When most people think of the lake, they think summertime fun. However, Smith Lake is open year-round! Fall is personally my favorite time of year on the lake - it’s peaceful, the temperature is much more comfortable, and the views are stunning with fall foliage. If you own a lake home, you should be using it year-round!
I encourage you to use this list as your Smith Lake Autumn Bucket List! Spend some time on the lake this fall and maybe you will fall in love with this time of year on the lake just like I have.
There are a variety of pumpkin patches in the North Alabama area. One of the closest ones to the lake is the 4D Family Farm. The 4D Farm is so much more than a pumpkin patch: a barnyard coaster, gem mine, tubing slide, zipline, corn maze, and so so much more! The farm opens September 24 - November 5 so be sure to mark your calendars!
Another great pumpkin patch in the area is (no pun intended) THE Great Pumpkin Patch! Located in Hayden, this pumpkin patch is open September 24-November 7. Activities include hayrides, inflatables, a petting zoo, pony rides, live entertainment, arts and crafts, and much more!
I also encourage you to drive around on your way to your lake house and shop at local produce stands and farms. Places like Sweatmon’s Produce, Heatherly Farms, Witt’s Produce, Gibbs Garden Center, and J Calvert Farms have pumpkins and other seasonal items that are ready to take home.
Thanksgiving at the Lake
The lake house is a place for families to gather - what better time to do that than at Thanksgiving! Imagine sitting round the dining table with the lake in the background, taking in the fall foliage with family and friends. I couldn’t imagine a better way to be reminded of all the things we have to be thankful for.
Check out this article from Lake Homes Lifestyles on how to host the best Thanksgiving at your lake house:
Go Leaf Looking - in the boat!
The only thing better than a fall foliage drive is a fall foliage drive in the boat! The contrast of the brightly colored leaves against the sparkling emerald green waters is sure to take your breath away. Fall foliage season starts in North Alabama at the beginning of October and slowly moves South. On average, the peak season is from late October to early November. Temperatures typically stay pretty comfortable on the lake this time of year so pack a blanket and a picnic and drive around the lake and take in the beautiful scenery.
Tailgate Parties on the Dock
Fall isn’t fall without football! With college football gearing up, how will you be spending your Saturdays? What’s better than tailgating on campus? Tailgating at the lake! Do you have a TV on your deck or dock? That’s the perfect place to set up your full gameday spread: wings, buffalo chicken dip, and whatever your family’s go-to game day food is. If you don’t feel like cooking, pick up some food at Trident Marina (they will be open year-round) or another local restaurant. Decorate your dock in your team’s colors and let the fun commence! Give it a try - you might have a new family game day tradition.
Have a Bonfire
Nothing screams fall on the lake quite like a bonfire. Gather round the campfire and tell scary stories - or recall happy memories made at the lake! Maybe try something new and spice up your s’mores. Have you ever heard of a s’mores charcuterie board? Check out this recipe from Hersheyland - my mouth is watering just looking at it!
Take Fall Family Photos
What better backdrop for family photos than the lake? There are many wonderful local photographers in the area. Here’s 5 just to name a few:
Go Apple Picking
Are you a pumpkin spice person or an apple spice person? Personally, I am a sucker for Apple Spice (if you haven’t had a Caramel Apple Spice from Starbucks you are seriously missing out) so naturally I LOVE apple picking. Luckily, we have a great orchard right in our backyard:
Steele Orchard: Steele Orchard is the perfect fall day trip! The orchard is home to apple, peach, and plum trees and their baked goods are just to die for! You have to trySteele's famous Southern fried pies, homemade jam & jelly, apple butter, apple cakes, deep-dish apple/peach pies, fresh cider, candied & caramel apples, homemade ice cream, apple wood chips for BBQing, and much much more.
If you are willing to make a longer trip, Isom’s Orchard in Athens is a must-try. If you haven’t had an apple cider slush, you simply haven’t lived. They are already open for the year and are open 7 days a week. Stop by and get yourself a treat.
Participate in Spook The Lake
Trick or Treating is always fun, but have you ever been Trick or Treating by boat? Spook the Lake is one of the most fun activities we have on the lake. This year’s event will take place on October 15 from 1-4 PM. We already have our dock signed up so make plans to stop by! Online sign ups for spookers and docks will be live soon so check back at the following website: