Fall Color Update and Minnesota state logo
Fall color at Maplewood State Park
Maplewood State Park / MN DNR
Find this week’s perfect fall adventure with a little help from your Minnesota Fall Color Update, brought to you by Explore Minnesota and Minnesota State Parks and Trails. You’ll get this email Thursday afternoons during the peak fall color season, making it easier than ever to make every day a colorful fall adventure.
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MN DNR map showing fall color throughout the state

The fall color show now covers all regions of Minnesota. While some far northern portions of the state are past peak, many parks within northwest and northeast Minnesota are still at their prime. Meanwhile, parts of central Minnesota and the Twin Cities are rapidly approaching peak fall color. The forests of southern Minnesota are also colorful but need another week or so until they start to peak.

With just a few more weeks of fall color remaining, take an adventure to view the splendor before it’s too late.

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Northeast Minnesota
Image of colorful trees at Savanna Portage State Park
Savanna Portage State Park / Pavana
Fall color has progressed rapidly over the last week, and leaves are falling. Many parks in the far north are now past peak. A second wave of color is developing in areas further south where many parks will be at peak fall color this week and weekend. These parks are filled with golden-orange aspen, bright yellow birch and vibrant red and peachy-orange maples. Even some of the oaks are adding rich shades of rust and maroon to the landscape.

Northwest Minnesota
image of fall color at Lake Itasca State Park
Golden forests in northwest Minnesota / MN DNR
While some areas are now past peak, the trees in much of northwest Minnesota continue to put on a dazzling show. Pockets of bright red and orange-yellow are visible in the red and sugar maples. Soft yellow, bright yellow and rich golden tones fill the paper birch, aspen, ironwood, boxelder and cottonwood trees. The red oaks are adding stunning shades of reddish/orange and red-brown, and the understory shrubs are at peak shades of yellow-gold, pink-yellow, soft mauve and deep purple.

Central Minnesota
Miner's Mountain Overlook at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area
Miner’s Mountain Overlook at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area / MN DNR
Recent frosts have accelerated the fall color change, and most areas of central Minnesota are at or nearing peak fall color. The forest canopies and understory shrubs are filled with vibrant red, orange, peach, apricot and yellow leaves. Even the oaks and prairie grasses are colorful.

Vintage red pick-up truck with fall pumpkin display A view of fall color on the Sawmill Dome from the Superior Hiking Trail

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Minneapolis-St. Paul Area
Hillside maples near the St. Croix River access at Wild River State Park
Hillside maples near the St. Croix River access at Wild River State Park / MN DNR
Fall color has progressed rapidly and some of the maple-  and basswood-dominated forests are nearing their peaks. Color change in the maples is occurring quickly, and the birch, aspen, cottonwood and basswood trees are turning golden. The forest canopy is now a patchwork of red, orange, yellow and green. The oaks are starting to display rich red and bronze leaves.

Southern Minnesota
Golden trees at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
Golden trees at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park / Jesse Johnson
Bright red, orange and yellow leaves are rapidly developing, especially in the big woods parks. These parks contain remnants of Minnesota’s ancient maple-basswood forests. The sumac and other understory shrubs are brilliant shades of scarlet and crimson.

Disclaimers: This year’s fall color updates are a collaboration between Explore Minnesota and Minnesota State Parks and Trails. As a result, some subscribers may receive two copies of this newsletter. Some images in this email are representative of typical Minnesota fall color, not real-time photographs from this year.
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