Peak fall color now can be found throughout the entire state of Minnesota. State parks currently recommended for vibrant fall color include Glendalough at Battle Lake, Father Hennepin at Isle on Lake Mille Lacs, Lake Maria at Monticello, William O'Brien north of Stillwater, Forestville at Preston, Frontenac south of Red Wing and Flandrau at New Ulm, as well as the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska.
Savannah Portage State Park
The park is now absolutely gorgeous. The birch trees are vibrant yellow. The silver maples and basswood trees are also at peak. The aspens provide mixed shades of yellow, green and brown. The tamaracks are one-half their lemon-yellow fall color.
Wolf Lake is glowing, thanks to the golden tamaracks and the fiery red of the maple. Loon and Shumway lakes are a patchwork of red, yellow and green. The oaks are also adding shades of burgundy, red, green and yellow. And, the intense orange and coral colors in the sugar maples create a perfect autumn scene.
On a nice day, the contrast of the autumn hues with the blue sky is stunning. There are currently large flocks of juncos in the area. The crows and ravens are active and vocal. A few yellow-rumped warblers remain in the park, and a red-bellied woodpecker recently was spotted south of the park. Expect to see flocks of robins, sparrows, nuthatches, chickadees and jays in great numbers. Fall colors will be best this week.
Father Hennepin State Park, Isle
The park is bursting with color. The maples have turned bright yellow, orange and red. Oaks are displaying their customary deep reds and russets. The birch trees continue to hold onto their yellow leaves. Unfortunately, the leaves will not last long and likely are gone after the weekend's rain and wind.
Hiking trails along the lake are absolutely stunning on sunny days. Perch and crappies are being pulled from shore, the fishing piers and in the bay. A few walleye are being taken. Deer can be seen throughout the park, and the white deer are a common sight in the campgrounds. The campgrounds have not been full during recent weekends and reservations are no longer necessary.
Itasca State Park, Lake George
(north of Park Rapids)
Itasca's forest is glowing with brilliant autumn color, and now at peak. Just some of the many colors found in the park foliage include red, orange, yellow, gold, peach, bronze, copper and deep purple. The best views are along the East Entrance Road and Main Park Drive, where the sugar maples offer a canopy of bright yellow and orange leaves that glow on sunny days. Visitors also can hike the Deer Park and Dr. Roberts Trails, or canoe on Lake Itasca.
Glendalough State Park
The ash, basswoods and cottonwoods are yellow and gold. The sumac is bright red. The maples in the Old Campground area are at peak, and displaying bright red, orange and yellow leaves. Excellent fall color also can be found along the lakeshore. The best places to view fall color are along the park lakes and streams, and especially along the north shore of Annie Battle Lake.
Watercraft rentals are available during office hours, and offer a great way to view fall colors from a different perspective. Reservations are recommended for the camper cabins within the park.
Crow Wing State Park, Brainerd
The sumac is a rich burgundy, and the aspen and birch leaves are a warm yellow. The road to the group camp area and the Red River Oxcart Trail are the best places to view the golden prairie grasses. Bottle gentians can be seen near the boat landing.
The weather has been great for camping, and site availability remains good at Crow Wing.
Charles A. Lindbergh State Park
Trees are nearing peak, with yellow, orange and red leaves found in the birch, aspen and maple trees. Even the red oaks are almost entirely rust and bronze.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park
The red and orange maples are vibrant and now at peak. The oaks remain mostly green. These trees will become more colorful in a week or two. The 100-foot observation tower and the park trails offer the best views of the emerging fall color. he trails are in good shape for the fall season and an excellent place to view fall color.
Lake Maria State Park
Peak fall color has arrived. The cottonwood and birch trees are showing nice shades of yellow and gold. The maples are fully red, orange, yellow and gold. The oaks are just starting to change, and many are now maroon, red and rust in color. The prairie grasses continue to display a nice variety of maroon and gold colors. The best fall color views can be found along the edges of the forests, and around the lakes and ponds.
Reservations are recommended for the park camper cabins, which are scheduled to remain open this fall and winter. Beaver are active throughout the park. Check out the trumpeter swans and their young in the park's lakes and marshes. Deer, waterfowl and songbirds are migrating through the park.
The area is now at peak, and the predominant colors are bright orange and red found in the sugar maples. It is absolutely gorgeous. Adding to the variety of fall color are the yellow and gold green ash, hackberry, sugar and silver maple, honey locust, boxelder, elm, grapevines, willow, iron wood, ginko and leatherwood. The red maples, oaks, sumac, Virginia creeper, dogwood, euonymus and hazelnut are displaying orange, red, rust and maroon fall foliage. The ornamental grasses and prairie wildflowers are beautiful.
Visitors also will find various species of butterflies, an abundance of chipmunks and migrating birds.
Frontenac State Park
South of Red Wing along
the Mississippi River
The sumac remains beautiful but soon will fade. Many of the maples are showing a burst of orange and red fall color. The ash and boxelder are now a bright yellow. The big bluestem and the Indian grasses are at peak and bronze. Good color should last through this weekend. Great numbers of birds are migrating through the park, and the swallows and black birds are gathering on the power lines as they prepare for their journey south.
(The information in this report is provided courtesy of The Outdoors Weekly and the Minnesota Office of Tourism.)
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