With an unseasonably late first frost, fall colors in the woods and along roads and trails remain vibrant and fall colors have not peaked yet.
Gardeners are enjoying the extended season and the fall crop harvest is well
underway. When temperatures shift, fog veils the picturesque landscape of stacked bales of hay and wetlands. Some hunters have headed to the woods and water, paddlers relish one more morning cruise around the lake and anglers take to the water catching fish and the mirror image of fall colors.
For others, it’s time to hike, bike or ride miles of ATV trails and take in the comforting scent of crisp fall air then enjoy a bonfire, hot apple cider and spectacular sunsets.
If you’ve never traveled the Lake Country Scenic Byway between Walker and Detroit
Lakes and the spur between Park Rapids and Itasca, it’s time to make the drive. A
forester once wrote that state Highway 34 is Minnesota’s most beautiful fall route with
the transition from the pines of the Chippewa National Forest to the Smoky Hills State
Forest’s hardwoods and golden tamaracks. To check out the progression of all colors
this month, go to https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fall_colors/index.html .
Heartland Lakes remains a beautiful, peaceful place to head outdoors, relax or enjoy
some local culture. There’s always lots to see and do.
Twenty-two Park Rapids Downtown member businesses will participate in
Shoptoberfest Oct. 1-31. Each participating store will create their own October festive
fun from sale items to treats and games. Shoppers will be able to pick up a free
Shoptoberfest Passport to be stamped and entered into drawings for $1,100 in gift
certificates. Winners will be announced at 2 p.m. Friday, November 1. Participating
businesses are listed in the Passports and will have posters on their doors. No
purchase will be required to receive a stamp or signature.
Fall fun continues at the Fall Festival and Pumpkin Party at Carter’s Red Wagon Farm
Saturdays through Oct. 27 as well as Thursday and Friday, Oct. 17 and 18 (Teacher
Association weekend). The festival offers everything to love about fall and includes
Lewis & Clark Expedition-themed wagon rides, corn mazes, a Scarecrow Band, Nerf
Wars, giant pumpkin boats, a play barn-silo with a super slide and tree deck and
bridge with a curly slide, hay bale castle, games and many more activities as well as
great food. Stock up on pumpkins for fall decorating, too.
Downtown Park Rapids businesses will hand out treats to trick or treaters from 4 to 6
p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31. Watching the parade of hundreds of colorful, costumed
characters is part of the fun.
Many other activities and events to celebrate fall are on the October calendar. The
Chamber Website has all the information you need to put together a memorable stay.
If you want help or have questions, call our friendly staff at 800-247-0054 to learn
-Lu Ann Hurd-Lof