Recently, I took the opportunity to spend time at Hendricks Park in Eugene. It has been years since I’ve been to the Park and even longer since I’ve been there during peak bloom. I wasn’t disappointed during my early morning stroll along the gravel paths: the birds were singing, the sun was shining, and the light, spicy fragrance of rhododendrons and azaleas filled the air.
For the most part, I had the paths to myself, so I took my time with my camera and tripod. My goal on this trip was to take lots of photos, but over the years I’ve also spent memorable time there with friends, family, and my Mom.
My experience with flowers is that the colors seem to bloom in waves – the yellows, the reds, the purples, all seem to have their own time to shine. During this trip, the yellows took center stage.
For those who aren’t familiar with Hendricks Park, it is an 80 acre park in south Eugene, consisting of the world-renowned rhododendron garden, a native garden, and miles of forested hiking paths. In fact, the rhododendron and native gardens are just a small part of the park.
The rhododendrons are at their peak right now and if you like flowers at all, it would be well-worth your time to carve out an hour or two to stroll through the park.
Located just 20 miles north of Cottage Grove, Hendricks Park is easy to access. Take I-5 north to exit 192 which takes you onto Franklin Boulevard in Eugene. Turn left at the light onto Orchard Street; another left onto East 19th Street; right onto Fairmont Avenue, then left onto Summit Avenue. Watch for signs.
A few things which might be good to know: while the paths are well graveled and provide good footing, the park is on a hill and some paths are steep. Dogs are not allowed within the rhododendron garden. Parking is limited, so it is good to go during an “off” time.