4 Reasons to Visit the Willmar Lakes Area in the Fall

The Willmar Lakes Area is a hidden gem in the Midwest that is perfect for a fall getaway. Here are some reasons why you should visit Kandiyohi County in the fall:

1) Fall foliage: Kandiyohi County is surrounded by beautiful forests, parks, and lakes that turn into a breathtaking display of colors in the fall. Enjoy the vast assortment from amber to gold to burgundy, cascading down every branch and throughout the variety of plant life. Take a scenic drive through Sibley State Park or along the Glacial Ridge Scenic Byway to experience the beauty of it all in the comfort of your vehicle. If you’d rather see it up close, you can hike through the many trails of Robbins Island Regional Park and Sibley State Park. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can hike to the top of Mount Tom (at Sibley State Park) where you’ll see a rich mosaic of colorful prairies, hills, lush hardwood forests, bountiful wetland and cool, clear lakes. You’re sure to bring home an album worth of beautiful fall photos, as well as many wonderful memories.

2) Festivals and events: Fall brings with it a wide variety of events and festivals in Kandiyohi County. In September, you’ll want to mark your calendars for Atwater Threshing Days, Prairie Pothole Day, the Monson Lake Opry Festival, and the New London Fall Festivals, where you’ll get to enjoy a variety of music and tasty fall foods. And don’t forget about the favorite German festival: Oktoberfest. The town of Atwater hosts an annual Oktoberfest event that includes axe throwing, hayrides, delicious German foods and more. Furthermore, our two local breweries (Goat Ridge Brewing Co. and Foxhole Brewhouse) also put on Oktoberfest events that’ll have you eating, drinking and celebrating just like the Germans do!

3) Outdoor activities: The fall weather in Minnesota is perfect for outdoor activities. Go fishing or kayaking on the the many beautiful lakes in the area, or take a leisurely bike ride along the Glacial Lakes State Trail. Didn’t bring a bike with you? No problem. Rent a bike from one of 11 BikeWillmar docking stations throughout Willmar and return it to another docking station when you are done. If you’re more of the off road kind of biker, head to Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center and rent one of their fat tire bikes and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature along their mountain bike trail. While there, rent a canoe or kayak and check out the fall colors along Lake Florida. Another great outdoor activity in the fall is birdwatching at Sibley State Park, where more than 206 different species of birds have been seen! Mount Tom is also the best spot in the park for watching hawks in migration.

4) Comfortable weather: The fall weather in Willmar is mild and comfortable, with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to mid-60s. This makes it the perfect time for a camping adventure since it isn’t too hot or too cold! The Willmar Lakes Area is lucky to have five beautiful county campgrounds where you can create fall memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime, and of course, the beautiful campgrounds at Sibley State Park would also be a perfect spot. Located amongst the trees and on the shores of our beautiful lakes, you’ll have plenty of options to capture that Instagram-worthy fall photo. The Willmar Lakes Area is also home to a handful of beautiful resorts where you’re sure to relax and unwind by the campfire while enjoying the calm, quiet autumn nights. If you’re more of a hotel person, we have beautiful hotels right along the Glacial Lake State Trail for easy access to those fall colors you’re looking for! For example, the GrandStay Hotel & Suites and Hampton Inn Spicer.

What more could you ask for this fall? The beautiful fall foliage, festivals and events, outdoor activities, and comfortable weather make it a perfect getaway for anyone looking to enjoy the beauty of the season. So as you’re soaking up those last few days of that warm summer sun, look forward to the many amazing benefits awaiting you this fall in the Willmar Lakes Area.

Fish our lakes

The possibilities are endless on our 30 recreational lakes…boating, swimming, fishing, water skiing, tubing, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boating, hydro biking, paddle boarding and so much more!

Fishing Report

Explore our Trails

Surrounded by beautiful lakes and scenery…who wouldn’t take a hike or a leisurely bike ride to enjoy the view? With miles of trials to choose from, you can always find new places to explore.

Trail Report