CALENDAR CROWDED WITH FALL ACTIVITIES
Already tired of pumpkin patches, corn mazes and haunted houses? Hang in there, there's lots more to do in October that will keep you going with seasonal cheer — whether it's skiing or mushroom hunting, eating and drinking, hiking or getting your hands dirty with service work in the parks.
Here are seven ways to dig into the season in and around Portland:
1. Snow sports
It's snowing at Timberline Lodge, and Palmer Snowfield — for the most advanced skiers and riders — was expected to open on weekends in October, weather permitting. The lower lifts are not yet open and sledding and tubing are not yet permitted, but the lodge is open for hiking on nearby trails and dining at one of Mount Hood's restaurants with a view. Kick off the season at Snowvana, a celebration of snow sports set for Oct. 20-21 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Catch two days of adrenaline-fueled film premieres, live music, craft brews, spirits and deeply discounted gear. For more: www.timberlinelodge.com, www.snowvana.com.
You know about wine pairings, but have you experienced the art of great craft beer pairings? Altabira City Tavern in the Lloyd District focuses on just that. Their next food and beer pairing dinner is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 18, featuring four courses of their modern pub-style menu paired with craft beers from Sound Brewery in Poulsbo, Washington. On the menu: roasted pumpkin bisque, soft-shell crab French toast, beer-braised short ribs and pistachio upside-down cake. Tickets are $50 per person, gratuity not included.
Get your hands dirty and feel good about making the city greener on Oct. 28, this year's No Ivy Day for Portland Parks & Recreation. Help remove English ivy, an invasive species, with a project at Forest Park, Hoyt Arboretum, the Springwater Corridor or one of many neighborhood parks across town. Last year more than 350 volunteers removed more than three acres of ground ivy and cleared the harmful vine from 130 trees. After the work (9 a.m.-noon), celebrate with raffles, food and family fun at three of the sites. Sign up here: www.portlandoregon.gov.
If you're looking for gorgeous fall colors, the best time to get outside is now. Oct. 13-15 is the fifth annual Hike the Gorge weekend, when businesses in Stevenson, Washington — an hour east of Portland, just past the Bridge of the Gods — will give a 10-percent discount to those who come for a hike. Hikers need to mention "Fall Hike in the Gorge Weekend" and show a photo or video of their hike. Falls Creek Falls is 3.4-mile roundtrip through old-growth forest, with a cable bridge crossing that offers spectacular views and a creek crossing to the base of a 335-foot waterfall. Other hikes abound. For more: www.gorgefriends.org.
While summer brings enormous bounty, fall is the time to preserve what's left over. The eighth annual Portland Fermentation Festival — set for Oct. 26 at the Ecotrust rooftop space — is an all-ages celebration that lets enthusiasts sample food, share recipes and try demonstrations. More than 400 people attended last year, tasting everything from kimchi and pickles to miso, cheeses, hard cider and kombucha. This year Reverend Nat's Hard Cider will be making a type of Hawaiian moonshine, Imperfect Produce will hand out samples and recipes, and other vendors will share their favorites. Entry is $10, age 12 and under free. For tickets, visit the event page on Facebook.
Love wine, but don't want to travel to wine country? Southeast Wine Collective, 2425 S.E. 35th Place, is a hotspot in the city's thriving urban winery scene. The collective just launched Harvest Saturdays, a free tasting hour from 4-5 p.m. each Saturday this fall. The 10 winemakers will take turns sharing the stories from their harvest, including a show and taste. As you sip, watch grapes being delivered from the vineyards, hand-sorted and prepared for processing through a variety of techniques. Also visit any of the city's two dozen urban wineries for tasting flights, paired snacks and access to the winemakers themselves. For more: www.sewinecollective.com, www.pdxurbanwine.com.
7. Hood River Harvest Festival
OK, so there are pumpkins here, but there's a whole lot more. Celebrate the fall bounty and show the gorge some love after the Eagle Creek Fire at the 35th annual Hood River Valley Harvest Fest, Oct. 13-15.
More than 120 vendors will showcase their produce, artisan products, arts and crafts, wine, cider and beer tastings.
Bring home boxes of fresh pears, apples, pumpkins, berries, flowers and tasty treats — from pies and jams to smoked salmon and chocolate-covered cherries. A kids' activity area and pie-eating contest round out the fun. For more: www.hoodriver.org/harvest-fest.