10 Best Outdoor Fall Activities in North Dakota

By Kelsey Cardot

10 Best Outdoor Fall Activities in North Dakota

Brightly colored leaves painting sweeping landscapes, lakes sparkling as the air turns crisp—it’s fall in North Dakota. And it’s one of the best times to get outdoors and experience everything Mother Nature has to offer. Whether you’re interested in reeling in enormous bass at Devils Lake or stargazing at Cottonwood Campground, these outdoor activities in North Dakota will give you an unforgettable season. 

Catch a once-in-a-lifetime fish in Devils Lake with Hooked Up Guide Service

In the beautiful blue waters of the huge Devils Lake, trophy walleye, white bass, northern pike, and humungous perch swim around just waiting for the right fisherman to make the catch of a lifetime! From absolute beginners to seasoned experts, everyone could benefit from the experience that a local guide can provide, which is why Hooked Up Guide Service is an essential part of your fishing adventure! Fall is the perfect season for some final fishing before the winter hits and ice fishing begins. 

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Theodore Roosevelt National Park North Unit Scenic Byway, Watford City, ND

If hiking for a day is not fast paced enough, drive your car out to the sprawling Theodore Roosevelt National Park for an adrenaline and nature filled day! From the comfort of your car, you can view over 14 miles of incredible fall scenery found in the park, as well as unique wildlife and diverse wildflowers. The ending point is at Oxbow Overlook. Your eyes won’t believe the beauty that this view beholds, made even more gorgeous in the fall!

Skydive with Skydive Fargo, Fargo, ND

Skydive Fargo is the place to be for an unforgettable fall adventure. After all, what better way to view the fall foliage that from a birds eye view as you plummet down? Skydive Fargo is a not-for-profit club that provides training and experience for those looking to learn how to skydive. The club offers demonstration jumps, tandem skydives, AFF Student Training programs, and more. They have two aircrafts from which guests can jump: a Super Cessna 182 which takes up to four skydivers 12,000 feet off the ground in only 15 minutes, and a Cessna 206 which takes up to five skydivers 10,000 feet off the ground in 20 minutes. This is an experience for only the most hardcore adrenaline junkies. 

Mountain bike the Maah Daah Hey Trail With Dakota Cyclery

The Maah Daah Hey Trail is a grueling 144-mile trail that is famous among mountain bikers across the world as a must-try bucket list experience. The trail winds through the North Dakota badlands and rural prairies, which are only more scenic during the fall season. Dakota Cyclery is a must stop for cyclists wanting to hit the trail. The shop provides bike rentals, trail maps, and other gear, as well as shuttles to the trailheads. 

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Rolling Plains Adventures, Sterling, ND

If looking at wildlife gets you eager to go hunting, check the hunting adventures that Rolling Plains Adventures in Sterling have to offer. These highly-rated guides are unbelievably skilled in providing you with the most successful hunting trip. The Black Leg Ranch, which is older than North Dakota itself, is where you can “come experience the Wild West!” Not only can you go on a hunting adventure, you can also ride horses with the cowboys, go fishing, have a home cooked campfire meal, amongst many more activities. Check out all that hunting in the fall has to offer with Rolling Plains Adventures!

Go on a crazy scavenger hunt with Operation City Quest Scavenger Hunt

Exploring downtown Fargo while looking for all sorts of knick knacks and enjoying the breezy fall weather is an ideal afternoon! Operation City Quest Scavenger Hunt works with a smartphone, and players will be give about 140 objects to find downtown. Once you locate the object, you snap a photo and send it in to get points. If you have any questions, you can just ask the remote guide who’ll provide encouragement and answers at any time. Try to find all that you can and you might end up on Fargo’s leaderboard!

Take a historic trolley ride with Fort Lincoln Trolley

The west was settled by trains and North Dakota shares this historic background. Take a step back in history by boarding the restored 1890s streetcar that once ran along Fourth Street in Bismarck during the roaring 1920s. It is now the train car for the nine-mile ride along the Heart River to the exciting Fort Lincoln State Park. Riders can either ride to and from the park, or get off and enjoy the park’s activities and ride back on a later trolley. The beautiful ride passes plenty of autumn scenery, making it a perfect outdoor fall activities!

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Go back in time at the On-A-Slant Village

History and outdoor adventures are combined at Mandan’s On-A-Slant Native American Village. The village was once a center for local Native American tribes, beginning over 400 years ago and abandoned 200 years ago. The Mandan people were thriving hunters and gatherers, which essentially formed the foundation of the community. The village has reconstructed earth lodges that visitors can tour while learning about North Dakota native culture. 

Look for wildlife at the Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge

Outside of the small town of Kenmare along the Lacs Lake, the Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge spans an incredible 19,500 acres of land that unique animals and plant life thrive on. The park is famous for their wildlife which includes deer, moose, turkey, over 250 species of birds, and many more. Grab your backpack and binoculars and hit the trails at Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge! 

Cottonwood Campground, Medora, ND

If stargazing, campfires, cool air, and the beauty of nature spark your interest head over to Cottonwood Campground in Medora for some of the best fall camping North Dakota has to offer. Located in the South Unit in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, this park is a sight for sore eyes. Expect to be dazzled by views of red, orange, and yellow foliage reflecting off the Little Missouri River. You’ll be surrounded by plenty of hiking trails, as well as scenic overlooks. This is certainly an activity you’ll want to experience at the peak of autumn.

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