family camping in the Badlands

20 Fall Adventures Await

Spending time outdoors with family has never been more important. North Dakota’s outdoors are a great way to keep keep active and make memories.

 

Fall is the perfect time for adventure in the wide-open, uncrowded spaces of North Dakota. Temperatures are just right for outdoor activities and exploration. Hiking and biking trails remain in prime condition. Fall festivals and farmers' markets have that perfect weekend appeal.

If you need ideas for a day trip, weekend getaway or road trip ideas, following are 20 ideas to get started.

Gorge Yourself  

Feast on the great outdoor recreation offered in the Pembina Gorge. Kayak or canoe the Pembina River through forested hills. (Rentals are available.) Mountain bike the terrain park down to the valley floor and take the chair lift up at Frostfire Park. ATV or dirt bike on miles of trails along the hillsides.  

That’s Corny  

Leave the GPS at home. Trust your instincts and sense of direction as you weave your way through one of North Dakota’s amazing corn mazes. Each maze tells a different story. Check out these corn mazes and pumpkin patches.

The END of the Road  

Take fall to the extreme, literally. Extreme North Dakota Racing takes over Turtle River State Park trails in October. END-TRAILS and END-TOMBED is a run-ride doubleheader that’s scary fun. 

A Fortnight or 10  

Walk in the footsteps of some of the first North Dakota travelers - Lewis and Clark - who chose, what is now North Dakota, to stop and build a fort to get through the winter. Tour the Corps of Discovery’s Fort Mandan State Historic Site along the Missouri River near Washburn.  

A Huntin’ We Will Go 

Flights of waterfowl fill the air in the fall. Hunters from across the country flock to North Dakota for the excellent pheasant, goose and duck hunting found here. And the deer hunting opener is practically a state holiday. 

Coffee Anyone?  

A steaming cup of Joe is the best way to warm your fingers on a fall day. Or just take in the smell of flavorful lattes in the many cozy coffee shops across North Dakota. If you’re headed out west, make sure to check out the Coffee Cruise!

TRNP x 3  

When nature squeezes in fewer days of sunshine, wildlife in Theodore Roosevelt National Park make the most of it! Take time to scope out buffalo, wild horses, elk, prairie dogs and more in the park’s three units.  

White Horse Hill National Game Preserve  

You may not see a white horse in the hills among the yellow, red and green leaves, but you will find 250 species of birds, plus bison, elk and deer along driving and walking trails within the preserve.  

Angling for Lunch  

There is still time for a few final trolls around Lake Sakakawea. Drop in the boat, the line and the lure and pull out a whopper walleye or pike. Catch enough to last until the water freezes, then do it again!   

Leather Up and Ride  

It’s that "Goldilocks" time of year for motorcycling. It’s not too hot and it’s not too cold. It’s just right. Leather up, gather a few friends and head out on the highway where it’s just you and the open road.  

Maah Daah Hey Trailing

The Maah Daah Hey Trail is a simply spectacular during the fall. The trail cuts a 144-mile swatch through the Badlands and grassland of western North Dakota. Hikers, bikers and horseback riders embrace the cool breezes and blue skies.

Native American Culture 

Native American sites all across North Dakota provide a glimpse of what life was like in the diverse tribes of North Dakota. Celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November with a visit to historically significant sites to learn more about indigenous cultures.   

Road Tripping  

Want to get away? Fill up the tank and experience the sights, sounds and overall “feeling of fall” on North Dakota’s scenic byways and backways and even more road trip adventures.

Yurt Me  

For centuries, yurts have been the lodging of choice among nomadic people on the Asia steppes. Now you can experience a modern version of this ancient lodging at North Dakota’s state parks

Crisp Brews  

In the fall you bring out the hat and mittens, and the breweries bring out a fresh sampling of new flavors to taste. Take your pick from dark roasted lagers to toasty ambers. 

Drive, Chip, Putt 

Tee it up with your friends for a few final rounds at your favorite golf course before the season ends. The Triple Golf Challenge and Lewis and Clark Golf Trail are waiting. 

Lessons From the Road 

Make your travels a learning experience for the kids. U.S. history was made here; legends lived here. Now you can experience what it was like a century or two ago on the Northern Plains.

Past, Present and Future 

Discover North Dakota’s interesting history, vibrant cultures and innovative future at our museums. Dinosaurs, Native America culture, western history, art, aircraft and more are featured prominently. 

Flying through Fall

The air museums of North Dakota will make you feel like you’re soaring through the skies. The Fargo Air Museum has free admission for kids under four!

Events You'll Love

Harvest festivals, fairs, farmers markets and local goods from Pride of Dakota are abundant in the fall.

Check out all the fun events happening this fall in North Dakota