7 Reasons for a Fall Trip to Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory
All it takes is one quick look around to see why fall is such a popular season in Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory. The mountain gets its first coat of fresh snow, leaves turn brilliant shades of reds, oranges and yellows – which pair perfectly with evergreens’ plentiful cool hues – and farms burst at the seams with bounty, harvest festivals, corn mazes and pumpkins. There are so many reasons to love a fall trip, but these are our seven favorites.
Crisp leaves and a chill in the air signal the time of year when working farms open their doors for you to discover their unique animals and produce alongside pumpkin patches and other harvest fun. Get lost in Fiala Farms’ two miles of corn maze paths. Visit over 80 animals, including camels and emus, while finding the perfect pumpkin at Frog Pond Farms’ pumpkin patch and spooky farm walk. Head to Boring for Liepold Farms’ harvest festival, one of the largest in the region, and go for a hay ride and meet tree-climbing pygmy goats at Fir Point Farms.
Hikes in Mt. Hood Territory always offer stunning views and natural features, but fall foliage kicks everything up a notch. Discover a once-hidden waterfall in an unassuming Happy Valley neighborhood. Take in over 80 outdoor sculptures in Lake Oswego, search for Bigfoot in Mt. Hood National Forest trails and view salmon returning to spawn in an underground viewing window along Wildwood Recreation Site’s Cascade Streamwatch Trail. And all of this against a stunning fall foliage backdrop, no less!
It’s no secret that Willamette Valley is Oregon’s leading wine region. But you might not know that Mt. Hood Territory’s valleys make up its northeastern portion where family owned and family operated boutique wineries are still the norm. It’s where the winemaker is often the person pouring your glass, and you don’t need to be a wine expert to feel at home. If you download the free Mt. Hood Territory Wine Trail mobile passport, you’ll even get special offers and discounts at 15 of them.
While all of Mt. Hood Territory is beautiful in autumn, there are some absolute standout routes. Travel on the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway, which closely follows the Oregon Trail, to visit iconic Oregon spots with fewer crowds in the off season, such as Timberline Lodge and Trillium Lake. And take in fall color on a Willamette Shore Trolley “drive” in stunning Lake Oswego by the Willamette River.
Fall was the season when many Oregon Trail pioneers finally made it to its official end in Oregon City. It seems only fitting that this time of year is ideal for families to experience living history and historically relevant activities in Mt. Hood Territory. Learn to make butter and candles and watch the new film Oregon’s First People at the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive & Visitor Center. Ask Alexa questions about the Oregon Trail at Philip Foster Farm, and see real Oregon Trail pioneer wagon wheel ruts while hiking parts of the original trail. Download the Mt. Hood Territory Heritage Trail app, featuring more than 25 historical sites, to guide you, and find out the best places to eat, shop and play along the way.
Being the first city west of the Rocky Mountain and the official end of the Oregon Trail, Oregon City has a lot of history to talk about. And with that many stories to tell, chances are you might be hearing from some ghosts as well. Enter Northwest Ghost Tours. Lifelong resident and historian Rocky Smith started these tours to bridge the gap between history and the paranormal.
Fall lodging in Mt. Hood Territory might be the area’s top hidden gem. While scenic hikes and drives are stunning, many of the destination’s lodging options provide their own fall color. Sip locally brewed coffee and watch leaves turn in front of your tiny house at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village. Book soothing spa time and take a dip in the outdoor heated pool against an evergreen and autumnal-colored backdrop at Mt. Hood Oregon Resort. Immerse yourself in rural, main street charm at Molalla’s Prairie House Inn, conveniently located near some of the destination’s best farms. And watch the morning fog travel along the Willamette River at Best Western Plus Rivershore Hotel in Oregon City.
Visit Mt. Hood Territory’s fall page for more inspiration and book your trip today!