50 shades of 'Hey!' Minnesota's best places for weekend fall color

Fall colors in northern Minnesota
Maple leaves burst with color even on a rainy day in Duluth on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018.
Andrew Krueger | MPR News

Northwestern and north-central Minnesota are peaking out, leaf-wise, this weekend, and the beauty is rapidly moving south.

The state's fall color show is in full swing across much of Minnesota's northern third. If you're planning a trip to take it all in, though, just remember that depending on when and where you go, you may get some rain and snow.

Below are a few of the Department of Natural Resources' highlights and suggestions of where to go this weekend. You can also view the agency's entire color finder map online.

Oct. 4 Fall color map.
Fall color map from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, updated Oct. 4, 2018.
Courtesy of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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Bear Head Lake State Park

Bear Head Park Road is decorated with neon peach, red, and yellow maple foliage and yellow paper birch and aspen leaves. Young tamaracks near Grassy Creek are bearing golden foliage. White and Norway pines are shedding a few of their older needles on the park road and on the trails creating a golden carpet in spots.

Wolf signs are frequent on park roads. Whitetail bucks have been sparring in the grassy areas. Fox have been seen near the Bear Head State Park Road. A black bear sow with three cubs have been seen near the Eagles Nest Lake Three access road.

La Salle Lake State Recreation Area

Paper birch, trembling aspen and elm are displaying a rich golden yellow. Look for small pockets of maples showing orange, yellow-orange and red colors. Watch for a few early tamaracks as this deciduous conifer's needles change from green to gold.

Watch for migrating hawks as they hunt for rodents in the open areas, and for waterfowl on LaSalle Lake and the Mississippi River as they prepare for fall migration. Otter are occasionally seen by the fishing pier. Watch for beaver active in the early evening.

Tettegouche State Park

A loop around the park on Lax Lake Road works. But try hiking into Tettegouche Camp from the north trailhead to find the best colors, so far. Birches and aspens are starting to turn yellow and orange near the shore. Inland, some sugar maples are close to peak. Mushrooms growing along trails and in the forest are putting on a show right now.

Consider hiking to one of the many overlooks on the north side of the park for expansive views of the maple leaves.