It’s that time of the year, there is a chill in the air, scarves are coming out and EVERYTHING is pumpkin flavored. It’s also a bit grey and wet out, but it’s still a great time to explore close to home here in Eugene for beautiful fall colors. Last week we participated in a fund raising walk that took us along Willamette River on the East Bank Path through Alton Baker Park which got me thinking about all of the great places around Eugene to enjoy the colors of autumn. I’m originally from Spokane where it is about 80% pine trees, so I have learned to not take a deciduous tree for granted. Here are a few of my favorites spots:
Hendrick’s Park – The Rhododendrons might be gone, but there is still plenty of character in the gardens at Hendricks. A carpet of leaves covers the wide open grass lawns and it is a FANTASTIC spot for creative family portraits – I was up there about a week ago, check it out if you don’t believe me!
Delta Ponds- On a recent walk through the delta ponds by Valley River Center I saw a ton of new birds that I’ve never seen in the ponds before. The water level has dropped and all of the plants and grasses along the shores have turned a lovely shade of orange and yellow. It’s a completely different landscape than it is in the spring. Bird watchers should get out there with their check lists and see what new migratory birds they can pick up.
Spencer Butte – Last, but certainly not least is Spencer Butte. On a recent drive past the park the colors were breath-taking. The trees are turning, but they still have their leaves. If you want the best views of the changing colors of the fall season take one of the great trails on Spencer Butte to the top and take in the amazing panorama. From Fern Ridge to way past Springfield you are going to see a color palate to rival all others and you’ll be getting some great exercise too.
Whichever adventure you choose they are all guaranteed not to disappoint. Don’t let the beauty of fall slip away without getting out there and enjoying it to the fullest! Happy hiking!