This post is sponosored by Wiivv. All opinions are my own.
Whether I’m adventuring in the wilderness or engaging in urban exploration this fall, my new Wiivv custom insoles are making every step even better. So you don’t feel left out, I’ve put together a collection of the 12 best outdoor activities for fall. These activities are perfect for bringing friends and family together – even if you’re an empty nester like I am. (Not to mention you’ll have some pretty instagram worthy adventures to share.)
I suffer from fibromyalgia. This means more than my fair share of painful days. However, one of the best natural treatments for tackling fibromyalgia pain is to stay active. Therefore, comfortable shoes are a must. Unfortunately, due to both my body’s limitations as well as a low arch, even walking can sometimes be painful. With Wiivv’s custom insoles, my feet are pain free after a walk on the greenway or a hike up my favorites trails. I also no longer have to sacrifice style for comfort when I want to spend a night out dancing to one of my favorite local bands.
I can’t even imagine if I had to be on my feet all day for work without my Wiivv insoles! (Especially since my favorite shoes are busted, stained and have literally no arch support.) They make such a big difference. I highly recommend them for anyone who’s been experiencing foot pain. They’re perfect for shoes with no support, new shoes that haven’t been broken in yet and old shoes in which the insoles are completely worn out. Because they are 3-D printed to fit your feet, you always get a perfect fit.
Lucky for me, my hometown of Roanoke, VA has made a LOT of progress over the past decade to make our city more friendly for foot traffic. They’ve invested in both a greenway and our river. They have built boat access docks for kayaking as well as bike rental stations throughout the downtown area. Because Roanoke is nestled in the valley and surrounded by the Blue Ridge mountains, hiking and camping trips are super convenient. We also have quite a few wineries in the surrounding area, including one on our very own mountain top.
If you don’t live in an adventure filled locale, don’t worry. Sometimes it’s just a matter of putting on your thinking cap and coming up with creative solutions. Or take a day trip to somewhere close by and really make those fall memories that you’ll remember for years to come.
With the weather finally starting to cool down from a stifling summer, fall is the perfect time to slip your sole insoles into your favorite hiking shoes. Or try Wiivv’s custom sandals, made to fit your feet, for comfortable walks around town and down by the river. Following are some of my favorite outdoor activities for fall. However, I’d love for you to share your own favorite outdoor activities for fall in the comments!
Fun Outdoor Activities for Fall
Go on a bike ride.
While mountain biking is totally plausible in my area, a simple leisurely bike ride on the greenway or around downtown Roanoke is the perfect outdoor fall activity for the entire family. There are 30 miles of urban trails that connect to scenic nature spots, charming neighborhoods and our bustling downtown area.
If you don’t own a bicycle, check to see if your local bike shop rents bikes by the hour. Or look into areas that offer bike sharing. Zagster is a bike share network lets you rent bicycles from any of their convenient pick up and drop off locations by the hour or through a monthly membership.
Go on a picnic.
Picnics also make great outdoor activities for fall. You can live pretty much anywhere and plan a fall picnic. However, my favorite picnic spot is one of our local wineries, Vahalla. Not only can my friends and I enjoy a wine a tasting at this winery, they also offer seating and picnic tables. So you can buy a bottle of wine and enjoy it outside with your own picnic lunch!
I love the view from the top of the mountain at this winery. And that there are fewer insects in the fall makes the event even more enjoyable. There are wineries all over the United States. So even if you don’t have a winery in your city, there’s a good chance you can find one close by – or at least within an hour or so of your home.
Take a trip to the zoo.
It was a complete surprise to me that one of my most favorite outdoor activities for fall would be a trip to the zoo. Because zoos are just for kids, right? Wrong. Our local zoo, Mill Mountain Zoo, runs fundraising activities for adults throughout the year. A worthy cause, the money goes to support animals that are unable to be released back into the wild as well as to support breeding programs for animals at high risk for extinction.
They also do a lot of educational work with local schools – something that my roommate, Bambi, is in charge of. I think her favorite part of her outreach however, is taking animals to visit residents at our local nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Some of their regular fundraising events include a monthly Breakfast with the Animals and their semi-regular event, Brew at the Zoo.
Brew at the Zoo is probably my favorite event that I’ve attended. Not only is there live acoustic music (I can dance FOREVER with my new Wiivv insoles) but there’s also beer from local breweries and a food truck. This fall they are also hosting their annual Zoo Boo fundraiser. This family friendly event offers trick-or-treating for kids and costume contests as well as performances and “spooktacular” art activities – all outdoors!
If you have a zoo close by, I highly encourage you to check out their events page. It’s a safe bet they offer a variety of adult themed, outdoor activities for fall that allow you not only to socialize, but will make you feel like a kid again!
I grew up hiking with my family from a young age. So it has always been another of my favorite outdoor activities for fall. However, since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it’s not always something my body will let me do. So when I hike, I tend to stick to the easier trails that are under four miles round trip.
Living by the mountains we have hiking trails everywhere! One of which is just a short 20 minute drive down the road. Nestled within a residential neighborhood, Read Mountain Preserve offers several trail options. My favorite of which is the Buzzards Rock lookout.
I fully admit that I’ve started up this mountain and had to turn around not even a quarter of the way up as the my body wouldn’t cooperate. However, I was able to make this hike last weekend. Reaching the top of that mountain was exhausting, but incredibly amazing. My Wiivv insoles really helped on this hike. And those shin splints I usually get after my first hike of the year, were almost nonexistent this go around.
As my boyfriend, Greg, only just moved to Roanoke last December, it was his first time on this trail. So it was quite the adventure for both of us. I also love hiking up Cascade Falls which is located just outside of Blacksburg, the home of Virginia Tech.
Go on a nature walk.
You don’t have to live anywhere in particular to take a nature walk. You can simply explore your local neighborhood and forage for acorns or pinecones to take home and use as part of your fall decor. Or take photographs of the different fall leaves to look up what kinds of trees are in your area as an educational experience for the family.
We actually have a wonderful local artisan from Floyd, VA who hunts for fabulous fungi that she later dries and uses to make unique one-of-a-kind jewelry for her small business, Woodland Wonders.
Go river tubing.
Tubing on the river is fun in the summer, but it’s glorious in the fall. As I’m fair skinned I burn like mad if I’m anywhere near water during the summer – even with SPF 50. So I actually enjoy river tubing as one of my favorite outdoor activities for fall. Not only do I not have to contend with the heat, but there’s also less of chance I’m going to look like a lobster by the end of the trip.
If floating lazily down the river isn’t really your speed, consider kayaking instead. The 45-mile Roanoke River Blueway is a water trail that offers opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, tubing and wading – all while taking in the local wildlife. This waterway passes through and around Roanoke, Virginia and its surrounding counties. The Roanoke River has 17 public access points, some of which also offer picnic areas and playgrounds.
Visit your local farmer’s market.
Another one of my favorite outdoor activities for fall is visiting the Historic Roanoke City Market on Saturday mornings. The walk through the market is always enjoyable. In addition to seasonal plants, fruits and vegetables that can be found at our market, there are also some pretty amazing artisans that sell their handmade soaps, pottery, stained glass, jewelry and photographs. I can’t think of a better way to spend a shopping trip than with a mix of an outdoor walk and pleasant conversations from fellow crafters.
Take a walking tour of your area’s local art galleries.
Roanoke is lucky enough that we have quite a few art galleries located downtown. All of the galleries are within walking distance of one another. On the first Friday of each month, all of the galleries participate in an event coined Art By Night. The local art galleries stay open late for this free event so those who work during the day have the chance to attend.
I love walking to and visiting each of the galleries in our downtown urban spaces and seeing new works by local artists. Many of the galleries also offer free hors d’oeuvres and wine. Which, I’m not gonna lie, makes the event even more enjoyable.
Hunt for river rocks.
Another one of my favorite outdoor activities for fall is rock hunting. This past summer Greg and I spent a lot of time at a local park doing just that. This park, in particular, has several easy hiking trails as well as a creek running through it. (My mom would bring me to this park when I was little and I used to bring home crawdads I’d find in the creek.) So we had a great time exploring the creek for the length of the park and collecting rocks that we took home to paint later.
I’ll admit, I got super excited when Greg and I found a painted art rock someone had hid along the greenway this summer. So, of course, that inspired me to paint and hide rocks as well. Unfortunately we’ve not had any fruitful finds on our hunts since, but we really enjoy the process of finding, painting and hiding our rocks nonetheless.
Jasper also accompanied us on a few of our adventures. Unfortunately he was not as interested in the water as we were. And being that he has short, stubby little legs, I can understand him not really getting into traipsing through a creek that left his belly soaking wet. We did spot a crawdad on one such trip. It was so large it almost looked like a lobster. Jasper, being the grumpy little man that he is, was even less interested in the crawdads. But I think deep down he secretly enjoyed the park regardless.
Attend an outdoor Halloween inspired event.
Halloween means even more fun outdoor activities for fall. While walking through a haunted house is never really on my bucket list (I was terrified by someone grabbing my ankle in a haunted house when I was four) most localities plan extra events centered around this holiday.
While we don’t have a local amusement park to celebrate Halloween outdoors, we do have mini golf. Yep, mini golf. This October, the Explore Park in Roanoke County is hosting its first ever Haunted Woods Mini Golf event for Halloween. This event will feature 18-holes of miniature golf accented with ghouls, goblins and frightening decor. While the glow-in-the-dark golf balls will help you on your journey along the way. So be sure to check out your city’s local government or event page to find out what’s happening in your community this Halloween.
Attend a fall festival.
Fall festivals always top my list of favorite outdoor activities for fall. I alway enjoy our local Harvest Festival on the Roanoke City Market. However there also events at local farms where you can enjoy hayrides and corn mazes. Or swing by a local fall wine or beer festival to enjoy a tasting of the latest seasonally inspired brews.
Our annual Go Outside! Festival (or GO Fest for short) in Roanoke encourages people to spend more time outdoors with activities like on-site camping, a BMX stunt show and live music events. There’s also a air flying dog show that’s always fun to watch. Or you can learn about wilderness first aid or play a round of air golf.
There are so many great outdoor activities to enjoy this fall, it’s hard to pick just one. So why not try them all? (Just don’t forget to take your Wiivv custom insoles or sandals along with you on your journeys!)
What are some of your favorite outdoor activities for fall in your area? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!