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Fall Nature Picking Activities in the PNW

4 min read

Fall Nature Picking Activities in the PNW - Woman picking apples - PNW Life Header Image

This fall, be sure to put down the pumpkin spice latte and enjoy all the outdoor activities the Pacific Northwest has to offer. From amazing pumpkins, to fresh berries, apples, mushrooms, and more, a plethora of picking activities are at your fingertips. Enjoy gathering food at its freshest in some of the most stunning scenery in the country. And while you’re at it, be sure to equip yourself with gear that is equally as awesome. Check out PNW Journey apparel and accessories to help prepare yourself for these great picking adventures.

Apple Picking

Apple season is one of the best times of year to be in the Pacific Northwest. The crisp, cool air and the colorful leaves are great reasons to get outside and enjoy picking some of the most deliciously fresh apples you’ll eat all year. From the crunchy and mild to the sweet and tangy, orchards across the area grow apple varieties to fit every palate and seasonal dish.

Pumpkin Picking

Pumpkin picking in the PNW

Fall would not be fall without pumpkins. Many farms across the Pacific Northwest allow you to pick your own pumpkins, while surrounded by the charming nostalgia of hayrides and corn mazes. If you don't want to pick your own pumpkin, they’re also plentiful at grocery stores and farmer's markets. No matter where you get them, prepare to have some of the best pumpkin pies and spookiest jack-o’-lanterns around. A favorite place for both pumpkin and apple picking is Green Bluff in Spokane.

Berry Picking

Huckleberries, salmonberries, blackberries, thimbleberries, and raspberries abound throughout the Pacific Northwest in the fall. The best part about berry picking is that you don't need special equipment, like ladders, to reach the fruit. You can simply pluck them right off the bush. Whether you want to enjoy them on their own or use them for seasonal pies, jams, or other baked goods, fall is peak harvest time for many berries.

Mushroom Collecting

Bolete mushroom picking

Found in cool, shady forest floors hidden from the sun, mushrooms are fun and easy to spot from the myriad forest trails in the Pacific Northwest. Mushrooms in the area come in many shapes and sizes. Some are safe to eat, while others may be poisonous. A good knife is key to properly removing mushrooms from the ground. It is important to research the differences between mushrooms before eating any. Also, some of the best foraging spots require special permits, like Mount Hood National Forest, while other great places, like Oregon State Forest lands, do not. Be sure to check local regulations before you begin your mushroom foraging adventure.

Moss and Lichen Collecting

Moss and lichen collecting is a great addition to any fall nature walk. Mosses and lichen often look like furry, fuzzy growths on rocks and trees in the forest. Be sure to bring you mud and rain gear, as they thrive in damp areas. The greens and browns carpeting the forest floor is often a beautiful sight.

Leaf Collecting

Leaf collecting

There is not a more perfect time than autumn to collect leaves from the vast array of trees in the Pacific Northwest. You can press the leaves and add them to your collection or use them in projects or decorations. Oak leaves are known for their beautiful color and texture, though there are scores of tree species native to the area to explore. Also, take a moment to soak in the breathtaking view of a Pacific Northwest forest as it becomes a symphony of color.

Flower Collecting

The Pacific Northwest is a great place to find beautiful wildflowers during the fall. Whether you plan to bring some home or simply wish to marvel at their beauty, the high-alpine area near Seattle offers some of the most stunning views of wildflower-dotted mountains. Be sure to follow the rules of the trail and double-check to see if picking is permitted.

Picking Tips And Tools

There are a few things you should know before you head out on your first picking trip. First, always be sure to check local regulations for picking in your area. Second, dress appropriately for your activity.


Scotts glovesFor the Pacific Northwest, it’s important to have a quality pair of gloves. The weather can turn on a dime in the fall, and it’s nice to have something to protect your hands from the elements. A pair of leather gloves will help keep your hands warm and dry, and they’ll also help protect you from sharp thorns or prickly pine cones. A good pair of leather gloves will last you for years, so they’re an investment well worth making.

Scotts brand makes a whole line of gloves that will suit whatever picking you are doing this fall.


Safety glassesYou may also want to invest in a pair of protective eyewear. Many people enjoy going out into the forest with nothing more than their eyes to protect them from falling branches or errant pinecones. However, if you’ve ever been hit in the eye by a pinecone or a small branch, you know how painful it can be. Ouch!

We recommend the Virtua™ CCS from 3M. They are not only durable, but also look pretty cool. 

Clothing & Other Items

Funguys Long Sleeve ShirtLong sleeves that cover your limbs and pants are a must to protect yourself from any thorns, stickers, tree branches, and bugs. You'll also want a container for your berries, mushrooms, leaves, or apples. Some activities, like mushroom picking, may require a good knife.

And finally, don't forget your camera!

You can find the apparel you’ll want for your fall picking adventures at PNW Journey, where we provide the most sustainably sourced products for all your outdoor trips. Our mission is to protect the environment while providing the gear you need to enjoy it. So check out our eco-friendly apparel and accessories before venturing to find the best apples, pumpkins, and berries of the season!

Take a look at some of our designs!

PNW Journey Designs

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