Explore Minnesota and Minnesota State Parks and Trails Launch Weekly Fall Color Report

To celebrate the season, Explore Minnesota, the state's tourism office, and Minnesota State Parks and Trails launched a weekly fall color report starting Thursday, Sept. 12.

Maple leaves are showing the first color of autumn near Merrifield Wednesday, Sept. 11. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

Maple leaves are showing the first color of autumn near Merrifield Wednesday, Sept. 11. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

From scenic drives to hiking, biking, harvest festivals and more, Explore Minnesota and Minnesota State Parks and Trails offer trip-planning tips via email, social media and online to encourage travelers to get out and enjoy the state's most colorful time of year.

"From the North Shore of Lake Superior to the bluffs of the Mississippi River Valley, there's a scenic trip for every traveler to chase the fall colors in Minnesota," said Explore Minnesota tourism director John Edman, in a news release. "With weekly fall color reports, we're able to help travelers make the most of one of the busiest travel seasons in our state."

Minnesota state park staff check the status of trees, wildflowers and grasses in their area and update the online Fall Color Finder at mndnr.gov/fallcolor by every Thursday morning, just in time for the weekend. The popular web page (viewed over half a million times in 2018) includes a color-coded map that shows the approximate percentage of leaves that have changed color, and a slideshow of recent photos taken by park staff and visitors. To subscribe to weekly email updates on where to find peak fall color, visit either mndnr.gov/fallcolor (888-646-6367) or exploreminnesota.com/fallcolor (888-VISITMN).

"Celebrate the change of the seasons with a visit to a Minnesota state park or trail this fall," said Erika Rivers, director of Minnesota State Parks and Trails. "You can't beat our state's blazing red, orange and gold fall colors on a crisp, sunny day. Listen for a gentle breeze in the trees, smell the scent of fallen leaves. The season will be over before we know it— so get out there and enjoy it." 

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