The days are getting shorter, and the temps are getting cooler -- which is the perfect recipe for the vibrant fall colors that our state is known for.

Things are really starting to pop here in southern Minnesota with most of our area at peak or near-peak colors. The far southeast part of the state, along with the Twin Cities, has a bit further to go.

The entire northern third of the state is already past peak, with western Minnesota the hot-spot for peak fall colors right now.

Minnesota DNR
Minnesota DNR
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There's no doubt that the progression of fall colors has been slower this year. Tree experts say the drought, along with abnormally hot temperatures in early October, are the likely culprits for the delay.


Best Fall Color Viewing Routes in Minnesota

  1. North Shore of Lake Superior: This route along America's largest Great Lake is known for its great fall color and lake views, making it very popular with leaf peepers like us.
  2. Iron Range Loop: I know, "Pete can you find something closer?" There's a beautiful mix of color on this circle drive, and plenty of other highlights as well.
  3. Edge of the Wilderness: Nope, still not down south. This super scenic byway winds over hills through the colorful mix of pine and hardwoods of Chippewa National Forest.
  4. Mississippi Headwaters: Still no for southern Minnesota. Itasca State Park, the source of the mighty Mississippi River, is the star attraction on this route.
  5. I'm tired of waiting for a great southern Minnesota spot, so we're jumping ahead to #9 on #ExploreMinnesota's list, which as far as I'm concerned is as good as anywhere in the state. Mississippi River Valley: Charming river towns and wooded bluffs border the Mississippi River on this colorful route, characterized by steep hillsides dressed in brilliant autumn hues of red, russet and gold.

Keep calm and take pictures. 😉🍁

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