In general, fall color is best throughout the southern one-third of the state. Parks currently recommended for fall color include Wild River, Frontenac, Beaver Creek Valley, Forestville and Lac Qui Parle.
Bear Head Lake State Park, Ely -- Some brilliant orange and red leaves are hanging onto the maple trees; however, the chokecherry, sumac and maples are now past peak. Hazelnut and black ash trees have turned yellow and are now losing leaves.
Temperance River State Park, south of Lutsen & Tofte -- The park foliage is now past peak. Much fall color still lingers in the red and orange maples and understory; however, leaves are falling rapidly. Some color remains among the blue asters and yellow goldenrod.
St. Croix State Park, Hinckley -- Fall color within the park can be found mostly on the trails and roads. The late-turning oaks have now completely changed color, and nearly one-half of the tamaracks are now gold.
Father Hennepin State Park, Isle -- The park trees are now past peak; however, there are still some maple trees retaining bright red and yellow leaves. Walleye fishing has been excellent this fall, with perch being pulled from the bay on Lake Mille Lacs just out from the park shoreline.
Twin Cities vicinity
Afton State Park, near Hastings -- The park foliage is currently at peak. The yellow aspen leaves are falling, the maples and sumac are adding a splash of red to the landscape and the oak leaves are turning various shades of rust and brown. The tall prairie grasses are golden and highlighted by the yellow goldenrod. Some of the better views can be found in the old fields and prairie restoration areas. Bird migrations are in full swing. Good fall color should linger through the end of this week.
Fort Snelling State Park, St. Paul -- The park is now just past peak; however, good color remains in the red Virginia creeper and sumac, and the cottonwood, silver maple and green ash are displaying yellow and gold leaves. The big and little bluestem, Indian grasses, and side-oats grama are also golden. Some asters and goldenrod are still in bloom, and the deep purple blossoms of the ironweed can be seen along the banks of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. In addition, dark-eyed juncos have started to arrive for their winter stay. Fall color should be good through the end of the week.
Frontenac State Park, south of Red Wing -- Many ash and walnut trees are now a stunning yellow, and the maples are turning a brilliant orange-red. The Blufflands Trail will offer hikers a wonderful variety of fall color. In addition, the asters are adding white and deep purple to the landscape, and the Indian and big bluestem grasses are now shades of bronze. Raptors are migrating and can be seen resting on power poles throughout the park. Pelicans are a common sight on Lake Pepin. The park should offer excellent fall color through the end of the week.
Beaver Creek Valley State Park, Caledonia -- Nearly all species of hardwood trees are now showing nice shades of yellow. The maples and sumac are especially beautiful and adding bright red and orange color. Some of the better locations for fall color viewing include the Steep Rock, Switchback and Quarry Hiking Trails. Peak fall color should linger through the end of the week.
Sakatah Lake State Park, southwest of Faribault -- The Virginia creeper and sumac leaves are a brilliant red, and the yellow cottonwood leaves are also at peak fall color. Most of the maples are at peak as well. For the best views, hike or bike the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail, or drive along the lakeshore road.
Lac Qui Parle State Park, Montevideo -- The leaves of the staghorn sumac, hackberry, cottonwood, maple and oak trees are now at peak and displaying bright yellows and reds, as well as rich shades of gold and rust. Many wildflowers are still in bloom, including asters and stiff goldenrod. Blue-winged teal are prevalent along with the mallards.
Blue Mounds State Park, Luverne -- The silver maple leaves are turning bright red, although windy days have caused many leaves to have fallen. Oak leaves along the trails and clifflines are various shades of rust and brown.
(Source: The Department of Natural Resources)
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