harmony, Fountain, Preston, Rushford and Houston, Minn.

Check out the Taste of the Trail, where you can hike or bike to enjoy a culinary journey Saturday and Sept. 21 through several towns in southeast Minnesota. Visitors who stop along the scenic Root River Trail will be treated to favorite local foods, entertainment, art and other cultural highlights (tinyurl.com/yxf2u6a6).


Enjoy Hawk Weekend Sept. 20-22 at Hawk Ridge Bird Conservatory. Participants can explore the bird’s habitat and history through field trips, lectures, hikes, naturalist programs and demonstrations. Field trips and lectures are $15 to $75. Other programs are free (tinyurl.com/y2g2pzfn).

Creston, Iowa

Watch balloonists fly high during the 42nd annual Hot Air Balloon Days Sept. 20-22. On Thursday a dinner and used-book sale (through Saturday) will kick off the weekend. A Fun Flight, featuring balloonists flying over the city, will begin at 5 p.m. Friday. Most of the activities will be held Saturday, including morning and evening balloon races (all balloon flights are weather-permitting), tethered balloon rides, a 5K and fun run, a parade, car show, food vendors, a pedal pull, a night balloon glow and more. The event ends on Sunday with a morning balloon race and food vendors (tinyurl.com/y2xprwwf).

Des Moines

Downtown’s scenic Western Gateway Park will be the site for the World Food and Music Festival Sept. 20-22. Attendees of all ages can enjoy live music, performance and visual art, cultural exhibits, culinary demonstrations, wine, craft beer and more (tinyurl.com/yygo3u7k).

Colleen A. Coles