(KMSP) - This past week, autumn has felt more like summer. The rise in temperatures came at the perfect time for fall color gazing, as the Minnesota foliage gave its last hurrah.
According to the DNR's fall color tracker, most of the state reached peak colors this week, or is already past peak.
Like every year, the northern parts of the state are the first to turn, and the first to fall. But don't despair, if you haven't had the chance to take an autumn drive, there are still some pockets where the vivid colors remain.
The southeastern corner of the state following the St. Croix river is particularly beautiful right now. Only 50 to 75 percent of the area's foliage has turned so far.
Places like Afton State Park, Frontenac State Park and John A. Latsch State Park are in this pocket.
Other southern parts of the state are on their last legs, with over 75 percent of the trees changed. The prairie grasses themselves are past peak, but the trees are still vibrant, at least for the rest of the week.
Compared to past years, the colors have stuck around longer than usual. in 2015, the majority of the state was past peak by now, not just the north.
The DNR's website describes why this may be the case, detailing how weather is the most critical factor in determining the colors each fall.
If the summer is cool and rainy, colors are likely to show prematurely. The northern border of the state usually sees peak color in mid to late September, whereas the southern border doesn't typically peak until mid-October.
A dry summer will produce a more subtle landscape of colors, as opposed to the expected vibrant reds, yellows and oranges. Instead, the trees will look more tan, bronze and auburn.
The perfect combination is a warm, moist summer followed by sunny, cool fall days.
For now, the DNR has released a list of the best places to see the fall colors this week while the weather is still ideal:
75 TO 100 PERCENT OF TREES CHANGED:
Afton State Park
Big Bog State Recreation Area
Big Stone Lake State Park
Blue Mounds State Park
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park
Fort Ridgely State Park
Fort Snelling State Park
Great River Bluffs State Park
Greenleaf Lake State Recreation Area
Interstate State Park
Kilen Woods State Park
Lac Qui Parle State Park
Lake Bemidji State Park
Lake Maria State Park
Minneopa State Park
Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area
Myre-Big Island State Park
Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park
Rice Lake State Park
Sakatah Lake State Park
Split Rock Creek State Park
Upper Sioux Agency State Park
Wild River State Park
William O'Brien State Park
50 TO 75 PERCENT OF TREES CHANGED:
Beaver Creek Valley State Park
Carley State Park
Frontenac State Park
John A. Latsch State Park
Whitewater State Park