Deciduous trees have this whole aging thing down. Instead of wrinkles and back problems, they celebrate the twilight of their lives with a brilliant burst of red and gold. This marvelous process, known as senescence, is on full display in the Spokane region, where parks, neighborhoods and trails are all adorned in the season’s hues. Here are some of the best spots to check out:
A tree lover’s paradise, Spokane’s arboretum features more than 2,000 labeled ornamental trees. For those who want a little information to complement their foliage, make sure to check out the Self-Guided Walking Tour. The guide takes visitors through the area’s diverse tree collection, identifying Dawn Redwood, Japanese Umbrella Pine, Tri-color Beeche and much more.
Manito Park is home to five showcase gardens, but the flowers don’t have to be in bloom for the park to be at its best. At Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Memorial Japanese Garden, scarlet maple leaves beautifully frame serene koi ponds and footbridges. South of the park, visitors will find a canopy of gold foliage covering Manito Boulevard – a perfect spot for a neighborhood stroll. When you’re done, reward yourself at nearby Rockwood Bakery.
This five-mile loop located in the Spokane Valley offers spectacular fall colors. The trail culminates at the Rocks of Sharon, a group of large granite monoliths located on the hill’s ridgeline. The largest monolith, creatively named “Big Rock,” stands 230-feet high. From the rock, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Steptoe Butte, Mica Peak and the Palouse.
For a pastoral view of fall, head to Green Bluff, where turning leaves accent the fields of family farms. In addition to the colors, visitors can enjoy a slew of activities at the Apple Festival. Open every weekend through October 25, the event features corn mazes, live music, wine tasting, apple and pumpkin picking, great food and more.
The historic mansions of Browne’s Addition look even statelier amongst the neighborhood’s gold oaks and scarlet maples. To find the best houses and learn their stories, check out Spokane Historical. Their website offers an interactive map with descriptions. While you’re in the area, make sure to check out the colors in Coeur d’Alene Park.
Fall colors can be found throughout the 37-mile Centennial Trail, but the section that runs from Gonzaga University through Riverfront Park offers the most deciduous trees. On a particularly clear day, you can even catch the leaves reflecting off the neighboring Spokane River.