Oregon blooms

Written by: Claire Phillips | Entertainment Editor

If one is on the lookout for dazzling wildlife within Oregon, there are many places nearby to explore. Spring is the peak season to see bright flowers bloom. However, it is important to remember to be respectful of these natural areas. Be sure to follow guidelines, and don’t forget to pack adequate hiking equipment to keep oneself and others safe.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm: Marion County, OR — This large tulip farm showcases its colorful blooms annually, as a sign that spring has arrived in Oregon. One doesn’t have to simply look at the flowers; the farm also includes a variety of activities, such as the Tulip Market, wine tasting and even hot air balloon rides. The farm is currently open to visitors until May 5.

Saddle Mountain State Natural Area: Clatsop County, OR — Saddle Mountain is known for both its height and beloved wildflowers, with trails beginning in a picnic area and ending at the rocky peak. Saddle Mountain formed during the Miocene and served as a reserve for a variety of plant species during the Ice Age. This area is a fantastic place to see rare plant and animal species.

Cone Peak: Linn County, OR — Cone Peak is full of over 300 different wildflower species throughout spring. Not to be mistaken for the Cone Peak in California, Oregon’s Cone Peak is a six mile loop trail located near Cascadia. On the trail, hikers can expect to see volcanic craggy rock in addition to the wildflowers

Silver Falls State Park: Marion County, OR — In addition to the flowers the “crown jewel” of Oregon State Parks provides, Silver Falls is home to 10 stunning waterfalls. Silver Falls includes picnic areas, campgrounds and hiking trails for anyone interested in nature. Visitors might see blooms of yellow, purple and pink as they explore the park in spring. “Twilight” fans may even spot Bella and Edward in the lush treetops.

Tom McCall Preserve: Wasco County, OR — This natural preserve is named after Oregon’s late governor, Thomas Lawson McCall, who was dedicated to preserving nature in the state. Rare plant populations are monitored by ecologists, and in the spring, volunteers lead interpretive hikes. The preserve looks over the Columbia River Gorge and is filled with striking wildflowers from February to July. 

Marys Peak: Benton County, OR — Located in our very own Willamette Valley, Marys Peak never ceases to amaze visitors year-round. It has been designated as a Scenic Botanical Area due to its wildlife and plants. Peak wildflower bloom in Marys Peak occurs typically around mid-May to the end of June but has extended from April to July in some years.

Contact the author at howlentertainment@wou.edu