Oddballs of Fall

Autumn's uncommon activites.

Summer may have wrapped up, but there’s still plenty of time to spend outdoors before the snow falls. While the tried and true autumn activities are always a good bet, there are plenty of less common ways to enjoy Montana’s outdoor playground, so long as you’re willing to venture off the beaten path. 

Bow Fishing 
Peak season of fly fishing is behind us and hunting season is here, so why not combine the two? At Canyon Ferry, bow fishing is a fun way to hone your skills, and it presents new challenges to even the most experienced archers. A short, lightweight bow is ideal for slaying sluggish carp. And as redneck as this sport sounds, you still need a fishing license.

bow fishing, sunset, bow, archery

Leaf Spotting
In Montana, we don’t see the drastic change of fall foliage everywhere, but there’s still great leaf watching, you just need to know where to go. Take a hike up South Cottonwood or drive up to Hyalite for a mix of yellows, oranges, and a mountain backdrop. If you’re up for a bit of a jaunt, Paradise Valley is another great destination for fall colors. 

fall color, autumn, leaf spotting

Mushroom Hunting
Most people think spring is Montana’s best season for fungi foraging, but early fall is as equally excellent. Whether you’re looking for chanterelles under moist forest cover, shaggy manes after a rain, or the curious-looking lobster mushroom, there’s a myriad of options to fill your basket and your belly—just be sure you know what it is before you eat it.

mushrooms, foraging, fungus

Roller Skiing
Nordic skiing season is nearly here, thus a perfect time to transition your trail-running fitness into cross-country cardio. If you want to feel the burn as you climb up local hills and the rush of flying back down, strap on a pair of roller skis and take to the road, no grooming required. 

roller skating, fall activities, roller blading

Wood Carving
The subtle art of chainsaw carving may be a bit complex to take up on a whim, but there’s no better time to try it out than in the cooling days of fall. Start small, with a stump of a manageable size, and a design you can easily visualize. Remember, you can always cut off more later—go slowly and enjoy watching your figure come to life. 

wood carving, chainsaw, lumber art

Plein Air Painting
Get some painting supplies together and head for the hills. Whether you have experience with a brush or not, taking in a beautiful view slowly and deliberately makes for maximum enjoyment. Channel your inner Bob Ross and first get the big shapes down before focusing on your happy little trees. Fall in Montana is the perfect time to dive into a bright pallet of reds, yellows, and oranges.

plein air painting, art, paint