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  • Writer's pictureTeam Backcountry

Your Guide to Fall in the Backcountry

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

The colors are about to turn and the elk will start to bugle. Here's your guide to this cooler season in the Backcountry Wilderness Area.

Take in the cool, crisp air and changing colors of Fall with local experiences from elk bugling hikes to Fall Break Camp to forest spooks, experience the changing seasons in the HRCA Backcountry Wilderness Area!

Homeschool Fridays: Bring the concepts you teach at home to life! The BWA provides a half-day, close-to-home opportunity for exploration and learning in a natural setting. Each week we offer a different environmental or life science topic. Make it a full day by adding an afternoon session of Horse Homeschool. Starting September 10. Ages 7-13.

Elk Bugling Hikes: It's not just school bells you hear, it's the call of local elk this fall. Join a Backcountry naturalist for a hike into the conservation area to hear the bull elk bugle. September 17-October 9. Ages 10+.

Eco Explorers

Eco Explorers: In this session, Eco Explorers are grabbing their binoculars and hitting the trail to discover the feathered friends of the Backcountry. From feeding the chickens to going on a bird discovery hike, to building nests, this session will be full of feather fun! Starting September 23. Ages 3-6.

Full Moon Hikes: Leave your flashlight behind and let the full moon guide this hike into the Backcountry Wilderness Area. Put your senses on full alert as you take in the sights and sounds of the night. A naturalist will share how humans and animals see in the darkness versus the daylight, and how your eyes may not be able to see what's really out there. October 21, November 19, December 18. Ages 7+ recommended.

Fall Outdoor Movie Series: In the grand finale of the 2021 Backcountry Outdoor Movie Series, head out to Base Camp for a fall showing of Coco (October 1) and Hocus Pocus (October 2).

Fall Break Camp

Fall Break Camp: It’s time for a fall adventure at Camp Backcountry. Campers will explore animal adaptations, migrations, and hibernations; learn winter survival skills such as shelter-building and fire-starting; and discover the tricks and treats of nature as Halloween nears! Did we mention cozying up around a campfire to roast s’mores? October 18-22. Ages 7+.

Constellations & Cocoa: Take in the night sky with a cup of cocoa in-hand! Bring a picnic dinner along with a blanket or camp chairs to sit on as astronomers use their know-how and telescopes to teach on the constellations of the winter sky. September 11 & October 16. Ages 10+.

Ooey Gooey Science: Want to get your hands dirty in slime, watch things explode, and take home a fun science experiment. This program will be the perfect excuse to get outside and learn some chemistry, while of course having fun. October 23 & November 20. Ages 7-13.

Youth Programs: These fun nature programs for kids, ages 7-13, are a great way for your child to experience the Backcountry after dark, roast marshmallows around the campfire, and learn about a new subject while you enjoy a night out. Horse Programs: Equine enthusiasts ages 3+ can enjoy the group and private pony and horseback riding lessons all year long at the Backcountry Outdoor Center Horse Corrals. Ages 3+ depending on the program.

Haunted Forest

Haunted Forest: The gates of the Backcountry Wilderness Area Haunted Forest crack open and reveal sinister scenes for two nights this month on October 22 and 23. Discover what’s lurking behind every tree and bush in this three-quarter-mile creep through the woods. COVID-19 precautions will be in place. Tickets go on sale on September 10. Recommended for ages 10+. For a full listing of programs and events, visit

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