Green Lake Park, Seattle WA
7201 East Green Lake Dr N., (206) 684-4075, website
Walk (or ride) the paved 2.8 mile trail that circumnavigates this urban lake oasis, lined with bright yellow willow and deciduous trees of many kinds. In fall, migrating waterfowl start to arrive to overwinter here–look for bufflehead, grebes, scaups and lots of American wigeon.
Seward Park Loop, Seattle WA
5900 Lake Washington Blvd. S, (206) 684-4396, website
This flat paved path follows the shore of a peninsula that juts out into Lake Washington, lined with lovely deciduous trees and bushes that turn burnt orange, blazing red and brilliant gold in autumn.
Mercer Slough Nature Park, Bellevue WA
2101 118th Ave SE, (425) 452-2565, website
Two miles of trail loops around the largest wetland complex on Lake Washington, most of it on boardwalk. The stroll circles a real working blueberry farm with bushes that turn a deep auburn in fall, along with mustard0yellow birch leaves and crimson dogwood.
Evans Creek Preserve, Redmond WA
4001 224th Ave NE, (425) 295-0553, website
Up to 3.5 miles of mostly-easy trails which can be looped take you through meadows and woods, habitat for birds, frogs and other critters (and perhaps even a black bear). Autumn foliage paints the landscape many colors.
Snake Lake / Tacoma Nature Center, Tacoma WA
1919 South Tyler St., (253) 404-3930, website
This oasis in the city features a nature loop trail that crosses a footbridge over wildlife-rich wetlands. Look for bright red vine maple, vibrant yellow of Oregon ash, and a whole sunset palette in Sitka alder…just to name a few.
Interurban Trail, Bellingham WA
Donovan Ave. and 10th St., Fairhaven, website
This mostly-flat trail meanders for 6.6 miles between Fairhaven and Larrabee State Park along an old railway through mixed forest, carpeted in fall with colorful fallen maple and oak leaves. Hike it, jog it, or ride your bike.
Riverside State Park, Bowl and Pitcher, Spokane WA
4427 N Aubrey L White Pkwy, (509) 625-5553, website
, Discover Pass required
Beautiful hues of basalt formations frame the vivid yellows and reds of deciduous trees mixed with ponderosa pine along a turbulent river.
Hoyt Arboretum, Portland OR
4000 SW Fairview Blvd, (503) 865-8733, website
More than 2,000 species of trees and shrubs have been planted here on this 189-acre arboretum atop a ridge in the Tualatin Mountains just west of downtown, so expect a variety of spectacular foliage here on a walk in October.
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood OR
19255 SW Pacific Hwy, (503) 625-5944, website
The refuge has 4.5 miles of trails (2 of them open through winter) and several unique wildlife habitats, including wetlands, open water and oak prairie, tinged shades of rusty yellow and orange in fall. The shorter days welcome migrating shorebirds and waterfowl back to the refuge, so bring binoculars.
Deschutes River Walk, Bend OR
1000 Southwest Reed Market Road, website
Access the trail via Farewell Bend Park in Bend, the Deschutes River Trail is a cyclist’s dream, a paved path that runs along the beautiful waterway that is the heart of the city. Peak fall color along this route will take your breath away.