Fall things to do
Grand Rapids, Minnesota is a beautiful road trip destination in the fall for the stunning fall colors, fun craft breweries, live music, apple orchards, pumpkin patch, hayrides, live theater, public art, and historic sites. Come to Grand Rapids, Minnesota this fall to reconnect in Minnesota’s nature with friends and family. Download the interactive Grand Rapids Visitors Guide to start planning your fall trip to Grand Rapids, MN now.
#1: Cozy Lodging
Visit Grand Rapids has 32 cozy lodging properties that are open this fall to serve a wide variety of options for overnight lodging. From Minnesota Resorts located on beautiful lakes that have 2-5 bedroom cabins that offer kitchens, and plenty of indoor and outdoor space to gather together. Then there are in town Hotels and Motels that are conveniently located near shops, craft breweries, locally owned restaurants, in town trails. Maybe an in town Air B&B that is located above a retail shop, commercial building or coffee shop is perfect for the Urban explorer to discover public art, historic buildings and sites, enjoy live music and craft beer. And then there are Vacation Rentals that are located on pristine northern MN lakes that offer 2-6 bedrooms that offer full kitchens, and lots of indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, and screened porches. Make sure to check out Last Minute Openings for Resorts and Vacation Rentals openings. Because Fall is such a short season, you will want to book your lodging early. Click HERE for more information about places to Stay in Grand Rapids.
There are lots of places to hike in the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area. With over 1 million acres of publicly accessible forest land, you will find many well-groomed trails. For an advanced hike in the Chippewa National Forest, we suggest the rolling hills of Suomi Hills that is 21 miles in length. For an intermediate hike we suggest the American Legion Memorial Park Trail that is located within the city limits of Grand Rapids. With access at The Reif Center, this mixed hardwood and pine forest includes a 7 mile hiking trail and a 7 mile single track mountain bike trail and an 18 hole disc golf course. For the beginner and perfect for a family with younger children we suggest Simpson Creek located in the Chippewa National Forest and wraps around Cut Foot Sioux Lake.This is a 13-mile trail that is slightly rolling hill topography through tall pine forest and journeys into a cedar swamp. Click HERE for more information about Hiking in Grand Rapids.
The Grand Rapids, MN area has many biking options in the fall. Grand Rapids is the start of the famous Mesabi Trail which is a 100+ mile paved trail that runs from the Mississippi River to the Boundary Waters. The rolling topography runs through mixed hardwood and pine forests, over tamarack bogs, and around reclaimed mine areas. If off road bicycling is more your adventure, then you would be interested in the Tioga Recreation Area for mountain biking. Tioga is a premiere 25+ mile professionally and purposely built multi-level single-track bike trail. Located on 500 wooded acres that wrap around two of the regions unique featured lakes. Tioga includes beginner to double black expert level trails, and Pathfinder Playground that is a skills course that includes varying obstacles and technical challenges to improve your riding level. The American Legion Memorial Park Trail includes fun, flowy, and twisty single-track trails on approximately 7 miles in mixed hardwood and pine forest that is located within short pedal to local coffee shop and local craft breweries. Learn more about biking in Grand Rapids HERE.
#4: Four Wheelin
Within one hours distance of Grand Rapids, Minnesota you will find over 200 miles of ATV Trails to ride. The closest trail to Grand Rapids is the UPM/Blandin ATV Trail which is located 9 miles south of Grand Rapids with easy access parking off of Hwy 169S. This trail runs in the mixed hardwood and pine UPM/Blandin Forest. A fun 21 mile hilly and curvy trail is stunning in the fall with the hardwood fall leaf colors. This is a perfect day ride that runs south to Hill City; which offers several options to grab food, beverages, and gas. If you are looking for a longer ATV trail, then the B&B ATV Trail is perfect. This 33 mile ATV trail runs from Bigfork to Balsam, Minnesota. This remote trail system is located 45 minutes north of Grand Rapids. Traverses through portions of the Chippewa National Forest, George Washington State Forest and Itasca County lands. The trail travels through low meadows, marshes, aspen and pine forests as well as gravel outcroppings. You will see streams, ponds and views of lakes in the distance. Wildlife sightings are common on both of these trail systems. Learn more information about Itasca County ATV Trails HERE.
#5: Pumpkin Patch & Hayrides
The Cowhorn Crossing Farm is a hobby farm that is located 17 miles south of Grand Rapids. Authentic farm fun for the entire family. They offer hayrides through the cow pasture and around an adorable curated themed wooded trail. There is hay mazes, a corn maze, petting zoo of classic farm animals, several slides and of course pumpkins. They are open Minnesota Education Association weekend (September 24-October 31, 2022). They have individual and group rates (pre-scheduled tours for 10+ people). This adorable family-owned pumpkin patch farm is fun for all ages. They also offer fall crafts, decorations, gourds and a snack bar. Click HERE to follow and learn more about Cowhorn Crossing.
#6: Apple Orchards & Farmers Market
In Grand Rapids you will find two apple orchards that offer pre-picked and you-pick apples. Lavaliers Berry Patch and Apple Orchard is a family-owned berry patch and apple orchard farm located on the Great River Road just south of Grand Rapids. They specialize in strawberries, blueberries, apples, pumpkins, gourds, squash, tart cherries, and honey. They offer pre-picked and you-pick apples in the fall by the pound. They have a variety of apples: Zestar, Sweet Tango, Honeycrisp, and Chestnut Crab. And then TimberSweet is also family-owned maple syrup, blueberry and apple farm that is in Cohasset. TimberSweet is known for their award-winning maple syrup. At their home site they also have blueberries, apples and honey. They offer a wide variety of apples: Centennial, Zestars, Sweet Tango and Honeycrisp. The Fideldy Family will pre-pick blueberries and apples that they sell at the bi-weekly Grand Rapids MN Farmers Market, and they offer you to pick your own as well. The Garnd Rapids MN Farmers Market is the place to buy direct from local farmers. The Farmers Market is open through end of October each year, and you can purchase items on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s 8:00am to 1:00pm. This fall you fill find pumpkins, gourds, locally raised meat and eggs, tomatoes, apples, handmade bakery items, and locally made items. Learn more about Enjoying the Harvest Along the Great River Road HERE.
#7: Fall Events & Festivals
Just because Grand Rapids is a small town doesn’t mean that there is nothing to do. You will find weekly live music at the craft breweries, fun fall festivals, and live Broadway style performances at the Reif Center, and First Friday Art Walks offered each month. The Bovey Farmers’ Day kicks off the fall season over Labor Day weekend with food trucks, craft vendors, games, prizes, live music and a parade. Then the Grand Rapids Riverfest is the following Saturday after Labor Day. On Saturday, September 10, 2022 the Grand Rapids Riverfest will headline Wilco. For the second year, KAXE and the City of Grand Rapids are partnering together to present the Grand Rapids Riverfest, a live music festival along the mighty Mississippi River in downtown Grand Rapids, MN. Other performers include Chastity Brown, Wild Horses, and Shovels and Rope. Come listen to talented Minnesota musicians for weekly live music and craft beer at the breweries in Grand Rapids. Enjoy First Friday Art Walk hosted by the Grand Rapids Arts in downtown, and the rotating monthly Minnesota art exhibits at MacRostie Art Center and The Reif Center. Be entertained by Broadway style theater performances at the The Reif Center that provides you with an up close and personal experience. Learn more about Grand Rapids Events HERE.
#8: Minnesota Art & Historic Sites
The Grand Rapids Downtown Business Association partnered with Visit Grand Rapids and the Itasca County Historical Society to create an interactive self-guided public art walk and historic site tour for the downtown and the Mississippi River area. This interactive ESRI map includes historic narrative of each art and historic site that allows the public to navigate through Google mapping from mobile devices. This user-friendly interface plays short videos that highlight the public art and historic sites that consumers can walk or drive to. A short and quick way to spend a couple of hours in downtown. After the self-guided tour consumers are invited to enjoy coffee, craft beer and handmade created cuisine, and shop the downtown boutiques that offer one of a kind locally made art, gift, home décor, clothing, shoes, jewelry and vintage items. Find the Grand Rapids Public Art & Historic Sites Map HERE.
#9: Minnesota Attractions
Did you know that Judy Garland was born and performed for her very first time in Grand Rapids, Minnesota? Tour the Judy Garland Museum to find the largest collection of Judy Garland and the Wizard of Oz memorabilia. Tour the Garland home that has been relocated and attached to the Judy Garland Museum; set back in the early 1900’s as it would have been when the Gumm Family lived in it. A bonus at the Judy Garland Museum is the Children’s Discovery Museum is located under the same roof. This children focused museum offers several interactive exhibits that focus on toddlers to elementary school aged children. The Itasca County Historical Society offers a free will donation museum and an escape room under one roof. The museum takes you back in time when life was simpler but full of hard work. The River Room exhibit is a must see on your fall things to do bucket list. The hand painted mural and Native American artifacts and jingle dresses are beautiful. The MacRostie Art Center offers a free art gallery with new exhibits monthly. MacRostie Art Center offers adult and youth art classes onsite in their studio. The Giinawind Creative Space is located next door to the MacRostie Art Center that provides exhibition space that features native art and projects. The Reif Center is our world renowned performance arts center that brings Broadway style theater up north to Grand Rapids. This fall take in a live theater performance that gives you an up close and personal experience. View all of the Grand Rapids area attraction sites HERE.
#10: Fall Colors Tour
We have created four main fall color tour routes for you to road trip from two or four wheels. Whether you are looking to feel the wind through your hair on two wheels, or you are looking to take that vintage hot rod out for one last ride of the year to view stunning fall colors; these fall colors tours were created for you. Several of the tours run through and around the Chippewa National Forest, and the George Washington State Forest. You do not need a state forest park sticker to go on any of these fall color tours. Along each of these routes you will find places to stay, shop, places to eat & drink, places to grab gas and snack, and several places to stretch your legs and walk on the designated recreation hiking trails. View the Fall Colors Tour information and interactive map link HERE.