The first day of fall is creeping closer, and soon the trees will be turning red, gold, and orange.
For those who want to get out there and enjoy the changing seasons – the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has got your back.
They’ve designed a trip-planning tool called the Fall Color Finder that tracks the progression of fall colors across the state.
You can view a map of color changes around the whole state, or search by region.
Staff from Minnesota state parks and trails will update the Fall Color Finder every Thursday.
You can even integrate the color finder with Google maps on your phone by clicking the “mobile page” button on the website.
Fall lovers can also view a slideshow and upload their own photos of fabulous foliage.
And they are predicting a “flashy fall”
We got plenty of rain this summer which helped plants stay healthy and green – a building block for great fall color, according to the DNR’s forest health specialists.
“To increase the chances of having a flashy fall, we need warm, sunny days and cool nights to bring out those vivid colors,” Erika Rivers, director of Minnesota state parks and trails said in the release.
Colors peak between mid-September and early October in the northern third of Minnesota, between late September and early October in the central third, and between late September and mid-October in the southern third – which includes the Twin Cities.
The DNR says peak fall color usually lasts about two weeks, but that can vary depending on location, elevation, and weather.
Trees at higher elevations are typically the first to show color change.
And if you’re curious what causes the leaves to change color, the DNR says its because of four main groups of biochemicals – chlorophyll, carotenoids, anthocyanins, and tannins.