Autumn is a special time of year in Minnesota. The landscape is splashed with color as trees, shrubs and even prairie grasses take on golden, ruby and tangerine hues. Cooler temperatures make it the perfect time for outdoor fun—hiking, biking, paddling and golfing. Changing lake temperatures get the fish biting.
The changing leaves provide a colorful backdrop for these activities, and for many, are reason alone to plan a road trip to enjoy the bright hues. Fall color drives can be a short day trip or a long weekend; there are many great places to view a brilliant array of foliage throughout the state.
The fall color show in Minnesota begins along the northern border in early September, and the color spreads southward over the next several weeks. (See the adjacent map for the timing of this progression during a typical autumn.) Each year, the colors’ whereabouts vary based on the weather, so check the latest fall color reports.
Weekly updates by Explore Minnesota and the Department of Natural Resources track this color display and give details about fall flowers and bird migrations. Reports are available by e-mail, phone and online. .