Fall is the perfect time to embrace the beautiful colors and changing of seasons in Minnesota. And what better way to spend a fall day then visiting stunning parks and fall festivals in Minneapolis Northwest! We've gathered our top picks for the best Instagram spots for fall to make the most of the season and share your adventures with the world, with just a phone in hand. Get ready to stop and snap!
Elm Creek Park Reserve
Choose your own adventure at the beautiful 4,900-acre Elm Creek Park Reserve, whether it is biking or hiking the endless miles of paved trails, playing the disc golf course, or relaxing in the chalet. The variety of trees, brush, and lake fauna create dazzling colors. Repeat visits to the park show off how quickly and magically the leaves change. And don't forget your pup. The park boasts an extensive 29-acre dog off-leash area. For an active adventure, hit up the more than a dozen miles of single-track mountain biking trails.
Mississippi Gateway Regional Park
Experience serenity and natural beauty with breathtaking views of the changing leaves lining the banks of the Mississippi River at Mississippi Gateway Regional Park. There are several winding trails on both sides of the river, which is also connected by the Coon Rapids Dam. Stroll across the dam for great panoramic shots, especially at sunrise and sunset. For another mode of transportation, rent a kayak through the Mississippi River Paddle Share program. All you have to do is reserve a kayak online, pick it up at the rental station (along with a life jacket), enjoy the ride, and return it to the designated return station. No matter how you explore this park, you're sure to enjoy spectacular views and possibly even wildlife.
Palmer Lake Park
For a nature escape just a few minutes outside bustling downtown Minneapolis, take a hike around Palmer Lake Park, one of our area's hidden gems. The paved trail circles Palmer Lake and has offshoots along the way, including a wood chip trail that takes visitors closer to the lake. When you're here, you'll forget you're even in the Twin Cities area. It's also a perfect place for birdwatching, as you can often spot American Redstart, Gray Catbird, Northern Cardinal and the Rose-breasted Grosbeak. And if you've added running a fall 5K to your bucket list, the 3.1-mile paved loop offers the perfect training route.
Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze
Nothing says fall like posting a picture inside a corn maze! You'll find this ultimate fall experience at Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze. This beloved annual event draws visitors from all over the state for afternoons and weekends of fall fun. Get lost in the corn maze (one of the largest in the state), and take part in activities such as the corn seed pit, hayrides, pumpkin slinger, and gunnysack slide. Enjoy mini donuts and corns dogs from the food trucks, as well as live music from the stage. Browse the pumpkin patch and gourds, and take a few decorations home with you. The event promises to provide lots of excellent photo opportunities for friends and families!
Fish Lake Regional Park
Hike, bike, fish, paddle and more! The opportunities to explore are never-ending at Fish Lake Regional Park. The relaxing wooded lakeside setting provides another perfect canvas for the fall colors. Rent kayaks, canoes, or stand-up paddleboards to experience the fun from the lake, or traverse the trails and feel the leaves crunch as you go. You can also bring your pup for exercise and socialization in the dog off-leash area.
Historic Eidem Farm
Step back to a typical harvest season at the turn of the 20th century during Fall on the Farm at Historic Eidem Farm on October 9. This educational event lets kids and families experience what it meant to "put up" for the winter. Eidem Farm also hosts open photoshoot times for every kind of photographer to come onto the property and practice their camera skills or bring clients for a unique, seasonal photoshoot. The farm's mixture of background elements (including the old barn and farmhouse with a porch, flower gardens, open fields, and trees) create a perfect autumnal backdrop. Saturday, Sept. 18 and Oct. 2 are upcoming photoshoot dates. Pre-registration is required.
North Mississippi Regional Park
Another great spot for viewing the fall colors and paddling the river is North Mississippi Regional Park. You would never guess this peaceful nature oasis is right off a major freeway. You will find abundant wildlife in action: a Great Blue Heron nesting on an island, deer foraging, beavers felling trees, and hawks and eagles soaring overhead. Walking trails meander through the native prairie and along the shores of the river. Bike trails traverse the park and connect with Webber Parkway and commuter routes into downtown Minneapolis.
Show us your fall adventures by posting your photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #WeLoveMNW for a chance to be featured on our social media and website!