Outland Expeditions

Autumn Moments

With Christmas and New Years right around the corner, it’s not too late to savor all the wonderful things fall has to offer. Here at Outland, we’ve put together a list of fun last-minute fall activities to get you in the harvest spirit.

 1) Make a pine cone bird feeder

This one’s an eco-friendly variation on the classic ‘pine cone with glue and glitter’ tree ornament. All you’ve got to do is find a pine cone, thread a string through it so it will hang, roll it in peanut butter, sprinkle on bird seed and any other bird treats that will stick and voilà!

2) Run a race

Benefits of running include everything from weight control, mental stability, and immune strength to cardio support, stress relief, and increased bone density. In the Ocoee area alone, several races will take place during the remainder of fall. It’s not too late to mark this off your bucket list and get signed-up. Visit here for a list of upcoming race dates.

3) Tour a winery

You don’t have to visit Napa Valley or Tuscany to enjoy home-grown wine. Tennessee and Georgia have several wineries that welcome group tours and romantic weekend getaways. Corey Ippolito Winery in Blountville, Tenn., touts both the social and health benefits of this liquid fruit all while breaking down the difference between red, white, and rosé for their guests.

 4) Build a bonfire

There’s nothing that brings the family together quite like a bonfire. When gathering wood for a fire, collect wood that snaps and breaks easily. Dry wood burns the best. If your wood bends, it’s too wet or “green.” If you try to make a fire with this sort of wood, you’ll just get a lot of smoke. Unlike tinder (fluffy fungus, dry leaves, dryer lint, dry grass) and kindling (small twigs and branches), fuel wood can be a little damp. The fire will dry it out, but it’s still not ideal.

Collect twice as much tinder, kindling, and fuel wood as you think you’ll need. You’ll be surprised how fast you’ll go through tinder and kindling when you’re starting your fire.

6) Go for a hike

Tennessee may not be world-famous for its foliage like Maine or Vermont, but it definitely can compete. Considering its leaf-peeping potential coupled with its proximity to the Cherokee National Forest, the Ocoee area is great for hikers of all abilities. Head over to the American Hiking Society to check out our local luxuries.

 7) Take a hot air balloon ride

Ray and his wife Mary Ann of What’s Up Ballooning are both pilots, hot air balloon repairmen and former FAA aviation safety counselors. Their passion for ballooning encompasses all aspects of the sport, and they’re one of the premier ballooning companies in the Great Smoky Mountains. Rides start at dawn, giving you plenty of time to explore downtown Gatlinburg and the shops of Pigeon Forge afterwards. Prices start at $250 per guest.

8) Feed the ducks

If you don’t have any pets around the house and your kids still want to interact with animals, give them the next best thing—feed the ducks! You might be quick to grab some stale bread from the cabinet, but popcorn or a similar grain is much easier for ducks to digest. In the Chattanooga area, head over to the Chickamauga boat dock area off Amnicola Highway. Pack a PB&J sandwich, and make a day of it.

Book a trip for rafting with Outland Expeditions here