Minnesota’s fall beauty: when, where to see colors

Published 10:53 am Friday, September 9, 2016

By Nancy Yang

MPR.org/90.1 FM

With summer officially in the rearview mirror, it’s time to start planning those fall color road trips.

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Back again is the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ interactive color finder map, which shows the progression of red, gold and orange across the state.

It’s based on observations from all 75 of Minnesota’s state parks and recreation areas. Beginning Thursday, the map will be updated each week with the latest info on where to find the best visuals.

We may be in for a good show this year.

“The DNR’s forest health specialists say we’ve had enough rain around the state this summer to keep things green and healthy, which is the first building block for great fall color,” said Erika Rivers, director of Minnesota state parks and trails.

Fall colors generally peak between mid-September and early October in the northern third of Minnesota.

In central Minnesota, it’s between late September and early October. The southern third of Minnesota can expect peak fall colors between late September and mid-October.

Peak fall color typically lasts about two weeks, but that can vary widely, depending on location, elevation and weather.

As it’s only early September, most of the state is still relatively green, but pockets of Minnesota are starting to turn.

Go forth, leaf-peepers.

MN colors

For more, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/fall_colors/index.html.