Skip to main content

Where to find fall colors: Leaves hit their peak across northern Minnesota

This could be a top-notch leaf-peeping weekend.

Minnesota's fall colors are at their breathtaking peak across much of northern Minnesota. 

The DNR's Fall Color Finder shows the northern third of Minnesota blanketed in red — meaning leaves in those areas are at 75-100% of their peak color. (See the map to the right.) You'll get dramatic, bold views in those areas. 

The lower two-thirds of the state is on its way. After being toward the lower end of the scale one week ago, many areas are at minimum 25% peak colors. The Twin Cities remains stubbornly behind in the 10-25% range. 

(Though this writer took a walk at St. Paul's Crosby Farm Regional Park earlier this week and would like to say: The fall colors were excellent.)

There are currently 14 state parks, including Split Rock Lighthouse, at top0tier fall color levels. They are:

  • Savanna Portage
  • Jay Cooke
  • Lake Bemidji
  • Split Rock Lighthouse
  • Scenic
  • Schoolcraft
  • Cascade River
  • Gooseberry Falls
  • Zippel Bay
  • Frank Jevne
  • Itasca
  • Old MIll
  • Lake Brosnon
  • Buffalo River

The drought that has plagued Minnesota for months has impacted fall colors. Val Cervenka, the Minnesota DNR's forest health program coordinator, told Bring Me The News in August that leaves were changing much earlier than normal.

Related [Aug. 11]: Here's what the drought means for fall colors in Minnesota this year

The drought is also expected to make some of those vibrant reds and oranges a little more muted this year.

However, Cervenka stressed that everything won't be brown — there will be "pockets of awesomeness" for leaf peepers this year. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.30.08 AM

Campsites closed at Voyageurs National Park due to 'historic' water levels

All backcountry trails and campsites are closed, as well as many frontcountry sites.

state capitol Minnesota

Lawmakers reach agreement on tax cuts ahead of session's end

Lawmakers announced they had reached a deal on a tax bill Saturday ahead of the looming session deadline.

281699116_10226502238438986_800951410789352812_n

Victims of daytime drive-by shooting in Robbinsdale identified

The two men died after a hail of bullets struck a vehicle.

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.14.37 AM

Source of 'loud explosion' in Brooklyn Park a mystery

The noise was investigated by police, but no source could be determined.

covid, vaccine, booster shots

COVID: All Americans over 50 advised to get a second booster

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise again as new COVID variants emerge.

J.W. Peck (left) and Eric Galler.

2 Minnesotans inducted into White Castle's Hall of Fame

White Castle — it's what a man in Minneapolis and another in Woodbury, crave.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 5.46.37 PM

Video shows officers ended pursuit before fatal crash in Anoka

The crash occurred when the driver fled police during an attempted traffic stop in Coon Rapids.

Eli Hart

6-year-old Eli Hart identified as boy found dead in car trunk

The kindergartner's father was trying to get full custody of his son.

IMG_3509

Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.

Minneapolis police

Man found yelling for help after being shot in Minneapolis

The shooting occurred on the 800 block of Elwood Avenue North at around 9:15 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

Minneapolis North principal says she was fired, district says otherwise

“MPS requires schools to follow protocols in times like that and I did not,” Friestleben said.

Kris Richard Severin

Inmate who escaped Minnesota prison is captured

The inmate escaped Wednesday morning.

Related

fall foilage leaves lutsen

Here's what the drought means for fall colors in Minnesota this year

Maybe plan your leaf-peeping trips earlier than normal this year.

Screen Shot 2019-09-20 at 11.44.33 AM

Fall colors are back! Here's where to find them this weekend

Parts of northern Minnesota are at 50-75 percent color.

5 fall color spots around the Twin Cities to visit ASAP

The colors are about to peak in the Twin Cities.

bear cub

Bear clambers into northern MN home through kitchen window

A black bear in the house isn't something you see every day.

Flickr - Voyagerous - Christine Warner

MN's lone National Park is also one of the least popular in the country

Travelers are clearly overlooking what northern Minnesota has to offer.