Fall is officially here! And while we admire our gorgeous scenery all year long, from the towering snow-capped mountains in the winter to the crystal clear lakes in the heat of summer, there is nothing quite like autumn in Northern Colorado.
To help you maximize the season and all its golden aspen wonder, let’s explore several outdoor fall adventures in Northern Colorado, from apple picking to hiking through fall foliage. The best part about each is you can be outside the entire time — which works well for both social distancing and taking advantage of the pleasant fall weather.
Add these outdoor fall adventures to your bucket list, no matter where you live throughout the region!
One of the most obvious yet essential fall activities is chasing fall foliage. And thankfully, Colorado has some of the densest aspen groves in the country and (not surprisingly) some of the most photographed landscapes and attractions in North America. Here in our little region of the state, we can boast Rocky Mountain National Park, Arapahoe and Roosevelt National Forests as well as open spaces like Horsetooth Mountain and Lory State Park. During the fall, these places are awash in the characteristic gold of changing aspen leaves and other beautiful trees.
Looking for some direction? Track down some of the best fall colors in Colorado with our guide. As far as when to go, Colorado generally is at peak fall anywhere between mid-September and early October, but aspens at higher elevations tend to turn much earlier. This year, the transformation could be delayed due to the warmer and drier weather we’ve had!
Peak fall foliage season or not, fall is an excellent time to go hiking in Colorado. Temperatures are cooler, the air is crisp, and of course, the scenery is spectacular. Embark on one of these tried-and-true fall hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park when fall foliage is on full display. Or conquer one of these waterfall hikes throughout the state at any point in the season!
What is a successful fall without a visit to a pumpkin patch? Thankfully, the pumpkin-filled fun continues this year, as many of our favorite pumpkin patches in Northern Colorado are opening for the season, including Anderson Farms in Erie, Fritzler Farm Park in La Salle, and Osborn Farm in Loveland. Pick your favorite patch and your very own pumpkins — and don’t miss the other fall activities each offers!
Home to Colorado’s longest-running corn maze, Anderson Farms is a historic destination for family fun during the fall. Make your way through their 25-acre corn maze, then ride a wagon to the 30-acre pumpkin patch and pick from 70 varieties of pumpkins, squash and gourds. In 2020, the fall festival will be up and running from September 25th through October 31. For more dates and details, click here.
Each year, runners in Colorado look forward to the Fall Equinox Half Marathon & 5-Mile races in Bellvue, which begin at Gateway Natural Area and Mishawaka Amphitheater. This year, the race is going virtual, which means you can participate anywhere and any time before October 4! Participants may run the full marathon, half marathon or 5-mile races and will receive a swag package, which includes a bib, t-shirt, finisher medal, pint cup, a finisher’s certificate and a sticker. For more details and registration, click here.
Farmers’ market season is certainly winding down, with many markets closing up shop in September. But a few continue well into the fall so we can reap the benefits of the season’s plentiful bounty, including pears, turnips, pumpkins, watermelon, winter squash, parsnips and more! The following farmers’ markets remain open through much of the fall. Click here for more information about each market and their protocols in place during the 2020 season.
Northern Colorado Farmers’ Markets Operating During the Fall:
Fort Collins’ Sunday Market (May 24–Mid-November, 2020)
Greeley Farmers’ Market at the Depot (June 6–October 31, 2020)
Larimer County Farmers’ Market (May 23–October 31, 2020)
Formerly Masonville Orchards, Adam’s Apple Orchard & Country Store is a you-pick apple orchard in Ault. They primarily grow apples along with several varieties of plums and pears, and eventually pumpkins and other fall produce later in the season. Visitors are invited to pick their own fruit during their 11-12 week picking season in the fall, and shop their country store, which has a diverse selection of fruits, james, cider, jellies and salsas.
Spend a night in nature without the hassle of setting up a tent. There are many “glamping” destinations throughout Northern Colorado, including yurts, canvas tents, treehouses and more unique accommodations. Book your stay this fall for a cozy retreat amidst beautiful scenery! Many glamping destinations remain open all year long.
Photo Courtesy of New Belgium Brewing
In Fort Collins, there’s no time like beer sipping season — wait, that’s every single season here! Sip on classic seasonal brews, like New Belgium’s Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin or Black Bottle Brewery’s Belgian Tripel, on their outdoor patios to soak up the cool weather we enjoy this time of year. Or grab a six-pack at the store to savor in your backyard over the course of several evenings!
‘Tis the season for cider, both hard and non-alcoholic! Sip on some of the region’s best cider at one of these cider houses in Fort Collins and Loveland. Most of these locally made ciders can be enjoyed on an outdoor patio or purchased at the store for at-home enjoyment. Branch out from your brewery routine by checking out one of these cideries this fall!
Photo Courtesy of The Lyric
The Lyric shows a number of movies at their outdoor theater throughout the summer and even into the fall. They play a mixture of in-release films in addition to classic titles and special events. Ticket prices depend on the screening or event, and movies start right around dusk. Bring a big beach blanket or camping/beach chairs, and weather-appropriate clothing. Take a look at their calendar to see what’s coming up!
Did you hear? Holiday Twin Drive-In reopened for business this summer with a number of protocols in place. Check out their calendar to see what movies are playing this fall, purchase your tickets online, and make your way to this beloved drive-in for a nostalgic evening under the stars.
What quintessential fall activities did we miss? Let us know what you’re up to this season!