Break out the flannel and cider: Fall colors are emerging across Minnesota

Trees show their fall colors
These aspen trees were brightening the woods in the morning sun on Oct. 7, 2020 northeast of Duluth.
Andrew Krueger | MPR News

It’s time to break out your buffalo plaid flannels and venture out to look at the fall colors. The last week of September acquainted us with cool temperatures of fall and, while it may be warmer this weekend, fear not — fall is here to stay. Or at least fall colors are.

The latest Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fall color finder map shows most of Minnesota at 25 to 50 percent of peak color as of Thursday.

Here are some highlights from the DNR’s most recent review of foliage and color conditions at state parks and recreation areas.

A map of Minnesota filled in with yellow and green
This week's DNR color finder map.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Itasca State Park, northwest Minnesota

The ash trees are peaking throughout the park in spots of yellow. Sugar and red maples are finally beginning to show their true fall colors. Basswood and paper birch are displaying a range of yellow and gold.

Gooseberry Falls State Park, northeast Minnesota

Maple leaves are showing a variety of colors and conifers are shedding their inner needles. Views from Gitchi Gummi Trail will provide prime fall coverage.

Upper Sioux Agency State Park, southwest Minnesota

The best views of the prairie will be around the Valley Edge Trail. You can see the big bluestem and Indian grasses up to 6 feet tall swaying in the fall wind.

Maplewood State Park, west-central Minnesota

Hallaway Hill Overlook Trail offers the best look for the autumn glaze covering Maplewood State Park. The fall color has increased this week. Maples are turning to orange, red and yellow and the ash trees are showing golden yellow hues. Fall bird migration is in process and if you are lucky, you’ll spot a hawk or warbler.

Banning State Park, east-central Minnesota

Quarry loop is the go-to trail for river views of the rapids beneath the beginning of fall colors. The park is about 50/50 right now with a mix of green, yellow, orange and red. Large crowds may be present on the weekends if the weather is good so you may opt for a weekday visit.

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