Green Activities to Do in the Fall

By Catherine Bryan 
GreenEriePA Writer


  • Pick Pumpkins
    Pick Pumpkins

    Min Time: 1 hour+ Depending on Distance
    Cost: Around 50 cents per pound, or $5 for a basketball-sized pumpkin.
    Difficulty: Easy

    Pumpkins are a festive symbol of the Fall season. Picking pumpkins is a fun family day that just keeps giving. Take an outing with the family. Then you can carve your pumpkins into festive jack-o'-lanterns, bake the seeds, and make homemade pumpkin pie and other treats.

    Where to do it:

    Port Farms
    2055 Stone Quarry Road
    Waterford, Erie County PA

    Sissons Pumpkin Patch
    11244 Springfield Road
    Girard, PA 16417
    Phone: 814-873-5201
    Wooden Nickel Buffalo Farm
    5970 Koman Road
    Edinboro, PA 16412
    Phone: (814) 734-2833

    Mason Farms
    8603 West Lake Road
    Lake City, Erie County PA

    Hollidays' Farm Market
    455 Holliday Road
    North Springfield, Erie County PA

  • Cloud Appreciation
    Cloud Appreciation

    Min Time: 10 secs
    Cost: Free
    Difficulty: Easy

    Watching clouds is something we have all done, looking up and seeing a shape of an animal or a cool looking cloud that we wanted to share. So start admiring those clouds. Especially when the forecast is calling for "mostly cloudy" with chances of rain. This is the perfect activity to do on those days!

    Where to do it: Anywhere! Just look up.

    Facebook has a group for those who love to look at or share the clouds they see. "The Cloud Appreciation Society. At The Cloud Appreciation Society we love clouds, we're not ashamed to say it and we've had enough of people moaning about them." So enjoy them! Find the beauty and the one of a kind uniqueness every time you look up.

    " The Cloud Appreciation Society" website is a wonderful website for everything cloudy! It contains how-tos, photos, forecasts and discussion forums.

  • Collect Beach Glass
    Collect Beach Glass

    Min Time: 1hr
    Cost: Free
    Difficulty: Easy

    Where to do it:
    Anywhere the water meets the shore! Spend your day walking along the shoreline of one of the Presque Isle's beaches, Elk Creek or Walnut creek access points, North East or Avonia beaches, just to name a few. Maybe, if you're lucky, you'll find a piece of red glass which is considered the rarest.

  • Collect Leaves and other Fall Treasures
    Collect Leaves and other Fall Treasures

    Min Time: You Decide
    Cost: Free!
    Difficulty: Easy

    Nature shows some of its most beautiful arrays of colors in the fall with the falling of the leaves. Take a walk and collect this beauty to decorate your home or make gifts for friends and loved ones! You can press leaves for art on vases, and scrapbooks, do leaf rubbings, make a leaf mobile or a festive fall wreath and much more. This activity is fun for adults and children of all ages. It's a great a way to get out and explore!

    Where to do it:
    Right in Your Own Backyard
    The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation of Natural Resources: Website contains a helpful list of all the nearby state parks and what each one offers visitors.
    Presque Isle: has many great park sites, trails, and beaches for your search.
    Asbury Woods Nature Center: Has many great trails you can take to get out into nature and find your treasures.

  • Go to a Festival or Fair
    Go to a Festival or Fair

    Min Time: 1 hour
    Cost: 10
    Difficulty: Easy

    Festivals and fairs during the harvest season provide inexpensive entertainment for all ages close to home, making it more green and more supportive of our local community. You can find a fair or festival nearly any day during the fall season, and can get into many for free or a small fee.

    Where to do it:
    The Port Farms Harvest Festival runs all Fall season. The 2013 Harvest Season the farm is open from September 14th through October 31st. General admission includes hay wagon rides, 8 acre corn maze, giant slides, corn box, pedal carts, animal exhibits, mindbender mazes, trike track, and straw fort.

    The Albion Area Fair, always the second week in September, features rides, family entertainment, antiques, crafts, tractor pulls, horse pulls, log pulling, parade, animal exhibits, produce exhibits, food, and much more. "The biggest little fair around."

    Goodell Gardens yearly celebration of the local harvest season. Visit the festival for live music, local produce, crafts, food, and fun...all free of charge.

    Edinboro Universities' Highland Games is an annual week-long festival hosting an array of competitions, world-class musicians, fine gift vendors, and the gathering of Scottish clans. Admission is free of charge.

    The Tall Ships Erie Festival is a weekend celebration commemorating of the Battle of Lake Erie. A fleet of Tall Ships will converge on the port of Erie for tours and re-enactments. The festival also includes music, kids fun-zone, informative lecture series, food, and local marketplace.

    The Annual Waterford Community Fair event offers rides, exhibits & judging for livestock, animals, plants, arts, crafts, etc., entertainment, food, truck, and tractor pulls, and more.

    At the Erie Guild of Craftsman's Annual Show, over 60 Guild members will be displaying their homemade crafts just in time for Christmas shopping! Buying local is green, supports our community, and provides a fun event for the family to take part in. The show has free parking, a Chinese auction, and other hourly drawings. keeps an updated list of local events with vendors attending. Even if you're not looking to go shopping, many of these events also include other fun entertainment. If you're looking for something to any day, give the list a look. There might be something going on right in your neighborhood!

  • Go to a Local Game
    Go to a Local Game

    Min Time: 2-4 hours
    Cost: Free or for a Small Admission Fee
    Difficulty: Easy

    If you're a sports fan, have kids, or just want to find a way to get out into and support your community, local school games is a great night out! Why stay home watching games on television when you can be out in the action?

    Where to do it:
    Erie's Public Schools: Check their listing to find the school nearest you, or choose a school that family or friends and their children attend. Then, take a look at their athletic department home page to find out what games are going on and when.

  • Identify Animal Tracks
    Identify Animal Tracks

    Min Time: 1/2 hour
    Cost: Free
    Difficulty: Easy
    Erie county has a large variety of animals that live in our woods. Take a stroll, find some animal tracks and see if you can identify what animal walked through the woods. If you need help, stop by the library and borrow a book on animal tracks to help with your tracking adventures.

    Where to do it:
    Presque Isle has many trails through the woods and a plethora of animals that leave their print on them for you to discover.
    At Asbury Woods, Stroll the boardwalk or take a trail but keep your eyes on the ground.

  • Play in the Leaves
    Play in the Leaves

    Min Time: You Decide
    Cost: Free!
    Difficulty: Easy

    One of the first and most beautiful signs of Fall is the turning and falling of the leaves. Raking leaves can be a chore, but why does it have to be? Take a little time and play!

    Where to do it:
    Your Backyard.
    Trail Link: contains information on local trails throughout Erie County. The trail listing includes a description, type of surface, length and difficulty level. Everyone is sure to find the perfect trail to suit their needs.
    Let's Move Outside: Has everything is all in one place! Locate trails, paths, or scenic areas to walk, hike, or run. Whatever your mood there's a trail waiting for you.
    Wintergreen Gorge: is a beautiful and scenic area for the avid hiker. So, pick your trail and enjoy all of what nature has to offer.
    Every Trail: lists the most popular trails throughout Erie County based on reviews, votes and mobile downloads.
    Asbury Woods: offers miles of fields, streams and forests full of breath-taking views and wildlife. Trails are open during daylight hours and Asbury Woods encourages everyone to come out and explore
    Map My Run: is a helpful website that contains detailed maps, distances and elevations for all of trail routes.

  • Ride a Bike
    Ride a Bike

    Min Time: Up to You!
    Cost: Free
    Difficulty: Easy-Advanced

    Bicycling is an activity everyone can enjoy. This is something fun for the whole family or for an individual to get outside and breathe some fresh air. Bicycling has become more popular as a means of transportation for people going to work, and is healthier for the person and the environment. So, jump on a bike and get peddling.
    Where to do it:
    Find more information about biking and biking groups in our biking article.
    Bike Erie promotes bicycling for a healthier you and environment. The Bike Erie Website keeps a packed events calendar and information any bicyclist would need.
    Competitive Gear is a locally owned store with a wide range of bicycling equipment needed for an outing and a website containing a bicycling events calendar.
    Presque Isle has a beautiful multipurpose trail for the public to enjoy. Bicycles are available to rent on the peninsula and can be used on the multipurpose trail.

  • Shop at a Farmer's Market
    Shop at a Farmer's Market

    Min Time: 1 hour
    Cost: You Decide!
    Difficulty: Easy
    A day out at a local farmer's market can be a fun and relaxing way to shop for produce, gifts, and more. Save money, meet people, and do it all while supporting our environment and local community.

    Where to do it:
    Our Events Page Features Weekly Local Farmer's Markets
    The Buy Local article also features useful resources for planning your trip out to farmer's markets and other local businesses.
    Crane Road Market Place: 12231 Edinboro Road, Edinboro PA 16412 Crane Road Market Place features vendors selling art, crafts, local food, antiques and gently-used goods. The market's open Saturdays from 7am-2pm from Spring until the weather gets cold, staying open often into the middle of the Fall.

  • Stargaze

    Min Time: You Decide
    Cost: Free
    Difficulty: Easy

    Pack a warm blanket and find a nice dark spot to lay out and gaze up at the stars. Check the weather before you head out and make sure your location is as free of ambient light and fog as possible. Take a night for yourself or get together with friends to admire our beautiful twinkling curtain. Find shapes, look for constellations, and maybe even catch a shooting star!
    Where to do it:
    Anywhere that's free of ambient light and fog, maybe even your backyard.

    If your backyard is too bright, try a park or campground!
    The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation of Natural Resources: Website contains a helpful list of all the nearby state parks and what each one offers visitors.
    Presque Isle: has many great park sites, pavilions, and beaches where you can get together with family and friends.
    The Yellow Pages: list of campgrounds can be a great starting place for finding and contacting a campsite near you. Find out more about offerings and make reservations for you and your loved ones.

  • Go on a Photo Expedition
    Go on a Photo Expedition

    Min Time: Any
    Cost: Inexpensive
    Difficulty: Easy

    Where to Do It:
    Asbury Woods
    Presque Isle or another Pennsylvania State Park
    Your Backyard or Neighborhood

  • Watch Wildlife
    Watch Wildlife

    Min Time: 1hr
    Cost: Free
    Difficulty: Easy

    Take time out from your busy schedule and enjoy the beauty of nature. Relax and enjoy as wildlife passes right in front of you. The Erie area has many different species of wildlife for the community to observe, so grab a pair of binoculars and enjoy the best nature has to offer.

    Where to do it:
    The Erie Bluffs Park is a great location to watch birds and other wildlife.
    All the best locations to watch wildlife and directions on how to get there can be found on the visit PA website.

Photos Courtesy of Catherine Bryan, Carolyn McIntyre, Karen Coughling, Amber Wellington, and VisitErie. Creative Commons photos by Erik Daniel Drost, Ken Lord, Jacki-Dee,JoeVare, Eric Mesa, Shelah, and Mike Baird.