Find Fun All Around Autumn North Dakota

Written by: James Leiman
Hiking in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park near Watford City. Credit North Dakota Tourism

Fall in North Dakota is a lively season filled with activities and adventures across the state. As a father of two young children, this season is great for spending time with the family. From the many markets, festivals and fairs, to the pumpkin patches and Halloween activities, North Dakota does not let the quick season hamper the experience of fall.

In almost every community, you will find a weekly market offering locally grown fresh produce and goods from local artisans. These events are a great way to connect with your community while grabbing a quick treat or fresh ingredients for your next meal. If you’re looking to skip the meal prep, stops along the culinary trail bring you food from lefse to knoephla soup, and rommegrot pie to kuchen.

Fall is also the time for festivals in vibrant communities large and small. From multicultural celebrating diversity in our state and communities, to themes that promote local artists and businesses–you will find a festival that fits your current interests and/or introduces you to something completely new.

The cool fall weather makes it one of the best seasons to enjoy outdoor activities.

Dress up the family and go to Zoo Boo at the Dakota Zoo in Bismack. This afternoon event that combines animals, trick-or-treating, concessions, and decorations is guaranteed to be a hit for any family.

Pumpkin Patches are another great option to enjoy the outdoors. Games, refreshments, entertainment, and endless rows of pumpkins are what you will find at the seven pumpkin patches across the state.

For those who are more into the spirit of Halloween, the many haunted destinations are a great way to escape into the world of ghosts, goblins and spirits. I hear the Haunted Fort at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park attracts thousands from the region as one of the most popular fall activities.

In addition to all the events and activities, the simplest most serene way to enjoy the season is by just taking in the scenery. From the ground to the sky, the colors of fall illuminated throughout the state epitomizes the allure of fall. With the colors peaking, this is the perfect time to take the family for a memorable autumn day trip. These can be found in the Rendezvous Region with breathtaking views in the Pembina Gorge and along the mountain biking trails at Frost Fire Park.

Go for a hike, ride a bike or rent other equipment to enjoy any of the 13 state parks open year-round. Lake Metigoshe State Park near Bottineau provides both paved and single-track trails and is also close to Mystical Horizons, an eye-catching “Stonehenge” right on the North Dakota prairie. Designed to view the summer and winter solstices and the equinox, these stone and cement structures are both functional and beautiful. While in the area, stop by the International Peace Garden.

Here you can explore a vast network of hiking and biking trails that connect 2,400 acres of pristine prairie and wilderness overlooking picturesque lakes and the natural beauty of the Turtle Mountain region.

This time of year is also prime time for hunters to practice their skill. North Dakota prairies stretch underneath the Central Flyway, making it well-known as a waterfowler’s paradise. The vast flights of geese and ducks keep hunters busy through the end of the year.

Whatever you decide to do, be sure to enjoy and cherish the season with your friends and family

JAMES LEIMAN, current Commerce Commissioner, spent over a decade fighting terrorism before deciding to focus his efforts on domestic issues. In his most recent position as the Department of Commerce’s director of Economic Development and Finance, Leiman was involved in statewide economic development and finance initiatives.
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