Outdoor Autumn Activities in Greater St. Cloud

Ahh yes, fall, truly the best season of all! The weather is at its perfect temp, the trees are changing colors, harvest is in full swing – there is so much to love about this time of year. Before winter settles, get outside and enjoy this beautiful season! Here are some great things you can do outdoors this fall. 

Quarry Park & Nature Preserve by Dawn Holler
Take a Hike

This time of year, you can’t really find a bad trail to hike. Take in the colors, experience the local terrain, and have a day full of adventure when you go on a hike in Greater St, Cloud. Quarry Park & Nature Preserve is always beautiful, but in the fall it turns magical as the colors reflect off the calm quarry waters. For a shorter but equally beautiful walk, head to Bob Cross Nature Preserve in Sauk Rapids for just over a mile of hiking through natural areas and wetlands. Experience a hike with a pleasant surprise at the end on the Stella Maris Chapel Trail at St. John’s University Arboretum. Check out the full list of local trails and parks to start planning your route. 

Go for a Bike Ride

Cover more ground and experience even more beautiful fall scenery by bike this autumn in Greater St. Cloud. The Beaver Island Trail is a paved 5 mile trail that offers beautiful views of the Mississippi River along the way. The North Loop (Jail Trail) is a fun and challenging single track route for mountain bikers. Don’t have a bike of your own? You can rent a bike to travel the Lake Wobegon Trail at the Waite Park and St. Joseph trailheads. PLUS: You can get rewarded for hitting up as many trails as possible! Check out the Cycle Greater St. Cloud passport on the Visit Greater St. Cloud app for more information.

Clear Waters Outfitting
Canoe or Kayak?

Which team are you? Regardless of which you prefer, you can do both at many area lakes, as well as on the Mississippi River. There is nothing quite like taking in the fall scenery from the calm waters! Don’t have any equipment of your own, or simply not in the mood to haul it? Lucky for you, there is Clear Waters Outfitting. Located on the Mississippi River in Clearwater, CWO has everything you need to get out on the water. Here, you can rent a canoe or kayak and get your lifejacket, and then they will either shuttle you up river with your boat or pick you up down river after your trip. It takes all of the logistical stress out of paddling the river – and helps you focus on the FUN! Sounds like the perfect fall activity. 

Outdoor Sports

Whether it’s a sunny October Sunday or a cool September Friday night, there’s nothing quite like sitting in the stands of a scenic area and cheering on the home team. St. John’s University football is known far and wide, not just because of the legacy of the program, but because Clemens Stadium is one of the most gorgeous places to play in the Midwest. Or you can switch things up a little and catch some awesome St. Cloud State University soccer action at Husky Stadium, which overlooks the Mississippi River for a stunning game experience. 

Fairhaven Farm
Orchards & Pumpkin Patches

If there is one thing that just screams autumn, it’s bountiful harvest of so much produce – especially apples and pumpkins! Fortunately there are many great orchards and patches in Greater St. Cloud. You can pick your own apples at Fairhaven Farm – and shop their shop for even more goodies. Grab a wagon and head to the pumpkin patch at Collegeville Orchards for the perfect pumpkin – and they have many apples ready to go, too! Or head out to Stoney Brook Farm, one of the largest pumpkin growers in the state of Minnesota! Check out the full lists of orchards and pumpkin patches for even more inspiration. 

Spooky Fun

October is known for many things, but probably most of all it is known for being super spooky! There are several places you can go in Greater St. Cloud to get your pants scared off. The Harvest of Horror in St. Augusta is delightfully terrifying, including a hayride through a corn field and forest, and on-foot scares through the maze. Molitor’s Haunted Acres also features a spooky walk-through experience guaranteed to leave you freaked out! (note: some of these attractions may be indoors, following COVID-19 protocols). 

Be the Change Mural, Downtown St. Cloud
Browse Public Art

From murals to sculptures, the downtown St. Cloud area is full of great public art installations. Check out the Be the Change butterfly in the alley between 6th and 7th Ave North for a beautiful photo op. Go visit #16 on the corner of 5th Ave North and 1st St. North and you can say you met Abe Lincoln. Check out the mosaic details on the Tied to the River sculpture on the corner of West St. Germain and 10th Ave. S. Check out this guide to all of the public artwork in Greater St. Cloud! 

Autumn Events

With all of the fun in store this fall, you might be thinking there isn’t room for any more – but you’re mistaken! The event calendar is full of fun seasonal ideas all throughout autumn. Head out to Harvest Fun Days at Stony Brook Farm in Foley for a corn maze, pumpkin games, and much more. Experience a wild fun time at Boo at the Zoo at Hemker Park & Zoo or BooFest at Pine Grove Zoo – both with costumes encouraged! Try out some grape stomping, sample delicious wine, shop a craft fair and more at the Millner Heritage Winery Oktoberfest Celebration. Check out the full event calendar here for even more fun!