Early fall is the perfect time to pick up a new outdoor hobby! The weather is still warm enough to enjoy some water-based activities but starts to get a little cooler if you want to be physically active without worrying about sunstroke or dehydration. Check out these great outdoor hobbies to enjoy before fall gives way to winter and you’re stuck indoors for a few months.
Hunting is a fulfilling outdoor hobby that connects you with nature, allows you to bond with like-minded people and on a good day enables you to fill your freezer. Depending on the season and where you live, you can hunt an array of wildlife, from turkeys to deer.
You’ll need the appropriate equipment such as a ground blind and bow or rifle to get started. ShadowHunterBlinds.com is a great site that offers professional grade hunting blinds at a great price to help get you started.
Do your research about when hunting season begins in your state, what training or certifications you need to handle your weapon, what licenses you’ll need and which areas are best for setting up your hunting chair, stand and other gear.
2. Hit the Hiking Trails
According to the American Hiking Association, hiking is a great way to enjoy nature while improving your physical and mental health. Hiking is a cardio-based activity, so it helps lower your risk of heart disease and increases bone density, strengthens leg and core muscles and improves your balance. It has also been proven to boost your mood.
When you’re new to hiking, it’s best to take it slow. Stick to shorter local hikes to build up your stamina. It’s also a good idea to bring a buddy in case you become lost or injured on the trail. Ensure you always research your route and leave plenty of time to complete the circuit before dusk, so you don’t end up on the trail after dark.
3. Go Camping and Explore Nature
Fall weather is perfect for camping, whether you are going alone or taking the entire family. During the day, make the most of your time with other outdoor activities, like hiking or mountain climbing, and then return to your camp to cozy up next to the fire with a hot beverage and s’mores after sunset.
Sleeping under the stars resets your circadian rhythms, enabling you to sleep better even after you return home. Use your time under the stars to spot constellations and benefit from a view unobscured by light pollution.
4. Take a Leisurely Paddle Downriver
If you’re seeking a relaxing way to explore the area by water, rent a canoe or kayak and let the river’s current carry you along. You can enjoy the views of a local lake or, if you’re feeling adventurous, embark on a portaging journey that takes you through several bodies of water along the way.
5. Seek Some Thrills While White Water Rafting
If thrill-seeking is more your speed, try white water rafting. Like floating, you move downriver, but it’s a bit more intense: you are in a lightweight raft, usually with other people, and a deeper, faster-moving river. You’ll get wet as you go over small drops and through fast-moving water that can toss your lightweight raft around. But it’s a great family bonding or team-building activity as you work together to navigate to the endpoint.
If you like water and the roar of an engine, consider boating as an outdoor hobby that combines the beauty of nature with your love of motorized vehicles. You can race around in your boat, hitting waves, or you can waterski, wakeboard, kneeboard or tube, which is fun for the whole family.
Depending on where you live, you may need to invest in a boat trailer that allows you to transport your vessel to various sizable bodies of water. If you live right on the lake, you can keep your boat docked at the marina all season for a small fee.
The cost of renting a dock slip depends on the season, location and length of your boat. You can also rent kayaks or rowboats at some marinas.
7. Pedal Your Way Through Fall Foliage
One of the best parts of fall is undoubtedly the beautiful colors. To truly experience them, you can rent or purchase a bike and hit a trail, whether it’s a converted railroad track or just a park loop trail.
If you’re unsure about investing in an expensive bike as a first-time cyclist, consider participating in your city’s rideshare program that allows you to rent bikes from various locations and drop them off at a different endpoint when you finish your route.
If you think purchasing a bike is the best option for you, there are plenty of online forums like Kijiji where you can find an affordable second-hand trail bike in good condition.
Listen to the leaves crunch under the wheels of your bike and look at the beautiful colors above you. Pack a snack and some water, and see how far you can go! If you’re biking after sunset, ensure you have the appropriate reflective safety gear so other cyclists or passing vehicles can easily spot you.
Fishing is a great activity to try if you have patience and persistence. You can fish from shore or hop in a canoe to get to the middle of the lake, or you can charter a boat and head out to do some deep-sea fishing.
Depending on what you’re hoping to catch, you can work with live bait or use your collection of lures. Before you head out, make sure you have the necessary fishing license for your region. Regulations and licenses vary by state.
9. Climb a Mountain and Take in Some Stunning Views
Depending on location, mountain climbing is another great hobby you can pick up. The word mountain may bring snow caps and dangerous avalanches to mind, but the simplest definition of mountain climbing is any kind of off-road, human-powered travel up a hillside.
While mountain or hill climbing, you may spot some wildlife that doesn’t venture into more populated areas. Start with the smaller mountains, like the Appalachian or Blue Ridge mountain ranges, the White Mountains or any local destinations, and work your way up to the snow-capped Rockies.
10. Document Your Travels with Nature Photography
No matter what outdoor hobby you try, adding nature photography can help you create beautiful reminders of your experiences, and you’ll probably find yourself so amazed at the beauty you encounter that you’ll want a way to capture the moment and share it with others.
Though you may eventually want to invest in a DSLR camera to have more control over your photography, you can easily start out with the camera on your smartphone.
Early morning and evening make the best time for outdoor photos because of the soft, diffused lighting, so take advantage of early morning hikes or late afternoon canoe trips: document sunrises, sunsets, wildlife or gorgeous nature phenomena like waterfalls to make lasting memories.
Creativity helps your mental health. If you’re good at nature photography, you may even be able to transform your outdoor hobby into a viable side hustle to help fund your other hobbies.
Whether you’re preparing for hunting season or considering kayaking for the first time, you’ll find that acquiring an outdoor hobby connects you with nature in a way that is incredibly satisfying.
Do some research about what outdoor experiences are most accessible in your area so you can maximize your time by hitting the trails or getting out on the water close to home.
To find the outdoor hobby that’s right for you, get outside and start experiencing various activities to see which ones you enjoy the most, and discover a lifelong passion.