Welcome to the stunning fall foliage of Clark County, Washington! As the leaves start to paint the landscape in vibrant hues of red, orange, and gold, it's the perfect time to embark on a scenic journey through Southwest Washington. Discover some of the most captivating and easy-to-reach locations in and around Vancouver. Don't forget to bring your camera and soak up the fall atmosphere!
Northern Clark County Scenic Drive
Embark on an unforgettable adventure with the Northern Clark County Scenic Drive, a must-visit destination during the fall season. This 70-mile tour takes you on a picturesque journey through countryside landscapes, providing breathtaking views of the ever-changing foliage. From Battle Ground to Yacolt, La Center to Ridgefield, tour signs will guide you through parks like Lucia Falls, Moulton Falls, and Whipple Creek, offering ideal spots to capture the best light and colors. Immerse yourself in history as you encounter the Cedar Creek Grist Mill (pictured), and Cathlapotle Plankhouse (at the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge). Don't forget to pack a picnic, as there are several pull-off spots where you can savor the fall ambiance.
Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge
Discover a birdwatcher's paradise at Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge during the enchanting fall months. With accessible viewing platforms and trails, you can capture the stunning sight of migratory birds amidst the colorful autumn foliage. Take the scenic River 'S' Discovery Auto Tour route for a 4.2-mile loop through lush wetlands, grasslands, and forests, where you might spot red foxes alongside the vibrant red leaves. Don't miss the Kiwa Trail, a 1.2-mile accessible loop open from May to September, winding through Oregon ash trees and serene wetland areas. It's an inclusive experience surrounded by the peaceful sounds of nature.
All aboard the Chelatchie Prairie Train for an unforgettable autumn adventure! Experience the magic of fall foliage as the historic train whisks you through the scenic beauty of northern Clark County, from Yacolt to Moulton Falls and Chelatchie Prairie, and back. The journey includes special events like fall leaves runs, murder mysteries, staged hold-ups, and even encounters with a ghostly Headless Horseman. Don't miss this unique opportunity to witness the breathtaking vistas of fall colors from the vintage train's perspective. Remember to book your tickets in advance, as this is a popular seasonal attraction.
Battle Ground Lake State Park
Embrace the wonders of autumn at Battle Ground Lake State Park, a gem for fall foliage viewing near Vancouver. Leave behind the city's hustle and bustle and venture into this serene park with gentle walking trails, granting you effortless access to vibrant autumn leaves mirrored in the calm waters. Surrounded by the lush forested foothills of the Cascade Mountains, the lake's volcanic origin adds to its allure, often likened to a smaller version of Oregon's iconic Crater Lake. (Discover Pass is needed to visit Battle Ground Lake State Park)
Experience the beautiful autumn season at Lacamas Lake while enjoying the colorful foliage and quiet trails. Be sure to keep an eye out for various bird species and the occasional deer sighting while exploring the park. For a shorter outdoor adventure, the Round Lake Loop Trail offers a 1.2-mile hike with stunning views of the Vine Maples, suitable for all skill levels. If you're up for a longer hike, continue on the Round Lake Loop Trail and follow the Lacamas Heritage Trail for an 8.2-mile round-trip hike that showcases the region's beauty during the fall season.
Take a step back in time and enjoy the beauty of autumn with a historical twist at Officers Row at the historic reserve in Vancouver. This walk is especially enchanting during the Fall with some of the most colorful fall foliage in Clark County. This stunningly preserved site boasts 22 Victorian homes on the National Historic Register. The tree-lined promenade, known as Officers Rows, is a popular spot for runners, dog walkers, history enthusiasts, and families to enjoy the picturesque scenery. Download The Historic Trust's brochure map and discover the leaves and needles of the Bigleaf Maple, American Elm, and Douglas Fir, among others.
Esther Short Park
Located in downtown Vancouver, Esther Short Park is a lovely urban setting to admire the autumn leaves. The park's prime location ensures easy access and its towering trees transform into a beautiful array of colors, creating a lively backdrop for a peaceful day in the city. Additionally, the Vancouver Farmers Fall Market is a popular attraction on Saturdays, November through March, open from 10 am to 2 pm (excluding December 23rd and 30th) rain or shine.