The calendar indicates that it is not fall yet. The meteorological fall has begun though. And I believe that after Labor Day, the fall season starts. What do you think?
For me, unquestionably, fall in Nebraska is one of the best times of the year to spend outdoors. Truth be known, it is my favorite season!
The days are definitely getting shorter, the air is getting a bit crisper, the crop harvest will soon start, and before long the leaves and other foliage will transform into canopies of bright yellow, deep orange and brilliant red.
And, look at those fall vegetable gardens! They are abundant with tender, brightly colored vegetables.
If you are looking for new and different opportunities where you can have fun, burn calories, get more Vitamin D, remain active, maintain fitness and get some fresh air, there is scarcely a better time of year to keep yourself and your family busy and healthy.
Why not take advantage of fall weather and activities?
Hiking, walking, running, peddling, pushing and pulling are even more enjoyable when the temperature is lower and the scenery is at its most beautiful.
Here are a variety of creative ideas for stepping outside during autumn.
- Turn leaf-raking and other fall yard work into entertaining family activities
- Pick pumpkins at a local farm or pumpkin patch
- Take a stroll along a haunted trail or through a corn maze
- Go on a hayrack ride, perhaps it’s a haunted hayrack ride
- Watch the fall crop harvest being done.
- Attend a bonfire gathering, roast hot dogs or toast marshmallows for s’mores
- Visit an apple orchard, buy fresh apples or apple products
- Tour a local winery, even try a wine tasting
- Decorate your campsite in a festive Halloween fashion
- Plan a picnic when there is warm sunshine and slight, cool breezes
- Play disc golf
- Snap photos of falling leaves.
- Head out for a weekend stay to one of our Nebraska state park areas; the crowds have left, the weather is cooler, the nights are excellent for sleeping under the stars, the fall colors are apparent and there are still plenty of activities to enjoy such as fall camping, hiking, biking, fishing, geocaching, nature journaling, wildlife watching and more!
- Check the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission website calendar for individual state park events. Naturalist programs, bird watching expeditions, living history demonstrations, super-fun Halloween functions, and other themed activities can make getting some fresh air and activity even more enjoyable.
- Try accessible parks and trails in your area that you haven’t yet explored. Visit federal, state, city or Natural Resources District (NRD) websites to get information.
- Embed yourself in nature and fall foliage colors by floating a nearby water trail (stretch of river) by kayak or canoe.
- Wet a line, catch a fish! Plan a fall fishing trip. Try for fall-stocked, 10-12 inch rainbow trout in a public water not far from your home. Fish northern and western Nebraska trout streams. Participate in the Game and Parks Commission’s Trout Slam. Maybe you’ll even introduce a newcomer to the wonderful world of angling. Autumn is a great time to catch many different species of fish as they vigorously feed building up fat reserves for the coming winter months.
- Broaden your hunting knowledge, refresh your hunting skills and pursue a game species you have not harvested or complete the Upland Slam challenge. Take a white-tailed doe for deer management purposes on private land and perhaps donate it to someone who is need of lean, healthy protein. Continue to mentor and coach younger hunters in the lifestyle of hunting.
- Forage for tasty, edible wild fall nuts, fruits and mushrooms. Nebraska boasts an array of fall wild edibles in rural landscapes.
Being active, staying fit and eating healthy are all important to ward off the sedentary accumulation of pounds and feel great! Don’t wait until the new year to make promises. Start early with the beauty of fall as your guide for overall wellness.
Venture outdoors for an autumn adventure this year in Nebraska! Get more information at OutdoorNebraska.gov
I know I will be enjoying fall outside to the utmost!