It turns out I was able to make an autumn visit to Manning Park after all, and it was well worth the 5 AM start to the day. Instead of spending time in Manning, though, I spent most of Saturday in the adjoining Skagit Valley Provincial Park. Access to the Skagit River Trail begins at Sumallo Grove in Manning, but quickly enters the adjacent park. The walk took me to the 7km mark or so of the trail, so the goal of seeing the golden-coloured cottonwoods that I presume exist deep in the Cottonwoods Ecological Reserve failed, but from observing a few other cottonwoods along the trail, many leaves had already fallen. I’ll have to wait another year and instead go in mid-September, I think.
Despite that bit of disappointment, I was pleased with this photograph of vine maple (previously featured on BPotD here, here and here!) as it better portrays the warm and cool colour blend I associate with these parks at this time of year. This was taken near the 1.8km point of the trail, in the rock slide area.