Fall should be fantastic

Published 10:22 am Friday, September 9, 2011

Minnesotans are encouraged to keep the camera batteries charged and the tents and picnic baskets out of storage because the upcoming fall color season could be the best one in the past 10 years, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“With adequate rain during the growing season for two consecutive years and recent weather patterns that have included the ideal combination of warm, sunny days and cool evenings, we’re predicting an especially vivid display of color across the state in the weeks ahead,” DNR Forest Health Specialist Jana Albers said in a news release.

And the DNR has a tool to help color gazers find the best spots to see fall foliage. Starting this week, reports at dnr.state.mn.us/fall_colors/index.html will include percent of color change, peak color projections, flowers and grasses in bloom, and three state parks considered hot picks of the week. The reports are updated by noon every Thursday and are accessible on smart phones, as well.

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According to DNR officials, colors usually peak between mid-September and early October in the northern third of Minnesota, between late September and early October in the central third, and between late September and mid-October in the southern third (which includes the Twin Cities).

Many Minnesota state parks have planned programs and special events to coincide with peak color projections, as well.

For more information about parks and events, visit www.mndnr.gov or call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 1-888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. State park visitors are invited to upload their photos to the DNR’s fall color website.