Some say summer is what keeps them living in Western Washington, while others are diehard fall fans. It’s true, New England is featured across the nation as the place to view fall color, but here in the Northwest we experience our own wonderland of turning leaves. Red, gold, russet, orange — a flaming palette — blends seamlessly with filtered sunlight and cooler, crisp temperatures. Early fall is an ideal time to wander and wind our way through trails, gardens, farms and roads. Pull out a jacket, don a hat and grab your camera — these local spots will fill your vision with delicate patterns and eye catching hues.
Snohomish County boasts its own share of trails, and the skill levels are as varied as the fall foliage you’ll see. If you’re looking for an ambling hike with little elevation gain and short distances, Yost Park in Edmonds is an excellent choice. The park possesses many native species — big leaf maple, red alder, western red cedar and western hemlock among its other plants — and in autumn, the colors come alive displaying vibrant casts of colors. If you’re lucky, you’ll spy the pair of barred owls who have made Yost their home.
Not far away, Meadowdale Beach offers a different fall experience. The steeper trail presents a bit more challenge, but the journey is worth it. Not only are you surrounded by warm tones, you’ll score some beach time before the climb back to the car. The last hike will thrill those who want to put in some serious effort and mileage. Gothic Basin has been characterized as stark, barren and beautiful, yet the trip affords some brilliant fall views. The trail is difficult — however, the scenery is unmatched and displays lakes, rivers, waterfalls, meadows and epic colors. Hint: Check the conditions before you go.
One of Everett’s hidden gems is the Evergreen Arboretum and Gardens. It’s not big, but has been around since 1963, and is a nice place for a foliage-filled lunch break. A couple of nice highlights include the Japanese Maple Grove and the Small Urban Tree Walk.
Craven Farm is known for many different things — a wedding venue, pumpkin patch and a stunning location in the fall. Plan your visit during their Fall Festival which runs from September 27th through October 31st. Drive. Sometimes it’s nice to just get in the car and go. Hidden highways and less-traveled roads are waiting to flaunt their fall spectacles. Try the Mountain Loop Highway or the Cascade Loop. Those with an explorer’s heart can make up their own route by turning onto random roads with promising landscapes.