A change of season and a change of scenery go hand in hand. You probably already know that golfing in Minnesota is a great way to get out and enjoy the rainbow of colors. It’s also one of the best seasons to discover (or rediscover!) Minnesota cities, towns, and outdoor treasures.
Is this going to be the fall when you finally hike to Minnesota’s highest waterfall at Grand Portage State Park, view the prairie in its fall glory on a guided tour at Blue Mounds State Park or take a road trip on one of the state’s rainbow routes? It’s time to get those outings on the calendar so that the fast and furious fall color season doesn’t pass you by.
To help you with your travel planning, Explore Minnesota and Minnesota State Parks and Trails are again teaming up to provide weekly fall color updates so that you can time your trips to coincide with the most scenic backdrops and photo ops. The updates are made possible by staff at Minnesota’s 75 state parks and recreation areas, who submit the fall color progress reports that populate the online Fall Color Finder.
“Fall color this year should be as stunning as we have come to expect if there are sunny days and chilly but not freezing nights,” said Val Cervenka, the forest health program consultant in the DNR’s Forestry Division. “Temperature and soil moisture together affect fall color. Mild summer drought can increase the fall color display, but warm fall weather can decrease its brilliance. It’s good to keep in mind that local weather conditions will affect local fall color.”
The wave of peak fall color typically washes across Minnesota from mid-September (along the Canadian border) to mid-October (along the Iowa border).
“September and October are two of the best months to travel around Minnesota,” said Lauren Bennett McGinty, state tourism director at Explore Minnesota, “and Explore Minnesota has all kinds of trip-planning resources to help you make the most of this beautiful season, including where to hike, bike and find orchards and fall festivals in charming small towns.”
Get Deals and Rewards
Explore Minnesota has three ways to get even more out of fall this year.
· Sign up for the Hike MN Passport and check in every time you hike at one of 60 featured locations for a chance to win gift cards from Mall of America, Minnesota State Parks and Trails and Scheels.
· Sign up for the MN Sips Passport to get deals at participating breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries and a chance to win one of 70 gifts cards.
· Sign up for the MN Fall Passport to get discounts on a variety of featured destinations and adventures.
Take a Trip on a Tankful
In addition to updating its popular fall content on where to find pumpkin patches, corn mazes and other fall fun, Explore Minnesota recently introduced a new Trip on a Tankful series that recommends trips you can take on one tank of gas. The itineraries will send you in every direction, with lots of interesting stops along the way.
Hike, Bike and Paddle
Minnesota has one of the nation’s greatest state park and trail systems, including 75 state parks and recreation areas, and is home to Voyageurs National Park. Minnesota also is considered one of the country’s top states for biking, with 4,000 miles of trails. Some of the longest paved trails include the Root River, Central Lakes, Lake Wobegon, Heartland, Paul Bunyan and Mesabi. The Minneapolis-St. Paul area offers an abundance of award-winning urban parks, trails and lakes, too.
Get weekly updates
· Sign up at http://www.mndnr.gov/fallcolor for a weekly e-newsletter highlighting where to find peak fall color at Minnesota State Parks and Trails, featuring recent photos submitted by park staff and visitors. Or call 888-646-6367 for updates.
· Sign up at www.exploreminnesota.com/fallcolor for a weekly e-newsletter that provides fall travel ideas in the state’s five tourism regions, including apple orchards, pumpkin patches, festivals and events, and more. Or call 888-VISITMN to speak with a travel counselor.
Share the Season on Social Tag fall photos and tune into social media to get real-time inspiration using the Explore Minnesota hashtag #OnlyinMN and Minnesota State Parks and Trails hashtag #JustAddNature.
About Explore Minnesota Explore Minnesota leads Minnesota’s travel industry by collaborating with partners and stakeholders to market the state for the economic benefit of all Minnesotans. Tourism, a key sector of the state’s economy, in 2019 generated $1.1 billion in state sales tax on $16.6 billion in leisure and hospitality sales and employing nearly 276,000 workers in Minnesota’s leisure and hospitality businesses.
About Minnesota State Parks and Trails Minnesota has 75 state parks and recreation areas, more than 1,300 miles of state trails and over 4,500 miles of state water trails. These public lands and waterways offer a wide variety of outdoor recreation experiences and protect Minnesota’s rich natural resources.