Celebrate Fall in Albany, Oregon

Hannah Bridge by Dina Ratzlaff

Colorful foliage and harvest time are basic ingredients for a classic fall getaway. Add in covered bridges and a charming, historic city and you have one of the Northwest’s most iconic fall destinations: Albany, Oregon.

Autumn at Waverly Lake by Dave Maestas

Albany sits only an hour from Portland, making it perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway. Weekend travelers can use Albany as a convenient home base and venture out to the surrounding countryside for a number of fall-season activities. Find accommodations in Albany that are right for you at https://albanyvisitors.com/stay. For safe and responsible lodging, consider Comfort Suites or Phoenix Inn Suites, both conveniently located near I-5.

First, pack a picnic and make finding the area’s covered bridges your mission on a scenic country drive. A 2.5-hour self-guided tour will take you to five covered bridges, all surrounding the nearby town of Scio. About 13 miles east of Albany, you’ll find Hoffman Covered Bridge (1936), spanning 90 feet; this is one of the most remarkable bridges in Willamette Valley for its handcraftsmanship and its Gothic windows. Next, drive about 7 miles to the Gilkey Covered Bridge (1939), which has open sides for views of the flowing water. A relative newcomer to the Linn County covered bridge family is Shimanek Covered Bridge (1966), also sporting Gothic-style windows and a red paint job, atypical of the white color on most covered bridges. Next, the Hannah Covered Bridge (1936) was constructed on land from an original 1846 land grant. Last, the Larwood Covered Bridge sits in a park, next to an old water wheel, an ideal spot to break open the picnic basket. Find directions and more information at https://albanyvisitors.com/history/covered-bridges.

Photo by Gary Thurman

Next, stretch your legs on a day hike on one of the many trails in town or in the surrounding countryside. In Albany, you have many options for urban hikes. What better way to get to know a new city? Find the trail that’s right for you, such as the paved, 3-miles (round trip) Dave Clark Trail for a riverfront walk near parks, the historic carousel and two breweries (for when you need to “hydrate”) or the very short Waverly Lake Loop (only 0.7 mile). Outside of town, you can hike the McDowell Creek Falls Trail to aptly named Majestic Falls, 1.8 scenic miles in McDowell Creek Falls County Park. All of the above trails are classified as easy. Find all your outdoor recreation options in Albany at https://albanyvisitors.com/explore/recreation.

Back in Albany, hit the shops and restaurants. Men can pick up stylish new fall duds at The Natty Dresser, and women can find chic fall fashions and accessories at Emma Downtown. A perfect way to draw the busy day to a close is with a bottle of wine grown in Willamette Valley and dinner at the award-winning Sybaris Bistro. All of these establishments are in the same downtown block near Albany’s famed carousel.

Plan your Albany getaway by visiting https://albanyvisitors.com.

Farmers Market by Dan Bateman