5 Things to Do Outside this Fall

Watch colorful leaves gently dance in the breeze. Nestle into a warm sweater as you sip your hot, apple cider. Allow the crisp, clean air to refresh your spirit. Fall in Staples, MN, is a beautiful time of year.

Hike with your family through Old Wadena Park and among the vibrantly colored trees. Soak in the temperate weather while camping at Dower Lake Recreation Area. Eat your fill of fresh-picked apples and homemade apple pie.

Take advantage of those fall weekends and school holidays in Staples. Satisfy your craving for small-town goodness with these family-friendly activities:

Barn Quilts

The Central MN Barn Quilt Trail now has over 100 uniquely designed barn quilts winding through four Central Minnesota counties. Staples is proud to be at the heart of this growing outdoor art gallery. In town, visitors may walk the downtown trail to find businesses and homes displaying their artwork. Venture out in a car and follow the trail from Pine Grove Park to Legacy Gardens in the north. For those wanting to journey the whole trail, make weekend reservations to be central to all four counties displaying barn quilts.

The trail is open all year round, but autumn is a great time to visit. The countryside is bursting with fall color, and the pleasant weather makes traveling easy. Stop along your route at roadside stands for fresh apples and pumpkins. You can find a full trail map at the Staples Historic Depot or online at https://barnquiltsmn.org/trail-map/.

Corn Maze and Haunted Hollows

Holst Acres is hopping in October! In addition to year-round laser tag, each fall Holst Acres welcomes visitors to their 1-acre Corn Maze and their scary Haunted Hollows.

The Corn Maze is fun for the whole family. With puzzles and activities throughout the maze, you’ll need to work together through the twisting pathways to find your way out. And don’t think you know the way! It’s a different maze each year.

After solving the Corn Maze, families will enjoy a hayride around the farm, access to a picnic area, and a kids’ play area.
Is your Halloween not complete without being scared witless? Holst Acres offers their wicked scream-fest, Haunted Hollows and Haunted Hayride. Explore their wooded trail and four haunted buildings – if you DARE! You never know what will be lurking around the corner. Quick tip: a nightlight may be purchased from either Ace Hardware or Staples True Value… 😊

Please visit their website at holstacres.com for pricing and a full schedule of all their activities.

Shooting Range

Keep your aim straight! Hunting season is just around the corner, and now is the right time to get some practice. The Staples Sportsman’s Club maintains a public rifle and archery range just north of town. The rifle range has 25, 50, and 100-yard target backstops. Archery has four targets available. The range is open every day from 9 am – sunset. Become a Sportsman’s Club member for access to trap shoots.


Don your orange, lace up your hiking boots, and pack the hunting gear. Hunt the scenic Staples Wildlife Management Area (Staples WMA). It’s one of our country’s largest wetland mitigation projects. Game species include deer, bear, small game, forest upland birds, waterfowl, and turkey. Vehicles can access the area’s interior from the start of small game seasons through the end of the muzzleloader season.

Are you hunting private land in Central Minnesota? Staples is the perfect home base for your hunting weekends. It’s central to everything with comfortable lodging choices and delicious restaurants.

Holiday Craft Fair

The annual Holiday Craft Fair is held at the Staples Community Center the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Over 50 vendors from around the state bring their wares to Staples. And the fair continues to grow! From homemade goodies to hand-crafted gifts to personalized ornaments, find something for everyone on your list.

Kids also get excited about the craft fair each year – Santa comes to Staples! Get those holiday cards together early and take your family’s picture with the big guy in red. After pictures, families can burn off some energy swimming for free during Open Swim.

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