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Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, released September 9, 2013

During the next seven or eight weeks, waves of fall color will roll across Minnesota’s forests and prairies, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks and Trails Division encourages families to get out and enjoy them.  Whatever mode of transportation chosen, it is encouraged to get out an explore in Minnesota’s nature this fall season.

The statewide fall color report at ( is updated every Thursday by staff at Minnesota state parks and recreation areas. These reports include percent of color change, peak color projections and three state park or trail destinations considered “hot picks” of the week.

“We’re predicting it will be a brilliant fall color season,” said Patricia Arndt, communications and outreach manager for the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “Although it’s been dry lately, the trees got adequate rain earlier this season. Now we just need a combination of sunny days and cool nights in the weeks ahead to bring out the fall colors. We’ve timed many of our fall hiking, biking, geocaching and paddling programs at Minnesota state parks and trails to coincide with peak color, and we hope to see lots of people getting outdoors to enjoy this beautiful time of year.”

Colors typically peak between mid-September and early October in northern third of the state, between late September and early October in central third and between late September and mid-October in southern third (which includes Twin Cities).  Visit Grand Rapids has four fall motor routes that can be downloaded.  These routes include total miles of each tour, area attraction sites, rest stops for food and gas, and full color map highlighting all of the roadways clearly.  Those that prefer to take a hike in the million acres of public forest land can check out the hiking trails, and those that prefer taking a human powered two wheeled adventure along the Mesabi Trail can check out biking routes.

Ride Mesabi Trail

Ride Mesabi Trail

Fall color programs are listed in the free “Feel the ‘Wow’ of Fall” brochure at Minnesota state parks and recreation areas, Twin Cities libraries and REI stores and the Parks and Trails kiosk across from food court at Rosedale Center. The DNR Information Center will also mail the brochure to anyone who requests it.

In addition to its weekly online reports, the DNR offers fall colors “to go” on a mobile website compatible with smart phones and tablets. These reports include percent of color change, integrated with Google maps. To access the mobile site, scan the QR code at or visit and bookmark the site on a smart phone or other mobile device.

For more information, visit the online calendar at or call DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

A vehicle permit is required for entrance to Minnesota state parks and recreation areas. Visitors may start with a one-day permit for $5 and visit as many state parks as they choose. The one-day permit may be traded in before the end of the day for $5 off a year-round permit. Year-round permits, $25, provide unlimited access to all 76 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas for a year from the month of purchase.  In the Grand Rapids area two state parks require permits: Scenic State Park and Schoolcraft State Park.  Visitors to Minnesota state parks are encouraged to upload fall color photos to the DNR’s fall color website.

Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byways

Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byways


Looking for a last minute Minnesota family vacation?  Check out Visit Grand Rapids Hot Deals.   There are many Minnesota family resorts that still have openings for the fall season.  In the fall the pace is slower, the crowds are smaller, and there is many opportunities to make family memories.  Consider a Minnesota vacation to the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area.  Come discover the fall colors in Minnesota’s nature.