Fall is a fantastic time of year in the Pacific Northwest. We still get to enjoy warm weather until mid-October and when the leaves finally do change color, it’s nothing short of stunning. In addition to the natural beauty of the Portland area, there’s plenty of fun fall activities to get excited about as well.
Visit one of the area’s pumpkin patches or corn mazes or get the living daylight scared out of you in a terrifyingly real haunted house. Or take a ghost tour and celebrate Halloween in a way that’ll give you goosebumps now and nightmares later. And don’t forget to celebrate the fall harvest at an area farm or go on a nice long nature hike and witness the changing of the seasons.
Read our list of more fun fall activities in Portland, OR, and let us know if we forgot one of your favorites!
1. Peruse Pumpkin Patches
There is no shortage of pumpkin patches in and around the Portland area during the fall season. In addition to picking the best pumpkin, you and your family can enjoy hayrides, corn mazes, apple cider, and maybe even see some ghoulish creatures coming through the corn. Stop by Sauvie Island’s Pumpkin Patch where you can visit the animal barn, a specialty market of homemade goods, find your way through the Corn Maze, tour the farm, and take a hayride to pick from-the-soil pumpkins.
If you would like to shoot a pumpkin out of a cannon, experience amazing scenery, ride the slides, pick pumpkins, and see farm animals, then you must stop by Plumber Pumpkin Patch and Tree Farm. If you’re looking to combine fright with a pumpkin patch, visit Sauvie Island’s Bella Organic Pumpkin Patch and Winery where you can treat yourself to wine and cider tastings, caramel corn, or dare your friends to walk the haunted corn maze creeping with ghoulish figures! With so many pumpkin patches to explore in the Portland area during fall, you and your family are guaranteed to have fun!
2. Go on Portland Ghost Tours
Explore the unknown mysteries and scary histories of Portland with various haunted Portland tours. Learn about the Shanghai Tunnels below the city sidewalks where lawlessness and torture took place. Visit haunted establishments where murder and mayhem occurred, hear the dark history of Portland’s seedy underbelly. Experience places like the Benson Hotel and its frightening tales of sightings. Take a tour where you visit 8-12 of the most haunted locations in Portland with tours lasting 60-90 minutes or take a walking tour where you will also learn about paranormal activity, Ghost Hunting 101, and paranormal hoaxes and illusions.
3. Capture The Spirit of Halloweentown
Located 30 miles northwest of Portland in the town of St. Helens, Halloween is celebrated with great pomp and circumstance. The movies Halloweentown and Twilight were partially filmed in St. Helens, but the town has made it a must-see experience during the Halloween season.
Experience the giant pumpkin at the courthouse plaza that stays lit all month. There’s plenty to see with a costume contest, trick-or-treating through town, the haunted hotel/haunted house, scarecrows, walking tours, haunted history, gift shop and Dark Market, Museum of Peculiarities and Oddities, the Alien Exhibit, Whispers in the Woods, and more!
4. Hang Out in Haunted Houses
If you are in the mood to get scared, check out some of Portland’s most frightening haunted houses. Underhill Haunted House, previously the Beneath, is 40,000 square feet of pure fear and entertainment. This year, Underhill Haunted House and Fearlandia present Season of Screams with Underhill Manor, where Madam Underhill hides dark secrets within a terror-filled mansion.
Next, dare to visit Night Terrors where all your fears and phobias come alive! Fear’s Gate leads you to the unknown where evil resides, and lastly, for the kids, Kids Monster Fest for an immersive, kid-friendly matinee experience. For Portland’s largest Halloween experience, The Fear: Haunted House will test your bravery. Its attractions include Factory 13, The Kill Floor, Blood House, Midway of Fear, and Layers of Darkness. Visitors Beware!
5. Navigate Amazing Corn Mazes
Get lost in the fall air and enjoy local corn mazes that will entertain the entire family. Test out your navigation skills and spend a day enjoying corn-maze creations with special treats to reward yourself for a job well done. As mentioned previously, The Original Maize at the Pumpkin Patch and Bella Organic on Sauvie Island offer over 2 miles of twists and turns and provide passports to help you figure your way out of the amazing mazes.
Lee Farms offers a 3-acre corn maze with hayrides, slides, bouncy houses, and great treats. Packard Orchards in the Hood River Valley offers a kids-only corn maze, hay tower, and pumpkin bowling. Lastly, Topaz Farm offers extra-wide pathways and a maze within a maze for kids. Check out these and more corn mazes in the Portland area this Fall!
6. Hood River Valley Harvest Fest
Presented by Visit Hood River, the Hood River Valley Harvest Fest is celebrating its 39th year during October 15-17th. This Fall festival brings local vendors together offering local produce, products, wine, beer, cider, and more along the scenic Hood River waterfront. Stock up on local favorites like pears, apples, pumpkins, pies, and jams during the 3-day event. The kids can enjoy face painting and bouncy houses while the adults can enjoy tastings and shopping.
7. Take a Hike
With so much beautiful landscape surrounding Portland, it’s not hard to imagine that hiking is the best way to see fall in all its splendor. Get your hiking gear ready to see the colorful leaves on some of Portland’s best hiking trails. A quick 10-minute drive out of Portland will land you at the Wildwood Trail. With a healthy dense forest that takes you across Barbara Walker Crossing, this trail will amaze with its colorful backdrop.
Hoyt Arboretum’s 30-minute loop trail offers numerous hiking trails that will allow you to experience the vastness of trees and species that surround Portland. With over 6,000 trees, this trail will be undeniably beautiful in the Fall.
Lower Macleay to Pittock Mansion is a very popular, 5-mile trail due to the amazing viewpoint Pittock Mansion offers. On this trail, you will walk along a creek with a lush forest, pass the infamous Witch’s Castle, and end at the Mansion where views of Portland equal the beauty of the surrounding Fall foliage.
If native flora interests you, the Marquam Trail Nature Park Loop is perfect! You will see western hemlock, western red cedar, vine maple, and big-leaf maples along this breathtaking trail. The red maples explode with color during the Fall, and the Marquam Mosaic is a must-see experience.
If you want to combine the beauty of Fall with an exquisite waterfall, then drive 35 minutes out of Portland and visit Multnomah Falls and hike to see the most famous waterfall in Oregon.