Best Ways to Enjoy the Fall in the Willmar Lakes Area

A visit to the Willmar Lakes Area in the fall is one you’re sure to remember. As the temperatures begin to cool and the birds start their migration south, Kandiyohi County becomes an enchanting retreat from the quick paced schedule of the regular work week. There are so many fun activities to do during autumn and so many things to see that you’ll need more than just a weekend to enjoy them all.

Start your fall adventure off experiencing the sights and sounds of autumn. Take a bike ride along one of the many beautiful trails in our area to see a rich tapestry full of colorful trees, prairie lands and foliage. On your trail ride through Robbins Island Regional Park or along the Glacial Lakes State Trail, you’re sure to see wildlife such as cardinals, wood ducks, Canadian geese, white-tailed deer and more! 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 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. If you’d rather not bike at all, you can hike the variety of trails at Sibley State Park. Hike to the top of Mount Tom and you’ll see a rich mosaic of colorful prairies, hills, lush hardwood forests, bountiful wetland and cool, clear lakes. Mount Tom is also the best spot in the park for watching hawks in migration. And with with more than 206 different species of birds having been seen at Sibley State Park, you’re sure to spot quite of a few of them as you hike through the park.

Next, stimulate your other senses with the tastes and smells of fall. Enjoy a refreshing pint of Goat Ridge Brewery‘s Harvest Ale or or Mad Goat Marzen while enjoying a delicious artisan pizza alongside the Crow River or by the campfire. Looking for something more cozy? Then enjoy a black forest mocha and a delicious grilled chicken pesto panini at Lake Affect Coffee while perusing the many books for sale at Flyleaf Book Shop. You can always stop at Westwood Cafe in Spicer for a tasty breakfast of caramel apple waffles or a soothing cup of chicken wild rice soup. If you’re heading into Willmar, make sure you stop at LuLu Beans Coffee House to fully enjoy the most popular fall flavor: pumpkin! Order a pumpkin spice latte or a pumpkin chai and get a pumpkin bar or pumpkin muffin to go with it. And don’t forget to make a stop at Foxhole Brewhouse to enjoy their delicious Oktoberfest beer!

Another great way to enjoy fall is to take advantage of the amazing fall shopping and the great deals. The shops and boutiques in New London always have amazing specials during their Fall Festival, Ladies Night Out and Home for the Holidays shopping events. You’ll be able to find the latest in fall fashion at The Happy Sol and Ali J Boutique and beautiful autumn home décor at Three Sisters Furnishings. While in Spicer, be sure to check out the gorgeous fall sweaters and jackets as well as the MN/Local Love collection at Urban Escape. Other great shopping destinations for fall are Shoppe 14 in Uptown Willmar, The Red Poppy in Prinsburg, and The Vintage Hub in Kandiyohi.

Finish off your amazing autumn adventure with some relaxing entertainment. The Willmar Lakes Area is lucky to have talented community members that put on plays, musicals and comedies throughout the year at two great community theatres: New London Little Theatre and The Barn Theatre in Willmar. Be sure to check their fall schedules to make sure you plan your visit during one of their entertaining productions. You can also enjoy a great meal or refreshing beverage at one of the bars/restaurants that host live musical entertainment during the fall. Other great times to visit would be when Goat Ridge Brewery hosts their Oktoberfest event or Foxhole Brewhouse hosts their Foxtoberfest event. They both boast fall beer flavors, delicious food, great music and fun games during their events. Find these fun events and more on our Event Calendar.

So even though we’re all sad that summer has to end each year, we can look forward to the many sights, sounds, tastes and smells of fall that can be found in the Willmar Lakes Area! Each year you can experience autumn in in all its glory right here in Kandiyohi County!

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