore Acres Festival of Lights or start your shopping at the Astoria Winter Market.

Willamette Valley
The fall color change is at peak in parts of the Willamette Valley, while the colors are starting to fade in other areas. View the work of over 30 artists at the 20th Annual Coastal Hills Art Tour. Start your holiday shopping at the St. Mary’s Holiday Bazaar or treat your ears to the sophisticated sound of Italian concert pianist Mariangela Vacatello. Treasure your freedom at Albany’s Veterans Day Parade, the largest Veterans Day parade west of the Mississippi.

Greater Portland
The fall color change is at peak in the Greater Portland area. Come in from the cold and experience some the area’s great museums including The Rice NW Museum of Rocks and Minerals in Hillsboro. The Portland Art Museum provides interest for all ages including The Artist’s Touch, The Craftsman’s Hand – a Japanese wood block print exhibit – or the LEGO Castle Adventure. Photographers and leaf peepers alike should take advantage of Free Admission Day at the Portland Japanese Garden where the colors are truly popping. Wander through Washington Park or Tryon Creek State Park for additional flourishes of stunning fall foliage.

Mt. Hood/Columbia River Gorge
The fall color change is at peak in Mt. Hood Territory and along the Columbia River Gorge. Reds, golds and oranges are exploding from the branches while easterly winds have started to knock down leaves. Find a sense of calm at Benson Lake State Park or watch the salmon swim upstream Eagle Creek Fish Hatchery. Spice up your holiday décor with a trip to the Country Christmas Bazaar.

Central Oregon
The fall color change is almost over in Central Oregon. Shuffle through an assortment of leaves at Drake Park or walk through downtown Bend where a few trees are still hanging on to their color, despite the early emergence of winter. Bend has a surplus of sites to enjoy the snow including Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort, which offers downhill and Nordic skiing, while numerous sno-parks offer terrific terrain for snowshoers, Nordic and back-country skiers and snowmobiling.

Eastern Oregon
The fall color change is starting to fade in the higher elevations of Eastern Oregon. Take in the last bits of fall color along the Elkhorn Drive Scenic Byway or add some culture to your day with a performance from the Grande Ronde Symphony. Find some holiday stocking stuffers at The Art of Giving before prepping your investigation skills for the upcoming Ghost Hunters Weekend.

Southern Oregon
The fall color change is at peak in Southern Oregon, though more leaves are falling with each day’s rain. Catch the Southern Oregon Concert Band’s opening show of the season at the Veterans Day Concert “John Phillip Sousa: An American Patriot” or enjoy a variety of patriotic numbers while finding fresh vegetables and fruits at Kruse Farms. See some of the year’s best international flicks at the Archaeology Fest Film Series.

Last Weekly Update of 2010: 11/18/2010

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This week’s update can be summed up in one word: snow! The leaves have fallen and the winter season is upon us. Just one week from Thanksgiving, Oregonians will spend the week watching powder pile up in the mountains and uncorking wine in preparation for Thanksgiving weekend winery open houses.

Thanks to all our leaf peeping friends around the state who helped report on color changes throughout the fall foliage season. See you in 2011!

Eugene, Cascades & Coast
Tune up the gear because the forecast is for an early opening for Willamette Pass Resort and Hoodoo Recreation & Ski Area. Hit the Thanksgiving Wine Trail Celebration Thanksgiving weekend. Shop for locally crafted gifts starting November 20 at Eugene Saturday Market’s indoor Holiday Market. For more ideas and happenings in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region, check out our winter adventures.

Coast
Everyone “in the know” knows that winter is whale and storm watching season on the Oregon Coast. Gear up and grab a seat above the crashing surf, or grab an oceanfront room and watch nature’s fury at its best. December 26 through January 1 is Whale Watch Week, and you’ll find volunteers at viewpoints along Highway 101 with binoculars and information to share about the 18,000 gray whales migrating from Alaska to Mexico.

Willamette Valley
Hundreds of artisan wineries will open their doors for Thanksgiving weekend wine tastings, making it the perfect time to check out seasonal specials and events. Find more winter travel ideas throughout the valley at OregonWineCountry.org.

Greater Portland
The best part of winter in Portland is the holiday cheer downtown, when the tree is lit up in Pioneer Courthouse Square, surrounded by holiday shopping and a festive atmosphere.

Mt. Hood/ Columbia River Gorge
A hike on the Salmon River Trail near Zigzag is always a wonderful winter season walk. Don’t miss beautiful Wah Gwin Gwin Falls when visiting Multnomah Falls in the Gorge this winter.

Southern Oregon
Winter enthusiasts in Southern Oregon love skiing on Mt. Bailey and Mt. Ashland Ski Area. Paige Mountain near Grants Pass also offers snow sports. In the Klamath Falls area, visit Bill Collier Community Ice Arena at the Running Y.

Central Oregon

Visit Central Oregon in winter for blue skies and crisp mountain air. Strap on skis, lace up the the skates, pull out the sled and start a family tradition with a winter getaway in Central Oregon.

Eastern Oregon
Play in the snow this winter at Ferguson Ridge in the Wallowa Whitman National Forest, offering downhill skiing, cross country skiing and dog sled races. Take a spin around the ice skating rink at Enterprise City Park, or snowmobile through the Steens (permit required).