The days are getting shorter, the leaves are changing color, and it’s time to cram in as much outdoor activity as possible before winter hits. Here are some great nearby activities to take advantage of – and they double as group activities or date night options!

Admire the Fall Foliage

Minnesota’s fall colors are like none other, and our national parks are the perfect venue for appreciating them. Use the DNR’s Fall Color Finder to locate the spots that are in their peak near you.

If leaves aren’t enough for you, consider trying to spot some of our native wildlife. Lake Bemidji State Park offers a Bird Checklist that identifies the birds most often seen in fall.

Go on a Fall Hike

Hiking is a great (and cheap!) group activity, and Bemidji is well-stocked with unique hiking and walking trails.

Lake Bemidji State Park is the northern starting point for the 112-mile Paul Bunyan State Trail. This is the longest continuously paved rail-trail in the country and is known as a “Power Trail” by geocachers due to how populated with geocaches the trail is.

Also at Lake Bemidji State Park, you have the bonus option of a Bog Walk, where you can see show-stopping native plants on a mile-long boardwalk hike through a 500 square mile peat bog. Many of the plants are endangered or difficult to find, such as our native orchids and carnivorous plants.

In the mood for something a little more central? There are several pedestrian trails starting at Bemidji’s Tourist Information Center, including a quick 1.5 trail called the Lunchbox Walk.

Explore a Bike Trail

There’s nothing more picturesque than riding a bike down a trail surrounded by fall colors and the crisp autumn air. You can find a map of local bike trails at, or crowd-source your routes from

No bike? No problem! Rentals are available at the Harmony Co-op on Irvine Ave, or at Lake Bemidji State Park for $6/hr. Mountain bikes can also be rented from Bemidji State University’s Outdoor Program Center.

Go Fishing

With over 400 lakes within 25 miles of Bemidji, there are ample opportunities for fishing. As the days get longer and temperatures drop, fish tend to swim deeper in the lake and stay in tighter schools, so use these tips from a local to help you find the perfect spot.

Time is short when it comes to enjoying Minnesotan autumns, so grab a friend, get outside, and appreciate Bemidji’s beautiful natural habitats!