5 free apps for fall fun: Bake an apple pie, take a hike and more

Be-leaf us, you're going to have a gourd time.

Shelby Brown Editor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Shelby Brown
2 min read

Spending an afternoon in the cool fall air with the colorful leaves can be a great day. 

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Fall often comes with a number of cliched attributes -- pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks, flannel shirts and taking perfectly timed photos with friends at pumpkin patches. But that doesn't change the fact that many people are looking for recipes, crafts, hikes and outdoor activities to get into the fall spirit. 

No matter what autumn looks like to you, these apps can help you get into the season and find some fun things to do before winter sets in. 



Pinterest is an excellent resource if you want to get creative. 

Richard Polk

Pinterest is a treasure chest of ideas for almost everything. The website and its app can help you find decoration inspiration, fall crafts and fun activities for the whole family. You can also look up easy-to-make soups, ciders, pot roasts and other pumpkin-spiced treats. Pinterest can filter results based on prep time, dietary needs and necessary ingredients. 



Looking for new recipes? Check out BigOven. 


Speaking of food, BigOven is packed with recipes for gatherings, dinner, quick snacks and comfort food. You can use the website or apps year-round to find the perfect dish. Once the leaves start changing, it's as easy as searching "fall," and BigOven will turn up mouthwatering images for spiced apple pie, hot and spicy chili, pumpkin cookies and plenty more. 

BigOven is free as a guest to look up recipes. With a free account, you can also save recipes and get printer-friendly versions. There's also a pro version with meal-planning and grocery list tools.

National or state park apps


Adventure awaits whether you're making a long trek or staying closer to home. 

Paul Harris

Depending on where you live, fall could be your area's weather "sweet spot" and perfect for being outside. There are dozens of places to explore in your own state, no matter where you live, from state parks to state forests, historic sites, nature preserves, and wildlife refuges

Depending on where you live, your location may or may not have an app. Better-known spots like Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, the Smoky Mountains and others do. But even if your local park doesn't have an app, you can check out its website to learn more about hiking trails and seasonal events. 



You don't have to be an expert outdoors person to use AllTrails. 

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The AllTrails app can be a complementary app if you're headed to a park. The app is useful if you're looking for a challenging hike, somewhere new to walk your dog, or you want to get an eyeful of the vibrant fall leaves. 

AllTrails has GPS trail maps, downloadable offline maps and topographic maps. You can specify mountain biking trails, running or hiking, finding a hiking community, trail running and more. It's a useful app for exercise enthusiasts and adventurers but still manageable if you want to keep it casual. 



Double check that you've got sunny skies before making a trip. 

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If you're headed outdoors, the AccuWeather app will make sure your plans aren't derailed by cold snaps, warm-ups, rain or anything else. The app pinpoints your location to provide weather data and updates every minute. You can keep track of a forecast for two weeks in advance, in case you're trying to plan ahead for the kids' fall break.

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