Fall has ambled into the Harbor, lighting up the landscape like neon signs in Times Square.
When it comes to taking in the season’s colorful floor show, everyone has their favorite front row seat. In no particular order, here are 11 sites where you can watch Grays Harbor strut her fall finery before winter takes the stage (you best be quick. Just sayin’.):
If you’re looking for big splashes of fall color, this is the place. Come for the color. Stay for the books.
2) Vance Creek County Park, Elma. The trees ringing the park’s two lakes blaze with fall color.
Located off Highway 12 in Elma.
3) Elton Bennett Nature Park, Hoquiam.
Hoquiam’s sole nature park. Named after the late artist Elton Bennett who once roamed the park gaining inspiration for his work. Nestled below Sunset Memorial Cemetery, the park includes short paths suitable for any age as well as towering conifers and creek crossings. Keep an ear out for varied thrushes and other feathered songsters.
Grand Avenue and Sunset Avenue, Hoquiam.
4) Cosmopolis Treaty Grounds, 1st and H Streets, Cosmopolis.
One word here: Red!
5) 28th Street Viewing Tower, Hoquiam. Glimpse a harbor seal or frolicking sea otters from this triple-decker viewing tower. Catch a bird’s eye view of the Port or the fall foliage on Rennie Island. If you get here early, you may be rewarded with stunning images of autumn mist rising off the water.
6) Highway 12 off-ramp at S. Main Street in Montesano.
Take a quick gander at the fall frocks these trees are fluttering along this off-ramp!
Check out the trees along the school courtyard or Sea Breeze Oval. Get in some laps and enjoy fall finery at the track. A clump of trees is located just west of the scoreboard at the track. They blaze with fall color every year. So do the trees lining the school entrance.
501 W Emerson Ave, Hoquiam
8) Lake Sylvia State Park, Montesano. A 233-acre camping park located halfway between Olympia and the Pacific shore. The park is an old logging camp in a wooded area. Deciduous trees dress out in glorious fall hues around the 15,000 feet of freshwater shoreline.
1813 Lake Sylvia Road, Montesano. Open 8:00 a.m. to dusk. A Discover Pass is required.
9) State Street and So. Michigan, Aberdeen.
Check out the trees lining the streets by The Daily World offices.
10) Lake Quinault. The “southern gateway of Olympic National Park,” Lake Quinault is surrounded by a world-class coniferous rain forest. If you’re looking for stunning fall images on land or water, this is the place. Try the Falls Creek or the Shoreline Trails for jaw-dropping views of fall foliage, racing waterfalls, and moss-draped trees.
Take U.S. 101 N to South Shore Road. Turn right. Follow the signs or stop in at the ranger station for additional information.
11) Sunset Memorial Park, Hoquiam.
This may seem like an add place to take in some fall color. But snap-to precision rows of trees lining the cemetery roads break into a riot of fall color every year. On a clear day you can see forever from the crest of Sunset and Skyline Loops. A peaceful, quiet site. Come early and you’re likely to be joined to a deer or two.
601-699 Grand Avenue, Hoquiam.
If you missed this year’s display of fall finery on the Harbor, don’t worry. There’s always next year.
What’s your favorite fall finery site?