Photo Courtesy of Karen Oothoudt.

Photo Courtesy of Karen Oothoudt.

Fall is a very short season, but this a great time of year for a last minute getaway.

Do you consider yourself a spontaneous adventurer? Don’t worry, you don’t need to be to explore in Minnesota’s nature this fall.  There are many places to see, and things to do that are unique to the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area.  You can choose your level of adventure…adventure awaits you here in our Minnesota’s nature.

Photo Credit: Karen Oothoudt.

Photo Credit: Karen Oothoudt.

Paddle the Mississippi

Paddling sports have become a popular trend.  There is something simply wonderful about paddling the Mississippi in the fall. In Grand Rapids there is a paddle store called Paddle Hoppers. They offer both rentals and sales of all types of paddle sports; from canoes to Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUP’s) you will find it here. They also provide guided tours and direct access to the Mississippi River from their store location.  This allows you to come to arrive without any equipment, rent on site and be floating in the water in a matter of minutes. They provide all of the equipment you will need as well as excellent customer service. They have maps of the Mississippi to help guide you if you prefer to take the self guided tour. What you will see along the way: stunning fall foliage, clear blue green waters, lots of water fowl from ducks to geese, migrating birds and fish.

Photo Courtesy of Mesabi Trail.

Photo Courtesy of Mesabi Trail.

Explore the Mesabi Trail

Grand Rapids, Minnesota has been designated as a Bronze level Bicycle Level Friendly Community. We welcome silent sports enthusiasts.  The Mesabi Trail is approximately 60 miles of paved trail that connects Grand Rapids to the Virginia area. This paved trail is great for running and bicycling.  It is a great way to head into Minnesota’s nature on a designated trail.  Don’t worry if you do not own a bicycle, or you do not have a way to transport your bike, we have you covered. The Itasca Trails Sports offers bicycle and helmet rentals that make it very convenient to explore on a bicycle. They also sell day Mesabi Trail bike passes, and they can give you some guidance in directing you to the trailhead that is located at the Itasca County Fairgrounds.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Grand Rapids.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Grand Rapids.

Ride the Edge of the Wilderness

The Edge of The Wilderness Scenic Byway is a nationally designated scenic byway that is perfect for motorcyclists, classic car owners, or anyone who enjoys taking a Sunday drive (whichever day of the week it happens to land).  Hop in your favorite mode of transportation and head out on a beautiful fall drive that will take you around curves and over hills. This scenic byway connects Grand Rapids and Effie, Minnesota. It is a 47 mile scenic drive that allows you to slow down and enjoy the ride. Along this drive route you will find historic markers, designated walking and hiking trails, lakes that run parallel to the road, and charming shopping and unique dining. Some points of interest: Laurentian Divide, Chippewa National Forest, Joyce Estates, Edge of Wilderness Scenic Byway Discovery Center, Pinecone Restaurant, and Plum Tree & Co.  You will see spectacular scenery and lots of wildlife sighting opportunities.

 

Oktoberfest Grand Rapids

Oktoberfest is held at the Forest History Center end of September each year.

Unique Fall Events

We think Grand Rapids, Minnesota will surprise you in how many fun fall events, activities, and things to do there are to do here. There is something for everyone! From family fall events to those that are geared towards more adult crowds.  Night life, yes, we do have things that happen after dark.  Live entertainment happens every weekend! Whether you prefer arts and culture, education and history, theater, dance, live music; there is a wide variety. The Grand Rapids Arts hosts First Friday Art Walk the First Friday of each month in the downtown business district. The MacRostie Arts Center is hosting arts classes in a series called Art In The Park as well as on site art classes. MacRostie has a FREE gallery where you can experience a monthly exhibit and local artists work.  They are the location for a local theatre group called, UnCommon Loons, Porters and Poetry event coming up in October. The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation is hosting their 4th Annual Oktoberfest that offers live music, dancing, great German and Bavarian food, Minnesotan brewed Oktoberfest-style brewed beer, new this year is wine offerings. This takes place the last Saturday in September. The Forest History Center has several fall “Into the Woods” events happenings that you will want to check out. The Reif Center starts their Reif On The Road performances while they undergo their multi-million dollar renovation project.

Visit Grand Rapids has put together a fall leaves tour map that includes four drive routes out of Grand Rapids where you will be able to explore on your spontaneous fall adventure.  Check out their website for great places to stay, things to do, complete events calendar, and a look section so you can check it out before you arrive.