Few places in the country can claim the beauty of fall – Minnesota is one of them

Published 5:57 am Saturday, October 5, 2019

When fall rolls around and the leaves begin to change, there’s nothing quite like hitting the road and taking in the colors.

Lanesboro offers a variety of great opportunities for fall fun as the town nestled in Bluff Country offers bike paths, river access and a plethora of forest land to take in.

“Lanesboro is all about the tourism,” said Bailey Otto, an administrative assistant at the Lanesboro Chamber of Commerce. “We have a nice agricultural impact as well, but everyone runs off of tourism.”

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Alyssa Hayes of Explore Minnesota said that Lanesboro is just one of the many places in Minnesota to seek out some fun and scenery when the fall hits.

Canoeing on the Mississippi River in the fall near the Franklin Ave. bridge in Minneapolis. Photo courtesy of Explore Minnesota

But just don’t settle for staying home. Hayes said that the state of Minnesota offers many landmarks from Myhre Big Island State Park in Albert Lea, to Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne, to the Pipestone National Monument in which to take in autumn’s splendor.

Cutting across the state of Minnesota in the fall can be a scenic and educational experience for travelers of all sorts.

“You not only get to see the colors, but you’re doing something different and you’re learning about the history of the community,” Hayes said.

For anyone looking for the perfect times to visit any areas in the state, visit exploreminnesota.com. To see examples of fall photography or submit your own photos, users can use the hashtag #onlyinmn. The hashtag has more than a million uses and it puts the beauty of fall on full display.

“It’s incredible to just see the stuff come through in real time and you can see where the colors are peaking,” Hayes said.

Fall scene of Mississippi River Valley in the morning fog from scenic overlook in Great River Bluffs State Park near Winona. Photo courtesy of Explore Minnesota

Top fall spots for leafing

Hayes pointed out that there are several great views across the state of Minnesota in fall thanks to the diversity of the state’s geography. There is prairie land, woods, water, wilderness and large lakes, scattered across the state’s landscape.

There are also plenty of town festivals and events that are geared around the fall season.

“The best part of going on these fall routes is to go off the beaten path and find these gems that are only around for a short time, just like the colors,” Hayes said. “You can also find a state park just about anywhere in the state and they are very affordable.”

North shore of Lake Superior

The road from Duluth to Grand Portage peaks from September to early October and it is one of the premiere autumn drives in the nation. It is wildly popular and travelers are encouraged to make lodging arrangements well in advance, or aim for a mid-week journey.

Mississippi River Valley Scenic Byway

The route from Red Wing to La Crescent peeks from Sept. 6 to Oct. 26. It runs through a variety of state parks and small river towns. Wabasha has a seasonal boutique called Grandpa’s Barn Boutique that is open on weekends.

Fall scene of Mississippi River Valley in the morning fog from scenic overlook in Great River Bluffs State Park near Winona. Photo courtesy of Explore Minnesota

Minnesota River Drive

The path runs from Belle Plaine to New Ulm, while cutting through LeSuer and Mankato. The path peaks in mid-October and it runs near Minneopa State Park, which features a heard of Bison and one of the largest waterfalls in southern Minnesota.

Twin Cities Overlook

The byways around the Twin Cities are include Minnehaha Falls, the Mississippi River and Summit Avenue in St. Paul. The peek season runs from late September to mid-October and the drive offers plenty of falls coloring on the lakes around the cities.

Ottertail County Area

The towns of Perham and Fergus Falls and the surrounding area provides a strong mix of wooded hills and farmland. Inspiration Peak offers a high view of the area. The peak season is late September to early October.

Apple Blossom Scenic Byway

The path from La Crescent to Winona offers a solid view of apple orchard country. It peaks in in mid-September to mid-October.

Stillwater Area

The St. Croix River is a popular spot to stop in early to late September.

Fall leaves along the MIssissippi River in Winona. Photo courtesy of Explore Minnesota