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Fall Day Trips: Nearby Attractions and Scenic Drives around Leech Lake


Planning a fall trip to the Leech Lake area? One of the best ways to soak in the season is by embarking on a day trip to nearby attractions and scenic drives. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of our favorite destinations that await you around Leech Lake during the fall season.


The Paul Bunyan State Trail

While visiting the Leech Lake Area, don’t miss the Paul Bunyan State Trail. It is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. As fall sets in, this forest becomes a vibrant tapestry of colors, with maple and oak trees painting the landscape in hues of crimson and gold. Take a leisurely hike through the trails, and don’t forget your camera to capture the stunning foliage. The Paul Bunyan Trail and the Heartland Trial are connected to paved trails that travel through downtown Walker.


Itasca State Park

Known as the headwaters of the Mississippi River, Itasca State Park is a must-visit destination during the fall season. The park boasts over 32,000 acres of wilderness, complete with lakes, hiking trails, and abundant wildlife. Fall brings a symphony of colors to the park, and you can’t miss the opportunity to walk across the iconic Mississippi Headwaters at this time of year.


Heartland State Trail

For those who prefer a scenic drive, the Heartland State Trail delivers unparalleled beauty. This 49-mile-long trail, which connects Park Rapids to Cass Lake, offers a relaxing drive through dense forests and serene lakes. Stop at the various trailheads to stretch your legs and admire the fall foliage.


Chippewa National Forest

A short drive from Leech Lake, the Chippewa National Forest is an expansive wilderness paradise. In the fall, the forest turns into a kaleidoscope of colors, making it an ideal destination for leaf peepers. Explore the Lost Forty, a unique stand of old-growth red and white pine trees that have never been logged, for an awe-inspiring experience.


Lake Country Scenic Byway 

Lake Country Scenic Byway is aptly named, offering a visual feast for travelers seeking fall beauty. This route winds through charming towns, dense forests, and along the shores of serene lakes. Stop at scenic overlooks to take in panoramic views of the colorful landscape.



Walker City Park

While in Walker, MN, be sure to visit Walker City Park. In the fall, this park transforms into a beautiful scene with its mature trees adorned in brilliant autumn colors. Take a leisurely stroll through the park, have a picnic, or simply relax by the shores of Leech Lake.


Leech Lake

For those interested in water activities, Leech Lake is an excellent spot for fall kayaking or canoeing. Paddle along the calm waters and enjoy the reflection of the vibrant fall colors on the lake’s surface.


Whipholt Beach

A visit to Whipholt Beach is a relaxing way to spend a fall afternoon. Situated on the shores of Leech Lake, it provides a peaceful setting for a lakeside picnic or a leisurely walk along the beach, all while surrounded by the autumn beauty of the area.


As the leaves change and the air turns crisp, the Leech Lake region transforms into a fall wonderland. Whether you’re interested in hiking through colorful forests, embarking on scenic drives, exploring charming towns, or learning about local history, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on these fall day trips. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and let the beauty of autumn in northern Minnesota captivate your senses as you explore the wonders of Leech Lake and its surrounding attractions. 

Contact us today at the Leech Lake Chamber of Commerce if you are interested in any additional information about Walker, MN!


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