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The Splendor of Fall in the Twin Cities


by Megan Torrini

Autumn in Minnesota is a wonderful time of year. Unfortunately, the season between summer and winter in these parts is far too short. For Minnesotans, that means getting out the calendar and planning your weekends now, before the cold and snow make their brutal appearance.

Three Rivers Park District

The Three Rivers Park District, named after the three rivers that flow within its watershed- the Mississippi, Minnesota and Crow, manages nearly 27,000 acres of park reserves, parks and trails. Walk through any of the numerous park trails and witness the splendor of nature as the leaves of the maples, oaks, sumac and wildflowers change their colors.

Fort Snelling State Park

September through October are prime months to experience the beauty of the fall foliage in our state parks. One of the most beautiful, right in our backyard, is Fort Snelling State Park. With 18 miles of hiking trails and 5 miles of biking trails, Fort Snelling State Park gives you the opportunity to witness the changing of the leaves, the colors of the fall wildflowers and the bird migrations. Be sure to take time to hike out to Pike Island, the location where the mighty Mississippi and the Minnesota Rivers converge, and visit Historic Fort Snelling, strategically located on the bluff overlooking the river valley.

Mississippi River Rides

Whether a family outing or a romantic afternoon, you're sure to enjoy the fall colors as you cruise the mighty Mississippi on a Padelford Riverboat. Spot bald eagles, herons, egrets and falcons as you travel back in time from St. Paul's bustling downtown harbor through the Mississippi National Great River Park. Book your reservation now-the Fall Color Cruises sells out fast in the fall, as it is the most popular time to be on the river.

Apple Orchards and Pumpkin Patches

Fall is peak season for apple and pumpkin picking throughout the area. An entire day of family fun can be found at Aamont's Apple Farm in Stillwater. Besides picking apples right from the tree, the kids can enjoy pony rides, tractor rides, wagon rides, the animal farm, hay mountain and the hale bale maze.

The Afton Apple Orchard in Hastings has over 190 acres filled with apples, pumpkins and raspberries for the picking. The orchard also features hayrides on the weekends and a huge corn maze- over 5 miles of twists and turns to boggle the extra sharp and the directionally challenged minds.

The state has an abundance of apple orchards, many within a short drive of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Visit AllAboutApples to view the entire list in your area.

Hot Air Balloon Rides

Take the ride of a lifetime and reserve a hot air balloon ride with Aamodt's Balloon Rides. Aamodt's (owners of Aamodt's Apple Orchard) offers balloon rides that provide spectacular views of the fall colors in the St. Croix River Valley. Make your reservation now for a fascinating experience- an experience that most people never get the chance to have.

Categories: Newsletter, Things To Do, Twin Cities Picks,

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New FeatureRelated Articles: Weekly Activites in the Twin Cities, Fall Fun: Good Enough Stuff,

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