Shelling corn

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Fun with corn: Maplewood State Park’s Maplewood Leaf Days will have several activities such as shelling corn (above) when it starts Sept. 28.

While fall might not be reflected in the temperature this week, the trees tell a different tale. The trees are blushing red with the first signs of autumn and October looms on the horizon, riding on the coattails of this week’s harvest moon. Don’t fight fall’s approach, embrace it with a hike through Maplewood State Park in Pelican Rapids, soaking in the reds and yellows and oranges of the park’s deciduous trees.

Maplewood State Park is hosting its annual Maplewood Leaf Days Sept. 28-29 and Oct. 5-6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a variety of activities, a hike and wagon rides around the park. The hike to the top of Halloway Hill is only 7/10 of a mile and the trail was redone last fall, making it less steep and there are some wonderful new views on the way up.

There’s plenty of activities for kids and adults including corn shelling, corn grinding, rope making, using an apple press, woodworking, nature art, making early settler toys, nature exploration tables and more. Friends of Maplewood will be around doing demonstrations and then allowing visitors to give these activities a try; kids also get a chance to make some toys like ragdolls, tops and whirligigs.

If you don’t want to pack a lunch there will be food available for purchase, including brats, hot dogs, turkey legs and pulled-pork sandwiches alongside chips, water, coffee, hot chocolate and more.

“The reason to go is to get into the outdoors, that’s the main thing,” says John Nordstrom, Friends of Maplewood volunteer and advisory committee member. “Go outside and look at the leaves and take a hike. It’s all about getting people outside and outdoors and out into Maplewood, expose new people to Maplewood State Park.”

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