Six Reasons to Visit Oregon’s Tualatin Valley This Fall
Autumn in Tualatin Valley is a treat to the senses. The crisp, cool air. The smell of fireplaces burning. The crackling sound of fallen leaves underfoot. The sight of beautiful valleys as they glow in hues of orange, red and green. We’ve compiled a list of the six top reasons to visit Tualatin Valley this fall.
1. Ole Bolle the Troll: Thomas Dambo’s New Art Piece the First of the Northwest Troll Trail
The newest art installation in the Pacific Northwest is a “troll trail,” titles Northwest Troll: Way of the Bird King. This larger than life installation features giant hand-built trolls by internationally acclaimed Danish environmental artist Thomas Dambo. This unique project features six giant hand-built Nordic troll characters, fashioned entirely out of recycled materials. The trolls are located at six sites in the Puget Sound region, including the National Nordic Museum in Seattle, plus a troll on the Nordic Northwest Campus in Tualatin Valley.
2. New Experiences
Much like the seasons of the year, Tualatin Valley is an ever-evolving destination with new surprises around every corner. Explore some of the newest dining adventures of the region. From the new Magna Kubo, a filipino “lechonería,” from for 2022 James-Beard Award finalist, Chef Carlo Lamagna to the recently opened Dough Zone Dumpling House, a highly popular restaurant originally established in Bellevue, Washington. Book an overnight stay at Sosta House, a farm-stay bed-and-breakfast located at Hamacher Wines. Or sample wines at Failla Wines, a new winery from California winemaker, Ehren Jordan.
3. The Wine Harvest
During autumn months, our wineries are hoppin’ with activity. From harvest to crush, the energy at our award-winning wineries is infectious. Although wine lovers will have to wait to get a taste of the 2021 harvest, tasting room visitors may have the opportunity to sample and buy new releases throughout the fall.
4. Pumpkin Patches & U-Pick Harvest Season
Fall is apple season, and whether you pick your own or buy them already picked, bite into a fresh, Tualatin Valley apple. Apples ripen in late summer, so September is prime picking time for apples such as Gravenstein and Akane. Smith Berry Barn grows more than two dozen varieties of apples and pears in its u-pick orchard. Bell’s Orchard has “short orchards,” which allows families to pick apples without a ladder. Let others do the picking for you at Oregon Heritage Farms, where they offer a huge selection of “ready-picked” apples and fresh-pressed apple cider. Throughout October, several pumpkin patches are open for harvest family fun throughout October.
5. Autumn Bird Migration
October is bird migration season, as the Tualatin Valley is on the Pacific Flyway, the north-south path for migratory birds in North America and South America. The Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge and Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve are just two wildlife areas with trails that offer some of the best bird watching opportunities in the Tualatin Valley during this active season. Or check out Tualatin Valley’s newest nature park, Killin Wetlands, located right off the new Trees to Sea Scenic Byway.
6. Fall Colors
September and October are prime months for “leaf-peeping” in the Tualatin Valley. One of the best ways to view the splendor of the Tualatin Valley this time of year, is with a drive along the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route, a 60-mile driving tour. If you’d rather view the fall colors by bike, the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway, which includes the 21-mile (one way) Banks-Vernonia State Trail rails-to-trails car-free pathway, takes cyclists on a journey through scenic agricultural and rural lands.
The vastness of the Tualatin Valley, especially when venturing beyond the urban cities, offers innumerable options for outdoor recreation. Many of the valley’s 727 square miles are devoted to pristine, rural wetlands, nature parks, wildlife refuges, verdant forests, tranquil waters and open fields, perfect spots for hiking and cycling, paddle trips, fishing, birding and wildlife watching and other outdoor recreational pursuits.
Oregon is undoubtedly one of the finer places in the country for birding, as it’s filled with a rich mixture of habitats including forests, wetlands, marshes, lakes, rivers, and beaches. Many species of birds live here in the Tualatin Valley year-round, and dozens of species are just “passing through” during the fall migration season.
Whether you are planning to explore the tasting rooms of the northern Willamette Valley, or want to take the road less traveled and see the Tualatin Valley by car, bike, foot or kayak, we have the tour routes and trails to help you accomplish your mission. Find a trail to match your interests, or create your own Tualatin Valley adventure using these trails as a guideline.