Fall in Whatcom County conjures our senses of beautiful changing colors and the feel of the approaching coolness in the air. We catch the tasty comfort smells of apple orchards and pumpkin patches. The season tells us school is in session and the holidays are just around the corner.

As we welcome the changing season into our community and homes, we look to the many activities around town that celebrate this favorite time of year. There is a variety of affordable fall fun in Whatcom County for the whole family. And, if you are looking to get in touch with the colors and nature, fall is an incredible time to take in some of our local trails. Here are just a few of the many opportunities for you and your family to experience the season.

Enjoy apple picking among the vast orchards at Bellewood Acres. Photo courtesy: Bellewood Acres.

At Bellwood Acres, fall ushers in the apple harvest. With a variety of apples to choose from, you and your family can hit the expansive orchards for some incredible apple picking. Explore the orchards on your own or get aboard the “Apple Bin Express,” the Bellwood Acres train that takes you through the 25,000-tree orchard.

When you have filled those bags with apples, grab your kids and friends and hit the pumpkin patch to find the perfect pumpkins. Then, head to the Country Café for some cider and a snack. The Café features a lunch menu, pastry and pies, caramel apples and so much more to delight the palate. And be sure to catch some tastings at the Distillery from apple liqueurs to specialty vodkas.

Looking for even more adventures with fruit from our community this fall? Catch the Fruit Festival at the Cloud Mountain Farm Center on October 7 and 8. This fall festival features tastings of over 200 varieties of fruit, live music, local food and even ice cream made from Cloud Mountain Farm Center products. For the kids there are kids’ activities and a pumpkin patch.

Cloud Mountain Farm Center is a nonprofit community farm center that provides hands-on learning to beginning farmers and experienced farmers as well as home gardeners and is dedicated to keeping our local food system healthy and thriving. All admission fees support crop research and community education as well as new farmer training.

The past comes into the present with a nostalgic Pumpkin Patch on Rails ride. Photo courtesy: Lake Whatcom Railway.

Harvest Festivals are great events of the fall. The Ferndale Harvest Festival and Pumpkin Games is presented by the Ferndale Downtown Association on October 15. Located between the Pioneer Pavillion Community Center and the Boys and Girls Club Ferndale Clubhouse, the annual festival features fun activities such as the pumpkin toss and pumpkin painting along with games and crafts. Grab a cider and a snack and check out the fun with pumpkins and kids.

If you’re looking for a visit into the past, check out the 2017 Pumpkin Patch on Rails presented by Lake Whatcom Railway. As you travel in authentic Pullman passenger cars while experiencing the gold and red colors of fall, you will be serenaded by a banjo player from the Wickersham Station to Mirror Lake. As you ride, you will see many aspects of our railroad history. Once you reach your destination, you and your family will pick out the perfect pumpkin to take home with you. Create memories on this nostalgic trip through time as you celebrate the fall season.

Ready to embrace the season outdoors with a hike? Inspiration lies in the beautiful changing colors of fall along the trails and parks in our local community. Take in the evergreen and mature trees as you hike along the all-weather maintained trail through the Stimpson Family Nature Preserve. 

The Stimpson Family Nature Preserve brings serenity and inspiration. Photo courtesy: Stimpson Family Nature Preserve.

Looking for time along the water to admire the changes of the season? You can have the best of both worlds as you grab a coffee at Woods Coffee in Boulevard Park just off the trail from Fairhaven. The trail winds from the historic area along the water and across the boardwalk. Take in the fall colors among the trees as you wind through the park and onto the trail leading into downtown.

Start a beautiful hike at Hovander Homestead Park along the Tennant Lake and Hovander Homestead trails. Enjoy the serene quiet and step into the open fields of the Nooksack River Dike Trail that takes you along the banks of the river. Find the boardwalk that takes you through a wooded marsh area and wetlands for a special moment of beauty just a short distance from town.

From hiking to festivals and train rides, fall in Whatcom County shows us the beauty of our surroundings and the involvement from our community in the activities that are available to all of us. Experience the changing colors of the trees as you enjoy the apple harvests and pumpkin patches while grabbing a warm cider. Enjoy the season!

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