Adventure Out for Fall Colors in Oregon

If you are looking for stunning fall foliage in Oregon, your best bet is to get out in mid-October. This is when the maples, birch, aspen, and ash will be turning yellow and the dogwoods and vine maples turn red.

Hikes

William Finley Wildlife Refuge – The short, 1.1 mile woodpecker loop hike at this national wildlife refuge near Corvallis includes a range of habitats from oak savanna to wetlands with native trees species including Oregon ash and black cottonwood in riparian zones and oaks, vine maples, big leaf maples, and hazelnut in woodland and forest areas.

Brice Creek Trail – There are several hiking options in this area in the Umpqua National Forest with a range of difficulty levels; the area is most popular during the summer but offers beautiful scenery through the fall with old growth forests sheltering vine maples and native dogwoods near the creek banks.

Tryon Creek State Natural Area – The half-mile Maple Ridge trail at Tryon Creek State Park near Portland starts at the nature center and ends at the center trail, where a left turn will take you back to the nature center and a right turn heads down toward the creek. In addition to the maples, this popular park just south of Portland has many other native deciduous species such as pacific dogwood, Oregon white oak, red alder, and black cottonwood.

West Metolius River Trail – this family-friendly hike along the scenic Metolius River starts at Canyon Creek Campground outside of Sisters and goes for 5.4 miles to the Wizard Falls fish hatchery. Along the way, vine maples and other deciduous natives put on a colorful show in the fall.

Rides

Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway – this 134-mile route offers picturesque views of vineyards and walnut trees and can be ridden in its entirety or in sections. The bikeway starts at Champoeg State Park near Wilsonville and ends and Armitage park in Coburg.

Deschutes River Trail – This biking/hiking trail out of Bend is reported to be good for beginners with several scenic stops before reaching Sunriver.  Recreation passes such as the Northwest Forest Pass are required. Access the trail from the Meadow Day Use area, and ride along the river with brilliant gold aspens along the way.

Champoeg State Heritage Area bike trail – a family-friendly dedicated bike path that runs through the Champoeg State Park from the Riverside Day-use area to the Butteville store. The 3-mile path is easy to follow and offers stops along the way to take in the scenery. Oak and maple trees provide a range of color from golden yellow to orange and deep red.

Drives

Historic Columbia River Highway – This well-known tourist route frequently referred to as the “King of Roads” runs between Troutdale and The Dalles. Follow the markers for the scenic byway route, as it branches off the main highway through some of the most scenic views along the Columbia. Five different waterfalls, including Multnomah falls, are visible from the road.

Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway – Another famous route known for its waterfalls, the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic byway follows the Umpqua river east from Roseburg, up to Diamond Lake, and then along the Rogue river as it heads South to Gold Hill. The entire byway is 172 miles, but the most stunning fall colors can be found in the first part of the drive, as the route passes through the Umpqua National Forest.  

Elkhorn Drive Scenic Byway – In Eastern Oregon, this scenic byway loop starts and ends in Baker City for 106 miles of mountain views and historic sites such as the Sumpter Valley Dredge  and the gold mining town of Granite. The Sumpter Valley Railroad offers a fall foliage weekend on October 22nd with two runs from McEwen.

4 thoughts on “Adventure Out for Fall Colors in Oregon”

  1. This is neat. I like how you have presented the information. I do have a couple suggestions that will enhance its usefulness: In your descriptions be sure to include a common reference place. On Brice Creek for instance , I had to look it up. Second suggestion: Make it easy to look it up. Include a link to the specific OPS site.
    Well done, I’ll be saving these for reference
    Bill

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