Five fall color drives to take in Minnesota this fall

It’s officially leaf peeping season in Minnesota and many state parks and forests across the state are nearing peak color

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources forest officials say fall colors this year should be “especially lovely if the recent sunny days and chilly, but not freezing, nights continue.” 

fall color minnesota

Fall colors at the Lutsen Mountains. (Ronald Galligan / FOX 9)

The DNR recommends a scenic drive through a state forest as a socially-distanced way to experience the outdoors and see the leaves change this season. 

Here are five fall color drives to take this fall: 

Mid-late September

  • Smoky Hills State Forest in the northwest
  • Bear Island State Forest in the northeast

Early October

  • Rum River State Forest in central Minnesota
  • St. Croix State Forest and Nemadji State Forest loop in central Minnesota


  • Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest in the south

The DNR’s Fall Color Finder, which is updated weekly through October, can help you find areas with peak fall color.