Fall is full of sensory inspiration, especially when you live in the Pacific Northwest. It is entirely possible that our region invented fall comfort foods, with our beautiful selections of autumn gourds and squashes. With a crisp air taking over the summer heat, Portlanders pull on their favorite jackets and beanies, eager for the shift in weather to arrive. As we say goodbye to our days of sunshine and abstinence from rain, we enjoy the best that fall has to offer in the Portland area. Grabbing our favorite seasonal treats and an aptly spiced latte we can head out to some local hiking areas to feast our eyes on the true cornucopia of the fall: fall foliage. These hikes are within just a few miles from Portland- the perfect distance for a fall bike ride.
The Hoyt Arboretum is one of the many natural wonders within a short distance of Portland. We are lucky in Portland to have our own beautiful centers of nature like the Japanese gardens and the Rose garden, within close proximity to one another. Full of beautiful parks and surrounded by the breathtaking mountains of the Pacific Northwest, Portland is a sight to behold. Just four miles outside of the city is the Hoyt Arboretum in Washington Park just near the Oregon Zoo. This living memorial to the sanctity of the tree is full of options for trail walking. During the month of October, there are tours specifically curated to highlight the fall foliage. From nature loops to the Wildwood Trail, there are many opportunities to see the various trees of different colors highlighting Portland’s natural beauty.
Maple-Wildwood Loop Hike
Only three miles outside of Portland, this hike in Forest Park offers a refuge from the bustling crowd of Portlander walkers. Trails within a close proximity to the city often struggle to give walkers any privacy. Popular during many seasons, this hike gets a refreshingly low population as the weather turns more chilly. For a moderate hike of over eight miles, you can take in beautiful flowers, trees, and other natural sights.
Hamilton Mountain Loop
Portlanders and nature enthusiasts alike were devastated and heartbroken by this past summer’s wildfires which took out some of the most famous landscapes in the Pacific Northwest. Part of the Columbia River Gorge, this hike on the Washington side is a good 70 miles outside of Portland and untouched by the Eagle Creek fire. The difficult and lengthy hike of almost ten miles will take you on a journey through three different waterfalls, some of which include the eye-pleasing bursts of yellow maples.
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