Leaf now! Head north this weekend for Minnesota's best fall colors

A view of fall colors on a mountain.
A view of the fall colors looking west toward Leveaux Mountain in northeastern Minnesota earlier this month.
Andrew Krueger | MPR News

With fall colors starting to pop across the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is issuing this recommendation: Go north.

Specifically, go north of St. Cloud.

Check out a few of the DNR's current highlights from its latest fall color finder map, with suggestions about where to go for foliage this weekend and what you’ll see:

A map of the latest fall colors.
The best places to find fall colors this weekend in Minnesota.
Courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Franz Jevne State Park, on the border in northern Minnesota

This is the place to be for peak fall colors. While some trees are still green, most have changed into yellow, orange and red by now. For Rainy River views, take the hiking club trail. Or, park by the Sault Rapids trail entrance for a five-minute walk to the river.

McCarthy Beach State Park, northeastern Minnesota

Anywhere in the park will have quality leaf-peeping opportunities, but the DNR singles out Stony Brook Horse Campground and Beatrice Lake Campground as “continu[ing] to lead the change in fall colors” through the park.

Also: Be sure to check out the beach, said the DNR’s Rachel Hopper. “It’s typically voted one of the best beaches in the entire state,” Hopper said. “It’s great to see the water with all the pops of color in the background.”

Buffalo River State Park, northwestern Minnesota

Visitors will see plenty of yellow and orange along the river corridor. Leaf peepers can also take the Prairie View Trail to see tall grass prairie along the river.

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