How much do we love these (mostly) sunny days and crisp, cool nights in Central Oregon? Autumn is a favorite for many, as we transition between two of our top outdoor recreational seasons in the region and into what some call the “shoulder” season. Not to worry, there’s still plenty of fun to be had around here! We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite fall activities for you here: 

Hit the trails: Okay, we know, we say this in every season. The truth is that we have some pretty awesome trails around here. Fall holds one HUGE benefit: trails are far less trafficked than they are in the summer. So if you want to enjoy nature – either from your mountain bike or on foot for a hike – fall is the perfect time. Plus, the trees are changing color, so you’ll have plenty of stunning photo opportunities. Check out the popular Phil’s Trail complex for biking, and any of the trails off the Cascade Lakes Highway, such as the Todd Lake loop, before the road closes for the winter.

BendFilm Festival: A staple of Central Oregon’s cultural heartbeat for the past 18 years, BendFilm Festival is being held October 7-17 this year. With a blend of virtual and in-person events and screenings, this event continues to be a celebration of independent film. “Meet your heroes, connect with future collaborators and explore all that BendFilm has to offer.” We wrote more about their work in the community last month.  

Catch a concert: The Les Schwab Amphitheater has really upped its fall concert game this year, extending what is normally a summer-focused lineup all the way into mid-October. We recommend bundling up for the cool evening weather and dancing your heart out to the likes of Brandie Carlisle, Foreigner, Luke Bryan and, our personal favorite and 80s alternative staple, The Violent Femmes. Let it go wild and enjoy live music outdoors in Central Oregon this fall. 

Go patching: Far and away the very best of fall-time activities, going to the pumpkin patch is a must do for every Central Oregonian. If this isn’t already an annual tradition for you and your family, then it isn’t too late to start. We have two main pumpkin patches to choose from near Smith Rock in Terrebonne: DD Ranch and Smith Rock Ranch. Both are charming and full of a variety of activities, from petting zoos to a big corn maize and more. Of course, both have a huge variety of pumpkins to choose from in their you-pick pumpkin patches, plus some exotics in their on-site stores.  

Fall events are back: This October 1-3, the Bend Fall Festival is back in all its orange-hued glory with live music, a harvest market, kids zone and fine art displays. The very same weekend, Sisters will be alive with the sounds of music featuring 30 artists in seven different outdoor venues during the renowned Sisters Folk Festival. So put your bells on, and plan to festival your heart out to kick off the month of October in Central Oregon.

Take a deep breath of fresh fall air, Central Oregon. There are a lot of fun things to do out there! 

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