Leaf peeping on the Salmon Creek trail

Leaf peeping on the Salmon Creek trail (Credit: Travel Lane County)

As the days grow shorter and the temperature slowly drops, get out and see color change before your eyes at Oregon’s urban and rural forests. From bright reds to deep yellows, leaves of maples, dogwood, red alder and vine-maple transform, displaying a rainbow spectrum of fall hues. Take the family, a picnic and your camera for hike within this ever-changing landscape, just don’t forget the umbrella, it is Oregon after all.

  • In Greater Portland, you can access the forest from downtown by foot, bike, car or train. The Hoyt Arboretum has over 12-miles of hiking trails where you’ll see thousands of varieties of trees and plants from around the world. In Forest Park you can spend an entire weekend exploring the labyrinth of trails that extend 40 miles within the city and connect with trail routes along the Columbia River.
  • At the Mt. Pisgah Arboretum in Eugene there are over 200 acres of wildlife and wooded trails to explore.
  • Drive along the historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway until you find a hiking spot to explore within the Columbia River Gorge where there are more than 80 miles of hiking trails with lush fir forests and massive waterfalls.
  • The Brown Mountain Trail in Ashland is a roughly seven-mile hike through the Rogue River National Forest. The hike ventures through towering old growth trees, which provide a multihued spectrum of fall shades. Visit Travel Southern Oregon blog to find more trails.
  • Hike through ancient mossy forests at the French Pete Creek Trail where giant old growth pave the way along a mystical forest route. There is a popular campground nearby for overnight stays. Or travel along the McKenzie Pass to the Santiam Pass Scenic Byway before November 1st, when itcloses for the winter. The loop travels past waterfalls and along a volcanic landscape contrasted by vibrant fall foliage.
  • There are over 20 miles of trails through old growth that lead out to the Pacific Ocean at Cape Perpetua. Located in Yachats, Cape Perpetua is one of the highest lookout points on the coast. And, Sweet Creek Falls trail passes by 11 falls with Douglas-Fir and Big leaf maple trees dotting the way. Find more coastal trails here.
  • In Eastern Oregon, hike amongst sparking granite on the high mountain trails surrounding Anthony Lakes Basin. The Elkhorn Crest Trail travels along a path, which views down upon verdant Baker and Sumpter valleys.

Editor’s Note: As the color starts to snap around the state, stay tuned to the new Oregon Fall Foliage blog for regular updates from forest rangers, biologists and leaf peepers like you! Share your favorite fall trips in the blog comments or by replying to @ORFallFoliage on Twitter.


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