Rocky’s Trails–Where do you look for Oregon fall color? (2010)
On a trail, of course
Bursts of color are popping out in Oregon’s fall landscape. In the biased opinion of OPRD’s state recreation trails coordinator, Rocky Houston, the best place to see them is on a trail.
Fall is a good time for hikes on many trails, says Rocky, especially in the valleys and Cascade Mountain foothills of western Oregon. Bigleaf maple, vine maple, ash, alder and other deciduous trees are putting on a show of yellow, oranges and reds.
Rocky recommends hikes on these three state park trails:
- Elijah Bristow State Park has nine miles of trail along the Middle Fork of the Willamette River that goes largely overlooked as a fall color destination. The trail makes a colorful walk all the way from the park to Dexter Reservoir. The park’s wetlands and ponds are great side trips.
- In southwest Oregon, not far from Crater Lake National Park, the trails of Joseph Stewart State Recreation Area pass by fall “bouquets” above Lost Creek Reservoir. The park’s ¾-mile nature trail features colorful undergrowth contrasting against the dark green forest. The bright red of poison oak will catch your eye. Just don’t touch.
- Any list of fall color hiking destinations has to include Silver Falls State Park’s Canyon Trail. The display of colors make this popular national scenic recreation trail an autumn must for many hikers. The four-mile loop that includes an ascent from the canyon past Winter Falls has enough views to satisfy most sightseers. See the events calendar for October Hikes in the Mist Zone.