Getting Outdoors in the fall offers more than just colors, scents, and crisp temperatures. Along with good memories, these experiences offer a range of looks and feels. Here are some fall looks to try on or out this year as you head out to woods or waters, your local park or backyard.
Common sense would imply that getting outdoors is healthy and study after study have noted new health boosts as well. Walking, jogging, and hiking are great for bone and muscle health. These can be habit forming in a good way and lead to toning, weight loss, stress and anxiety relief, increased energy, and creative thinking. It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor on the best outdoor exercise for you. Perhaps best of all are the sensory boosts and feelings of accomplishment as you move through nature. Our nature centers and conservation areas offer a variety of trails and places to enjoy the outdoors close to home or a day trip away. Discover more on hiking and hiking events.
A new season offers new ways to be refreshed in the outdoors. A fall float is a great way to explore Missouri’s waters without the crowds of summer. There’s changing colors, cool waters that still feel refreshing on warmer days, and wild sounds. It’s a relaxing time to fish as well. Discover more about paddling. Discover more about fishing. Discover fall events near you.
A campfire or fire pit will warm up conversation and treats on chilly evenings. While you’re out you may hear night sounds that you haven’t noticed before. After being out, you may begin to feel a new inner glow.
Did you know Missouri has a mushroom with bioluminescence? The Jack-o’-Lantern mushroom is perfectly colored for Halloween in orange tones. They are around from July through October and often found in clusters near wood. When fresh, they emit a dim green glow from their undersides. This is similar to the way fireflies produce light. This light attracts bugs that help spread spores among the forest. Once the mushrooms start to decay, they lose their light. Jack-o’-Lantern mushrooms are poisonous, yet resemble other edible mushrooms like chanterelles, so it helps to know your mushrooms. Discover more about Missouri's glowing mushroom.
You can be surprised by lots of cool things in nature, especially while camping. You may hear or see an owl. As the leaves fall, your view will expand beyond the trees to notice more birds and other scenery. You may also be a bit freaked out if spiders aren’t your thing. Their web designs are incredibly fascinating to observe this time of year. Maybe you notice a squirrel swimming across a river, an eagle soaring, find a cool rock, nut, or pattern, or even a new friend. The discoveries are unexpected, usually fun, and make the best pictures. You might also discover a new hobby or that you are stronger or tougher than you thought. Always be prepared for the outdoors before you go. Discover more about camping.
Discover Nature Notes Radio: Fall Sounds
Nothing beats the joy from autumn in the outdoors, especially when shared with friends, children, and even pets. MDC has some trails where leashed dogs are allowed. Always check ahead before heading to the trail. Raking together leaf piles for our kids to leap into is a timeless tradition. The smells of the leaves bring back happy memories.
Whether it’s a walk through a neighborhood park or a trail hike, a float trip or S’mores in the backyard, try one or more of these or another fall look and see how they fit.