Fall in Northern Colorado is one of our favorite things—thanks in part to U-pick pumpkins, corn mazes, college football, freshly pressed cider, and all the gold and green of our local aspens and evergreens. To help you make the most of the season here in Northern Colorado we rounded up some of the region’s best autumn activities below. How many can you cross off our list before the season ends?
Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases and the Delta Variant, businesses may have made changes to their day-to-day operations. We recommend checking their links before you head out to make sure they are still open! We also encourage you to stay safe while in public by wearing masks and social distancing when possible.
Photo courtesy of Fritzler Farm Park
What is 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. Click here to explore our favorite pumpkin patches in the area—including Anderson Farms in Erie, Fritzler Farm Park in La Salle and Osborn Farm in Loveland—each offers the chance for you to pick your very own pumpkin and participate in an array of other exciting fall activities!
A must-see annual event, Tour de Corgi is one we look forward to every year. Planned for October 2nd this year, this carnival and parade invites costumed pets and their parents to register and participate in one of our favorite parade processions of the year. Proceeds benefit 4 Paws Pet Pantry, Low Riders of the West, and Wyoming Dachshund and Corgi Rescue. You can find more information and get your $5 wristband online here.
Estes Park’s beloved Elf Fest kicks off Elktober in Northern Colorado on October 2nd and 3rd. The free festival features bugling contests, elk exhibits, displays from the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, elk seminars, elk-inspired arts and crafts, Native American music, dancing and storytelling, a children’s area with elk-themed activities, a craft beer garden, and more. Click here for all the information!
Home to Colorado’s longest-running corn maze, Anderson Farms in Erie 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 2021, the fall festival will be up and running from September 22nd through October 31st. For more dates and details, click here.
Formerly Masonville Orchards, Adam’s Apple Orchard & Country Store is a U-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, jams, cider, jellies and salsas!
While many farmers’ markets around the country call it quits in early September, Northern Colorado farmers’ markets like to keep selling through mid-November! Here is a roundup of local markets you can explore this season:
Larimer County Farmers’ Market — Larimer County Courthouse, Saturdays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. through October 30th.
The Greeley Farmers’ Market — Union Pacific Depot, Saturdays 8 a.m.-12 p.m. through October 30th.
The Fort Collins Farmers’ Market — Ace Hardware on Harmony & Lemay, Sundays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. through mid-November.
For most people fall brings thoughts of falling leaves, apple picking, carving pumpkins and sipping warm beverages to mind. But for others, it means the spooky season has officially begun! Northern Colorado is home to some of the best haunted attractions in the state, from bone-chilling haunted houses to creepy night corn mazes and dark, terrifying woods. Click here for our most anticipated haunted houses and attractions this season but you may want to leave your children at home if you do plan to attend!
If a haunted house isn’t spooky enough for you, consider visiting some “actually haunted” spots around Northern Colorado! Magic Bus Tours is a local touring company that allows tourists and locals alike to explore Fort Collins’ creepy side. Their Fort Collins Haunted History After Dark Ghost Tour takes you on a walk around Old Town where you’ll meet the city’s most famous haunts. Click here for more information and to purchase your tickets. We also have a list of the most haunted hotels in the state if you’re looking for an all-night adventure!
When the leaves start to change, so does the beer selection at our local breweries and taprooms! The fall season means we’re saying goodbye to light, fruity sours and hello to rich pumpkin ales and hearty porters and stouts. Exploring all the new selections our local brew-masters have concocted is an annual tradition for most NoCo residents! Click here to explore our favorite breweries and stop by a few this season to see what they have to offer.
In celebration of Northern Colorado’s newest trail, this marathon and half marathon takes off along the Long View Trail, connecting Fort Collins and Loveland. Marathoners will start in City Park while half marathoners will begin at Fossil Creek Park. Then, both will come together to finish at the Foote Lagoon Amphitheater in downtown Loveland for a finish line celebration with Verboten Brewing, Zwei Brewing and New Belgium Brewing. All of the fun is happening on October 3rd, 2021. To register, click here.
While homemade pumpkin pie is delicious, sometimes it’s nice to leave the baking to the professionals. Ginger and Baker is an iconic eatery/cafe/market/teaching kitchen located inside the historic Northern Colorado Feeders Supply building, and they are famous for their handmade pies. Click here to explore their current offerings and order one of their incredible pumpkin pies for your next fall meal!
The Poudre River Trail travels from Island Grove Regional Park in Greeley to Colorado Highway 392 in Windsor where it connects to a separate paved trail in River Bluffs Open Space. Following the winding Cache la Poudre River, the Weld County section of this trail is fully paved, well maintained and features informational signs that highlight historical sites along the way. Plus, there is plenty of fall foliage lining the trail, and benches along the way so you can rest and enjoy the scenery. You can get even more information on the website, including a map, wildlife, trail conditions and more.
During the fall, Northern Colorado becomes a stunning paradise of green and gold. Our communities are famous destinations for foliage seekers thanks to our groves of aspen trees but there’s no better place to see them than Rocky Mountain National Park. To get the most out of RMNP this season, hit the trail with a fall foliage hike! If you’re not sure where to start, we have a list of our favorite fall hikes within the park that will take you past rivers, waterfalls, golden aspen groves and more.
There’s nothing better than a classic pumpkin spiced latte. But if you don’t want to patron a coffee chain this season, plenty of our local coffee shops have delicious, seasonal menus that we sure will satisfy your craving! From pumpkin-flavored coffee drinks to apple cider, hot chocolate and everything in between, we can’t wait to explore everything our area’s coffee scene has to offer this season. Plus, we can’t forget about all the fall treats in their pastry cases either like pumpkin streusel, coffee cake, cinnamon rolls, croissants and more. Click here for a list of our favorite coffee shops in FoCo.
‘Tis the season for cider, both hard and non-alcoholic! This fall, 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 a patio, in a taproom or right at home while watching a football game on the TV.
No matter what else you decide to do this season, a drive to see fall colors in Northern Colorado is an absolute must. Here in our little region of the state, you’ll find 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 blazing with golden aspens, sparkling evergreens and much more.
For even more fall foliage around the state, click here for our guide to fall color in Colorado. As far as when to go, Colorado generally is at peak fall anywhere between mid-September and early October.
Did we miss your favorite fall activity in Northern Colorado? Let us know in the comments below!