As local communities continue to update Covid-19 regulations, local destinations for outdoor recreation may be closed. Please visit official websites for the latest information.

7 Best Outdoor Fall Activities in Missouri

By Trent Jonas

7 Best Outdoor Fall Activities in Missouri

Missouri is a state that’s blessed with big rivers, many lakes and scenic mountain beauty. Add to this several fantastic cities and you get a recipe for all sorts of autumn adventure. When the days get a little shorter and the leaves change their colors, you can find plenty of things to do in the Show Me State. These are our favorite fall activities in Missouri.

Chase a record breaker

Some of the largest brown trout ever caught—in the world—have come out of the White River in the Ozarks region of Missouri. And fall, when the water is cooling and the browns are spawning, is one of the best times to chase them. As fun is it is to hook a big brown in anyway, there’s nothing quite like catching one on the fly. Fly Fishing the Ozarks can help put you on your trophy fish.

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Hike the Burr Oak Woods

Folks in the Kansas City area can soak in the full flavor of fall with one of the many fantastic hikes at the Burr Oak Woods Conservation Area. Take the Bethany Falls trail for a winding walk through the forests and among limestone outcrops. The area’s other five trails include one that is accessible for everyone. Don’t leave Blue Springs without grabbing some barbecue at Zarda

Cruise the Katy Trail

The Katy Trail is a former railroad bed that has been converted into one of the country’s premier long-distance biking trails. Start in Boonville and enjoy all that the awesomeness of autumn along the bluffs above the Missouri River valley. You can bike all the way to St. Charles, if you’re so inclined. Inn-to-inn biking is another popular way enjoy the trail. Look up Champion Bikes in Boonville to get you set up with gear and a rental.

Foliage with dinner with a show

Hop aboard the Showboat Branson Belle for a gorgeous cruise on Table Rock Lake. You’ll see all the splendor of autumn in the Ozarks from the decks of an authentic 1800s river boat. While on board, you’ll also be treated to dinner, as well as one of the showboat’s renowned performances.

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Grab an MTB and head for Truman Lake

You will find more than 20 miles of single-track with climbs, downhills, and challenges for all levels of riders at Truman Lake Mountain Bike Park. Fall is an awesome time to hit the most tree-lined sections of the trail and enjoy riding beneath the autumn canopy. Champion Bicycles in Sedalia is the nearest dedicated bike shop, with gear, repairs and rentals. 

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Run (and Bike) the Harvest Hootenanny, Litchfield, MO

In late October, you can hit the road for a good cause at the annual Harvest Hootenanny. You can choose to run the 5K route, or you can bring a bike and cycle an extra 15 miles to make it a duathlon. The course runs near Lake Lou Yeager, across from the Shoal Creek Nature Conservation Area, so the colors are always stunning. After your run (and bike), refuel at the Ariston Café, on the former Route 66 in Litchfield.

Paddle the James River

The treelined James River Water Trail is a gorgeous way to explore fall in Missouri’s Ozarks. Grab a boat and float or fish the placid flat water of the James River, soaking in the fall colors and the wildlife along the river banks. Hootontown Canoe Rental and Store offers late-season rentals of canoes and kayaks.

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Paddling Pickle Rick... Back from Tuva, Russia... Taking on the Ozarks. Lol

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As local communities continue to update Covid-19 regulations, local destinations for outdoor recreation may be closed. Please visit official websites for the latest information.