Fall Color Report for the North Shore
The Season Forecast

Inland colors, especially maples along the ridge lines turn first with the birch and aspen providing a follow-up season of gold. Fall colors occur from early September through about the third week of October with maple colors peaking the last week of September into the first week of October. The next week the golden peak season occurs. A warmer than usual summer and ample moisture should delay colors by a week or so.

Rainfall and temps affect both when the colors occur and how long they last, so it is variable each year. Starting Labor Day, I will provide weekly fall color reports with suggested tours each Thursday.

Get the update below.

 

 

October 19th Fall Color update . . . past PEAK colors

What you’ll see:  Show is over folks. The remaining color is along Highway 61 and closer to Gooseberry Falls and Two Harbors. Inland tamarack trees’ golden needles glow on grey cloudy days and contrast against intense blue skies of sunny days. Add an extra layer for your hike as our weather is becoming more seasonal.

Looking for fall colors right now?
oct11-hwy61

Scroll to the bottom of the page, then to see a slide show, click on a photo. Each week, I will add photos so you will be able to see the progression of color change throughout the season. And click below to see this week’s tour recommendations!

Last Updated: 10-19-2016

Suggested Tours

What to expect: Area Reports

Gooseberry Falls State Park
Gooseberry Falls State Park The colors are Past Peak: Hello brown. see more

reporting October 19th
Leaves:past peak 

Wildflowers: past peak   

Where to go
Walk around the falls loop trail, hike from there to the lake shore or drive to the shore and hike between the river mouth and the Picnic Flow. All of it is still colorful and will be beautiful this weekend!

What you’ll see
The trees are holding more leaves here than farther inland. Between that and some of the berries (mountain ash) and other plants, there is still quite a lot of seasonal color. The weather is supposed to be cooler but without much precipitation for the rest of the week, so it should be a nice time to get out and go for a walk or a bike ride!

Split Rock Lighthouse  State Park
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park The colors are Past Peak: Hello brown. see more

reporting October 19th
Leaves: past peak 
Wildflowers: past peak  

Where to go
Park at the Trail Center and picnic along the beautiful Lake Superior shore. Then take a short walk west along the trail to view Ellingsen Island and Split Rock Lighthouse.

What you’ll see
You’ll still find color hiking the Little Two Harbors Trail right on the lake shore. Enjoy the warm October sun while skipping rocks on Pebble Beach.

More tips
Take a hike to the top of Day Hill to get a breathtaking view of the Lake Superior shoreline with a juxtaposition of dark green spruce and golden birches, aspens and tamarack.

Tettegouche State Park
Tettegouche State Park The colors are Past Peak: Hello brown. see more

reporting October 12th
Leaves: at / just past peak
Wildflowers: past peak

Where to go
The inland maples have mostly given up their leaves for the year. Closer to Lake Superior there is still quite a bit of gold in the birches and aspens. Fall rains = rushing waterfalls!

What you’ll see
A Tale of Two Parks – The inland maple forests of Tettegouche are past peak color, right now, with a majority of the leaves dropped. Nearer Lake Superior the birches and aspens are mostly golden, now.

More tips
If the weather stays warm enough our fall mushrooms could be putting on a good show in the coming week.

George H Crosby Manitou State Park
George H Crosby Manitou State Park The colors are Past Peak: Hello brown. see more

reporting October 12th
Leaves: 75-100%
Wildflowers: 25-50%

Where to go
Recent rains have the Cascades of the Manitou River flowing well. Hike the Middle Trail about a mile in to get to these falls.

What you’ll see
The inland maples have mostly shed their colors for the year. Some other tree species are still showing golds, though.

More tips

Mushrooms everywhere!

Temperance River State Park
Temperance River State Park The colors are Past Peak: Hello brown. see more

reporting October 12th
Leaves: past peak
Wildflowers: past peak

Where to go
Get off the highway and hike to Carlton Peak for panoramic views of the surrounding forests. Recent rains have brought area rivers up. Check out the Temperance River gorge.

What you’ll see
The maples have mostly shed their leaves but the birches and aspens are still showing some golds.

More tips
Our moist conditions are bringing out the fall mushrooms!

Cascade River State Park
Cascade River State Park The colors are Past Peak: Hello brown. see more

reporting October 19th
Leaves: past peak   
Wildflowers: past peak

Where to go
Lookout Mountain is still a very beautiful hike, with a fair amount of leaves intact. The Falls have also remained gorgeous, often swollen with the occasional rains we have received.

What you’ll see
The wind and rain have dropped some leaves, creating lovely paths through the woods.

More tips
Squirrels and chipmunks are scrambling to put aside the last of their winter stores, and multiple varieties are birds are flocking through right now.

Judge CR Magney State Park
Judge CR Magney State Park The colors are Past Peak: Hello brown. see more

reporting October 19th
Leaves: past peak
Wildflowers: past peak

Where to go
Now is the time for a quiet woodland hike on the Gauthier Creek Trail. The mixed hardwoods still cling to yellows and oranges, and the mushrooms are varied and abundant. The ever-favorite Devil’s Kettle Trail is a must, especially for those who ponder the mysterious, disappearing waterfall.

What you’ll see
One of the last trees to turn color is the Tamarack which is now showing yellow and light orange deciduous needles. The understory is still brilliant with oranges, purplish reds, and yellows. Some of the Mountain Ash still have leaves; others show only large clumps of red berries. Some brave flowers have survived–including a white campion in the parking lot. The bald eagles still roam the stretches of the Brule River, looking for another meal of pink salmon.

More tips
Recent sightings of wildlife include a small black bear and a porcupine and bald eagles.The weather is turning cooler and sometimes breezy; expectLake Superior to pick up some fall dark blues and white caps. The showers in the campground are closed for the season, but the campground will remain open until the 24th of October.

Grand Portage State Park
Grand Portage State Park The colors are Past Peak: Hello brown. see more

reporting October 19th
Leaves: past peak
Wildflowers: past peak 

Where to go
The inland maples are pretty much done now, with only about 25% or less of their leaves still remaining on the trees. It’s a great time to walk in the maple woods though if you like to hear the leaves rustling beneath your feet. The forest floor is covered with a thick blanket of leaves.

What you’ll see
With the maples well past their peak, that means the rest of the colors are either at peak or just past peak. These are primarily the birch and aspen trees, which are the more prevalent colors along Highway 61 and the Lake Superior shoreline. This coming weekend will likely be the last really good weekend for fall colors along the Lake Superior shoreline. By the following weekend the colors will likely be well past their peak.

More tips
Wildflowers are past peak but there are still some in bloom around the visitor center and along the park trails.We also have quite a few mushrooms left around the building and along the trails.