Fall colors on trees along Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota

Top 5 Things To Do in Mille Lacs This Fall

It may be summer now, but fall is on its way and it is one of our favorite seasons at Mille Lacs!

Whether you are slowing down to enjoy a sip of your coffee under the vibrant canopy of a fall tree or hitting the road for a little adventure, we have our Top 5 things to in Mille Lacs this fall!

Woman sitting underneath tree on top of fall foliage.

1. Slow Down and Fill Your Cuppa

The beauty of fall foliage is that it beckons us to slow down. The vibrancy of the autumn leaves only lasts a short while and the only way to truly enjoy it is to be present for it. So our number 1 thing to do this fall on Mille Lacs? Relax!

Your stay at The Red Door Resort means you can enjoy the charm of autumn right from your cabin, motel room or RV site. Step outside with your favorite hot drink cupped in both hands as you feel that crisp early morning air. Go for a stroll along the beach or to snuggle into your favorite spot under the blue Minnesota sky. 

Look around you. The fall is right here. In the colorful canopy overhead. The crunch of leaves underfoot. Or the rainbow treeline along the lake. All you have to do is enjoy it. 

Looking out from car driver seat at fall foliage lined road.

2. Hit the Road with a Scenic Drive

If you’re up for a bit more adventure and some rolling views, a scenic drive is a perfect fall day activity. 

Our suggestion? Pack a picnic lunch and head out on Highway 18. This popular, beautiful route along the north side of Mille Lacs Lake will take you from Garrison to Malmo. You’ll encounter stunning views out over Mille Lacs and along the shore.

There’s no rush. Take it slow and take breaks to snap photographs and admire the changing views in real time. 

As you head back to the resort, choose a detour up Route 169 to 210 where you can stop in at Gilby’s Orchard for apple picking, hay ride and more. It is a quintessential Minnesota fall experience.

Dock along shore of Mille Lacs Lake with fall foliage in background.

3. Hit the Water for a Fall Fishing Trip

Fewer anglers on the water, gorgeous views all around the lake and fish that love the change in weather –

those are some fantastic reasons to enjoy fall from the boat and with rod in hand!

The fall Minnesota fishing season here on Mille Lacs is an opportune time to be on the water, especially if you’re hoping to catch walleye. In the summer months, when the waters warm, walleye head to deeper, cooler spots. In the fall, as the temperatures cool, those walleye make their way back to shallower depths and give you the opportunity to find them in a greater range of habitat throughout the lake.

And that is true of more than the walleye. Other species, too, enjoy the change to cooler weather and will be active longer including smallmouth and largemouth bass, muskellunge, northern pike and tullibee.  

Choose to cast from shore, bring your own boat, rent a vessel or head out with a guide

View over canopy of trees at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park.

4. Hit the Trails for Views Upon Views

This vast wooded region is full of excellent trails with spectacular views particularly in the fall. And you can choose to explore them by foot or bike. Or, get a little more adventurous and head out on a water route instead. 

Our recommendation? Start with the parks!

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park not only includes miles of trails with views of waterways, boardwalks over bogs and fieldscapes, it also includes an observation tower. Climb 100 feet up for views that cannot be beat over an incredible stretch of autumn canopy. 

Father Hennepin State Park includes 4.5 miles of trail through woods and along the lake shore. The views are terrific and the fall is a great time to try birding and animal spotting along your walks. While you may not be dipping into the lake on your stay, you’ll find a sandy beach which is a perfect place to take in those remaining warm rays of autumn as you picnic.

Open fire with lake and trees in background.

5. Ease into the Fall Evenings

We’re going to end our day a little bit like we started it because another favorite fall activity at Mille Lacs is cozying up by the fire, under a brilliant night sky dotted with stars and s’mores supplies at the ready. 

Chillier evenings mean you can warm by the fire as your heart warms through the stories you share with family and friends. The vast beauty of Mille Lacs is awe-inpsiring as the fall Minnesota night sky extends above it and reflects off of it. If luck is on your side, conditions may even be right for viewing the Northern Lights at Lake Mille Lacs

Are you ready to enjoy the season with these top 5 things to do in Mille Lacs this fall?

We are, too!

Decide on your best fall vacation dates and then book your cabin, motel room or RV site stay to ensure you are set to enjoy Minnesota fall foliage in the gorgeous backdrop of Mille Lacs!



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