Beauty and the leaf: Minnesota’s best places for weekend fall color

Published 11:34 am Saturday, September 29, 2018

Swaths of northwestern and north-central Minnesota will see leaves at 50 to 75 percent peak color this weekend as the fall chill hits the air.

Have fun, but also be aware that it will be cool this weekend and very cold in some parts of northern Minnesota when the sun goes down.

Check out a few of the Department of Natural Resources’ highlights and suggestions of where to go this weekend or view the agency’s entire: color finder map online.

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Savanna Portage State Park

Loon Lake, Lake Shumway and Beaver Pond Trail are all looking good, although the Continental Divide Trail lagging behind some.

Colors have brightened. Some aspen just starting to turn. Seeing yellow, light green, quite a bit of orange and coral, not too much red. Colors seem to be changing rather quickly. Small hawks are moving through and there are a few swans at Wolf Lake.

Scenic State Park

All trails are in great shape for hiking. Red maples are at peak. Birch and aspen are still mostly green, but almost all trees have at least some color. Understory shrubs like dogwood, sumac, and blackberry are bright maroon.

With cool temperatures in the forecast, colors should approach peak over the next week.

Thrushes, sparrows, and kinglets are everywhere.

Red River State Recreation Area

Migration birds are present and cottonwood leaves starting to turn golden yellow. Crimson red leaves of Virginia creeper along lower trail especially trail to fishing platform.

Look for red-headed woodpeckers still present in the old oak trees along the river.