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.

 

 

September 24th Fall Color update . . . 

maples fall colorWhat you’ll see:  Peak colors are showing up in bits and pieces in inland locations along the ridge line from Finland to the Gunflint Trail. The remainder of those areas are over 50% turned [see the recommended tours below]. The best color is near Finland, Tofte, Lutsen and near Grand Portage. You will see color of some sort any where inland from Tettegouche State Park northeast to the Canadian border. It is typical that the Scenic 61 and Two Harbors areas has a later peak.

Photo is from Heartbreak Ridge drive

NEXT UPDATE –> Sep 28

Looking for fall colors right now?

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: 09-21-2017

Suggested Tours

What to expect: Area Reports

Scenic 61 to Two Harbors along Lake Superior
Scenic 61 to Two Harbors along Lake Superior The colors are Just starting: See early show-offs and colorful underbrush see more

Percent Color Change :: 10-20%

Colors are b-a-r-e-l-y starting to change, which is typical for this end of the shore. It’ll be another week before we have some colors to look at.

Gooseberry Falls State Park
Gooseberry Falls State Park The colors are Just starting: See early show-offs and colorful underbrush see more

Percent Color Change :: 10-25%

There are still plenty of flowers blooming throughout the park. The leaves have slowly begun to change color and fall, but that hasn’t stopped the butterflies and dragonflies from hanging around. With all the recent rain, mushrooms are popping up all over.

Spend the last few warm days of Summer enjoying Agate beach at the mouth of the river or even hike up to Fifth Falls to view the cascading water!

Split Rock Lighthouse  State Park
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park The colors are Just starting: See early show-offs and colorful underbrush see more

Percent Color Change :: 10-25%

The fall colors are just beginning at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. The Little Two Harbors Trail is beginning to color with orange Mountain Ash berries and a random branch of red or yellow in the Maples and Birches.

You can’t go wrong hiking to the top of Day Hill to get a panoramic view of the North Shore of Lake Superior and the subtle hint of color emerging.

Tettegouche State Park
Tettegouche State Park The colors are Just starting: See early show-offs and colorful underbrush see more

Percent Color Change :: 10-25%

Lots of potential color is starting to peak through the green of the leaves. Red maples are really turning red and they stick out in the forest. Aspens and birches are starting to yellow.

The mushrooms are benefiting from our frequent rains and fungus of every imaginable color and shape are popping up throughout the park.

Inland -> Finland Area
Inland -> Finland Area The colors are Worth the trip: Leaf and underbrush colors are 50% or more, come on up! see more

Percent Color Change :: Maples 70%, Birch & Aspen 10%

Finland Ridges are lighting up fast!

This report provided by BAPTISM RIVER INN B & B

 

Schroeder-Tofte Area
Schroeder-Tofte Area The colors are Worth the trip: Leaf and underbrush colors are 50% or more, come on up! see more

Percent Color Change :: 20%

On September, 18 we have a mix of areas that are still green or are just starting to turn to fall colors, and some further inland locations that have stands of beautiful orange and red maples. The mix of green and vibrant colors will stretch this year’s fall color season out by giving viewers a great variety of color change within a several-mile radius.

 

This report provided by BLUEFIN BAY FAMILY OF RESORTS

Lutsen
Lutsen The colors are Worth the trip: Leaf and underbrush colors are 50% or more, come on up! see more

Percent Color Change :: 10-15%

Maples are turning as you drive or hike up the ridge lines!

 

This report provided by LUTSEN RESORT

Cascade River State Park
Cascade River State Park The colors are Worth the trip: Leaf and underbrush colors are 50% or more, come on up! see more

Percent Color Change :: 25-50%

This is the time to hike the lower waterfall loop at Cascade River State Park. The recent rains have the Falls thundering through the gorge, and the leaves are getting more colorful each day. A simple 30 minute walk could be the highlight of your day.

The pink salmon have returned! Large schools can be see in the stream bed below the last falls. And the ospreys and eagles have also returned, looking for a healthy meal. They won’t be here long, so come down for a visit to see this seasonal event.

Grand Marais
Grand Marais The colors are Worth the trip: Leaf and underbrush colors are 50% or more, come on up! see more

Percent Color Change :: 25-50%

The maples a few miles inland are really looking good! So take a drive inland from Grand Marais and plan to get out for ambles and hikes at Pincushion Mtn Rec Area, any of the Superior Hiking Trail trailheads or along snowmobile trails.

Gunflint Trail
Gunflint Trail The colors are Worth the trip: Leaf and underbrush colors are 50% or more, come on up! see more

Percent Color Change :: 40-60%

The fall colors on the Gunflint Trail are at 40 – 60 percent of their peak.
The trees have really started to show their colors in the last few days.  Some
great hikes for fall colors are the Bridal Falls Trail, Centennial Trail, High
Cliffs Trail, and Lookout Point Trail.  If you have good shocks on your car,
it is worth driving down the Old Gunflint Trail (County 92) on you way up to
Gunflint Lake.

This report provided by GUNFLINT LODGE

Judge CR Magney State Park
Judge CR Magney State Park The colors are Worth the trip: Leaf and underbrush colors are 50% or more, come on up! see more

Percent Color Change :: 25-50%

The Mountain Ash are heavily laden with berries that both migrating and year-round resident birds feast upon. Now is a good time to spy moose as they throw caution aside, but this is also the time for humans to be extra wary should they be lucky enough to see one of these ornery creatures.

The pink salmon have begun the fall run.

Grand Portage Area
Grand Portage Area The colors are Worth the trip: Leaf and underbrush colors are 50% or more, come on up! see more

Percent Color Change :: 25-50%

Within Grand Portage State Park, we have nice amounts of yellow leaves on our young Aspen and Birch trees, as well as a bit of orange on our small Moose Maples. There is lots of lovely fall color amongst the ground shrubs around the Visitor Center and along the trails. Most of our larger trees still have plenty of green. Heading inland along Old Highway 61, we are starting to see some beautiful reds and oranges in the Sugar Maples.

Although the wildflowers are well past their peak, we still we have a nice variety around the Visitor Center area, most prominent being Giant Blue Hyssop, Canada Goldenrod, and Black Eyed Susan. Our Rose Hips have turned a deep red, and there are numerous species of mushrooms in bloom around the park. We also have a large showing of Indian Pipe, or Ghost Plant, an interesting perennial with a distinctive translucent white appearance.