It’s Leaf Peeping Season In Minnesota

Where to catch an explosion of fall colors

Where are your favorite places to leaf peep in Minnesota? Ours are the campuses of Saint John’s University in Collegeville and St. Olaf College in Northfield; the Winchell, Cannon Valley, and Brown’s Creek trails, Wood Lake Nature Center in Richfield, and Windom Northeast Park in Minneapolis, though we’re always looking for new spots. We just booked a fall colors cruise on the St. Croix for early October; more on that soon.

Team Minnevangelist keeps tabs on the 🍁 foliage by following MN State Parks and Trails and Minnesota DNR on Instagram and signing up for the weekly Fall Color Finder report, which is updated every Thursday throughout September and October.

Right now Savanna Portage State Park in McGregor, Big Bog State Recreation Area in Waskish, Zippel Bay State Park in Williams, and Itasca State Park in Park Rapids are 25 to 50 percent red, gold, and yellow. Compare that with the Twin Cities, where less than 10 percent of the leaves have turned and it’s supposed to be 81 again on Tuesday (seriously?!).

If you’re trying to figure out the best time to take a mini road trip, consult the DNR’s color map from years past — a truly helpful resource! Explore Minnesota has also designated 10 fall color Rainbow Routes, including an Iron Range loop, a scenic byway through Chippewa National Forest, and bike-friendly highlights along the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway.