8 Best Fall Activities in Minnesota

By Trent Jonas

8 Best Fall Activities in Minnesota

Bright blue skies and deep blue waters form a perfect backdrop for the fiery fall reds, yellows and oranges in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Summer may be gone, but there’s still plenty to do in the Upper Midwest. These are our favorite fall activities in Minnesota.

Pick a pack of apples

There’s nothing that says autumn in Minnesota quite like heading out to an orchard and picking your own apples—and then warming up with a bonfire and a cup of hot cider. One of the best places to do so is Minnesota Harvest Orchard, near Jordan. Perched on a bluff in the Minnesota River valley, the orchard grows more than two dozen varieties of apples, offers hay rides, a petting zoo and regular events throughout the fall.

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Chase a big one on Lake of the Woods

In the fall, all the fish are biting in Minnesota. So, why not head to one of the state’s best fisheries—Lake of the Woods and Rainy River—to maximize your time. The fall walleye run on the Rainy lasts through October, and the big muskies and northern pike are always biting. Stay at the Wigwam Resort for an awesome experience and a depth of local knowledge.

Cruise the St. Croix River

When fall comes to the St. Croix River Valley, the bluffs explode in a kaleidoscope of colors. There’s no better way to see all of the St. Croix’s splendor than from the deck of a river boat. Stillwater River Boats (St. Croix Boat & Packet Co.) offers the most cruising options on the Lower St. Croix. Cruise packages mostly include an extravagant meal from their on-boat dining room.

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Bike the Root River Trail

Hit this 42-mile multi-use trail for a gorgeous fall ride among the hardwood foliage in the Root River Valley. If you’re looking for a place to stay in the area, make the Stone Mill Hotel and Suites your basecamp. While you’re in Southeast Minnesota, be sure to take a side trip to Spring Grove and sample some of Rockfilter Distillery’s fine Minnesota whiskies.

Take a hay ride from hell

As most everyone knows, fall is also Halloween season, so no list of fall activities would be complete without at least one scary entry. Few attractions combine the spirit of autumn with the scariness of Halloween like the Dead End Hayride near the town of Wyoming. Faint of heart? Maybe sit this one out.

Get lost in a corn maze

Believe it or not, the biggest corn maze in the state is in the northern suburbs of the Metro. Every year, the Twin Cities Maze in Brooklyn Park carves a new design into their enormous corn field, so that you can solve the puzzle or simply get lost and enjoy an autumn afternoon in the crisp, Minnesota air.

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Paddle the Mississippi Backwaters

Explore the flooded forests of the Mississippi River’s backwaters and hidden channels or enjoy a sunset paddle with gorgeous fall foliage views up and down the river valley and across to Wisconsin. Broken Paddle Guiding can help get you on the water and even lead you on a tour of some of the state’s most gorgeous paddling places.

Step afield with Autumn Antlers

Participate in a guided hunting adventure with Autumn Antlers for whitetail deer, elk, stag, and more. This five-star hunting lodge offers hunter’s a multi-day package including food and bar, lodging, and a professional guide. Book a time with Autumn Antlers and have the best hunt of your life. 

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