While the rest of Washington State begins to fall into the rainy fall weather and things button up for the cold weather, Skagit County is entering one of the year’s busiest seasons. As Skagit County is a farming community, there is much to harvest and celebrate in the fall months. September and October are alive with festivals, harvests, and plenty of picture-worthy colors and activities. Fall in Skagit County is beautiful and full of harvest colors and pumpkin patches for the whole family.
While many people think that the end of August brings the end of good weather in Western Washington, during an average year, the weather remains clear and warm during September, and October temperatures stay in the 50s. It is an excellent time to dive into all of the agriculture in the PNW.
Fall in the Skagit Valley is beautiful whether you love pumpkin patches, harvest dinners, farm stops, or bird watching. There is something fun for everyone to partake in.
Gordons Pumpkin Patch
If you are looking for fall colors, Instagram-worthy photos, and pumpkins galore, Gordon Skagit Farms in West Mt. Vernon is the place to visit. This outdoor playground is full of beautiful pumpkin displays full of every type of pumpkin and gourds you can imagine.
Gordon’s pumpkin patch prides itself on honing in on the best of Skagit Valley in the fall. This pumpkin patch is dedicated to fall, so you will not find any spooky spider webs or gouls hiding around the corners. You can, however, find local apples, dried flowers, and corn stalks.
If you are lucky, you might run into the horses and chickens that live on the property. In addition to the animals, you can find beautiful dresses, people, and other structures made out of corn and dried flowers. Gordon Skagit Farms is the quintessential fall in Skagit County.
Schuh farms is the perfect mix of Halloween and Fall festivities. While Schuh farms is open during most of the year, they truly shine during September and October. They have a large field where you can go out and pick your pumpkin. It is always fun to weed through rows and rows of pumpkins to find the perfect one to carve.
Schuh Farm is also in west Mt. Vernon and is home to a cute farm stand, farm animals, and lots of local delicacies. There are apple hand pies, local honey sticks, apples, and homemade applesauce. For young children, there are some Halloween-themed decorations and activities. The fan-favorite activity at Schuh farms is the animal area where goats, chicks, and sometimes pigs are often there.
Fall bird watching is another excellent fall activity in the Skagit Valley. In October, the Snow Geese migrate back to the Skagit Valley from Russia’s Wrangel Island and parts of Alaska. The department of Fish and Wildlife estimates that nearly 80,000 Snow Geese spend their winters in Western Washington.
They are indeed a sight to behold. These Snow Geese are recognizable by their black wing tips and red feet. They come to Fir Island in Early October and Stay until mid-April. They move in huge groups across Fir Island and the Flats of La Conner and Mt. Vernon. On any given day in the winter in Skagit Valley, you are able to find them nestled in a farm field somewhere. They eating worms and other goodies leftover from the crop season.
In addition to the Snow Geese, Skagit County is home to many other birds during the fall and winter. With farmlands, marine areas, mountains, and forests, there are many environments for many different species. From Eagles to Blue Heron and more, Skagit County is the place to visit if you are a bird lover.
The Skagit Bay- Skagit Wildlife Area – Wylie Slough Area on Fir Island is just one of the many areas for birding in Skagit County. From the sea to the mountains and all of the farmland and forests in between are full of some of the best birding in Washington State. If you are ready to go birding on your own, simply decide what birds you want to see and head to the right water basin area in the valley.
If you are new to birding or want a guided tour of a new area, check out Skagit Guided Adventures for their birding tours. They offer several different birding tours throughout the year for different areas and types of birds. Even if you aren’t out specifically looking for birds, make sure to look up every so often as you adventure around the valley because you never know when you might spot a bald eagle, a nest, a hawk, or a flock of Snow Geese.
Festival of Family Farms
The Festival of Family Farms is one of the highlights of the fall season in Skagit County. The festival is a way for the county to celebrate the hard work of farmers through the busy season. Part of the main fun of the Festival is where everyone can learn what it takes to run a farm. From growing crops to feeding and tending animals, many of the Festival of Family Farms activities are hands-on experiences.
Participating farms, wineries, and other agriculture or livestock-based farms across Skagit County every year. This year’s festival of family farms will happen the weekend of October 2nd, and 3rd from 10 am-4 pm on both days. Corn mazes, pumpkin patches, kid’s activities, farm tours, and animal exhibits are all common occurrences at the festival. Local restaurants often set up booths at the farms to sell goodies, and each stop turns into a mini farmers market of sorts. Whether you are traveling with young children or solo, the Festival of Family Farms is a must-do activity in the fall.
While many people associate the spring and summer with fresh fruits and veggies, Skagit Valley crops are harvested year-round. The fertile grounds and mild winters make for the perfect growing climate for leafy greens and root vegetables. A fun fact on fall harvests: Skagit Valley produces 95% of the red potatoes grown in the state of Washington.
If you are local to Northwest Washington and want to take your local buying year-round, consider a winter CSA. A CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. A CSA is a model where members pay upfront to help farmers cover the cost of growing the food, and in return, members get a portion of the harvest. This is a great avenue to support local farmers and eat local veggies year-round.
There are CSA’s nearly year-round in Skagit Valley with Pickup spots as far north as Bellingham and as far south as Seattle and Renton. Boldly Grown Farm offers a fall and winter CSA program that offers all sorts of locally grown goodies from November to March.
The Pumpkin Pitch
If you are a pumpkin enthusiast, the Burlington Harvest Festival and Pumpkin Patch is for you. This family-friendly event happens on the last Saturday of September at Skagit River Park from 10 am to 4 pm. This is a great event for small children because of the inflatables, pony rides, kid’s activities, and more. This event is completely free and takes a love of squash to a new level. There are often cars made out of zucchinis hurling around the park, a great pumpkin weigh-in contest, and best of all, the pumpkin patch.
Imagine pumpkins flying hundreds of feet through the air at high velocity. Every year, pumpkin pitch competitors build catapults or traction trebuchets to launch their pumpkins the entire length of the park. The pumpkins crash land at the end of the field, and the winner takes bragging rights for the year. The Burlington Harvest Festival and Pumpkin Pitch is truly a fun way to spend a Saturday.
There are so many fun things to do in Skagit County in the fall. Don’t let the rainy weather and clouds stop you from adventuring! On any given weekend in Skagit County in the fall, there is a farm festival, pumpkin-themed event, or a crop to be harvested. If you are ever looking for an additional way to spend the day, simply drive through the farm fields and see what is being grown and harvested.
While tourist season in Skagit County definitely peaks in the spring and summer, there is so much to explore and do in the county year-round. The fall can be a great time to beat the crowds and still enjoy mild weather. Biking, hiking, fishing, and other outdoor activities are extremely popular past times September- Early November before freezing temperatures come.
If you need activities to do in Skagit County in all of the other seasons of the year, make sure to check back in with the Clever Neighbor!