Cruise the hues: Minnesota's fall color season is back

Fall color photos taken in St Paul
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources this week launched its annual fall color finder map. Go forth.
Kathryn Styer Martinez | MPR News 2020

COVID-19 put the brakes on a lot of fun stuff in the past year and a half. But it can’t stop the beauty of a Minnesota fall. The Department of Natural Resources has launched this year’s fall color finder, and we are here for it.

Yes, colors are mostly in their infancy right now, but that just gives you a little time to get ready.

Jay Cooke State Park reports some early fall color changes already, “mainly in aspens, due to the drought conditions and a few maple leaves are just beginning to change.”

MPR News will post these through the season on Friday mornings. Check out a few of the DNR's current highlights and suggestions about where to go and what you’ll see:

Old Mill State Park, northwestern Minnesota

Trees, grasses and other signs of fall are noticeable throughout the park. The day use area provides a 360-degree view of the beginnings of fall. Weather has been pleasant for a nice picnic all while enjoying the birds and deer getting late summer feeding in.

Blue Mounds State Park, southwestern Minnesota

Goldenrod and bluestem are turning. Asters are coming into bloom. There are bright yellow patches of a variety of sunflowers. Snakes are venturing out more as they search for a little warmth at night and a winter home.

Check out the Mound Trail along the bison pasture fence.

Jay Cooke State Park, northeastern Minnesota

Besides the aspens starting to change, goldenrod and sunflower species are making a full display, and grasses are beginning to take on the rusty hues of fall.

Water remains low in the St. Louis River due to drought conditions, which makes it easier to see the slated slate rock formations. Birds are beginning to prepare for their migratory journeys.

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