Thursday, September 10, 2009

Plan a Fall Foliage Trip

(Photos courtesy of Kate Thomas Keown)

There's no need to travel all the way to Vermont to see incredible fall foliage. There are many amazing areas here in Oregon for viewing the beautiful autumnal hues of red, orange and gold. There is even a web-blog called Oregon Fall Foliage where you can get information about the best areas in Oregon for viewing the changing colors. You can also call the Fall Foliage Hotline at 800.547.5445. If you really want to get your fill of fall you need to come to the Ranch. As you drive in along Hawks Beard you'll pass through a grove of Aspens that is absolutely stunning. There is one section of Hawks Beard where you are completely engulfed by aspens on both sides of the road and if you're there during the afternoon you will experience the "glow" from the fluttering, golden leaves. If you're riding along the bike paths at the Ranch you'll most likely go through an area I like to call the "enchanted forest" where the pathway cuts through an aspen grove that is awe-inspiring. The Ranch is surrounded by fall foliage and there are many vistas of the surrounding mountains rife with color.

Autumn is also a great time to get in some hiking. Near the Ranch is the short but steep trail up Black Butte(see blog post dated August 27, 2009), or you can follow the Proxy Falls Loop Trail just off Highway 242 where patches of red and orange vine maple decorate the lava fields along the trail. Also, while staying at the Ranch, another "must do" hike that is particularly great for families, is along the Metolius river (Camp Sherman - Wizard Falls Hike). This is quite special during autumn. Check out our "What's Happening at the Ranch" guide for a complete listing of guided hikes that take off from the Ranch, including the Wizard Falls hike.

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