Cuyuna Country Overlook at the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area showing an outcropping of a trail overlooking a lake during an orange sunset

6 Reasons to Love Fall in the Brainerd Lakes

The crisp air, smaller crowds, and colorful backdrop make fall the perfect time to explore the Brainerd Lakes. Here are our top 6 ways to love the season.

1920x1080 aerial photo of fall leaves and historic Pequot Lakes Water Tower

#1) Historic Pequot Lakes Fire Tower

If you’re looking for breathtaking view of the fall foliage, check out the historic fire tower in Pequot Lakes. Recently renovated, the fire tower is now part of a county park. Have a picnic in the pavilion and walk the hiking trails around the tower grounds. Climb the 135 steps of the 100 foot tower for one of the best views in the area. When the fall colors pop, this view is guaranteed to be spectacular. 

The Pines Grand View Lodge Fall Golf on a sunny day with blue skys and trees with orange leaves and green grass

#2) Golf

If you’re a golfer, you’ll love coming to the Brainerd Lakes Area. We have some of the best golfing in the state. We have several nationally recognized courses all within close proximity to each other, which makes accessibility and playability easy. Whether you’re looking for a golf getaway with family or a group of friends, the Brainerd Lakes should be on your golf bucket list. Check out area golf courses. Fall is a great time to find lower green fees and stay and play packages.

Crow Wing State Park

#3) Crow Wing State Park

If you love history and the outdoors, visit Crow Wing State Park. You’ll love the nature of this state park at the confluence of the Mississippi and Crow Wing Rivers. Walk the boardwalk and learn the history of the once-prosperous town site of Old Crow Wing. Step back in time with interpretive signs around the Red River Ox Cart Trail. You can hike 18 miles of trails. The park also has 6.5 miles of paved bike trail, which connects to the Paul Bunyan State Trail. Fall brings a crispness in the air (and no bugs!), which makes exploring the Crow Wing State Park perfection.

1920x1200 Two people biking in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation in the fall colorsArea

#4) Cuyuna Bike Trails

Get your heart pumping while traversing the red dirt of the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area (CCSRA). With over 25 miles of singletrack trail riding spread across 800 acres, CCSRA offers world class mountain biking. Whether you’re a beginner or looking for a challenge, you’ll find it on the trails in Cuyuna. The Miner’s Mountain Overlook offers expansive and impressive views of the mine lakes and landscape. It’s the perfect backdrop for a fall photo. of Old Crow Wing. Step back in time with interpretive signs around the Red River Ox Cart Trail. You can hike 18 miles of trails. The park also has 6.5 miles of paved bike trail, which connects to the Paul Bunyan State Trail. Fall brings a crispness in the air (and no bugs!), which makes exploring the Crow Wing State Park perfection.

1920x1200 Two adults and one kid biking on the Paul Bunyan State Trail with red, yellow fall leaves

#5) Paul Bunyan Trail

If flat paved trails are more your speed, the Paul Bunyan Trail is for you. At 120 miles long, it’s the longest continually paved multiuse trail in Minnesota. It winds through some seriously pretty nature views. The trail goes from the Crow Wing State Park (you’ll see the Mississippi River) north to Bemidji. You can stop at Trailside Park in Pequot Lakes and take a pit stop. Plenty of green space to take a leisurely break. Or grab a bite to eat before you continue your biking route.

1920x1200 photo of person zip lining at Brainerd Zipline Tour in the trees during fall with bright red, orange, yellow, and green leaves

#6) Brainerd ZipLIne Tour

Add some thrill to your fall getaway with Brainerd Zip Line Tour, which operates out of Mount Ski Gull. The 2.5 hour guided zipline tour will give you a stunning bird’s eye view of Gull Lake and surrounding areas. The zipline platforms would be a great place to view the fall colors—and get the freeing feeling of soaring through the trees.

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