MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Fall has been showing signs that it’s coming with the opening of pumpkin patches, apple orchards, the drying up of crops and the most prominent sign: the changing of tree colors.
There is a way that people can track the peak of fall colors across the state.
Explore Minnesota, the state’s tourism office, and Minnesota State Parks and Trails will launch a weekly change of colors within the trees starting Thursday, Sept. 17.
“We have about 75 parks and recreation areas across the state. It really touches on almost every corner of the state and weekly they report on the extent of peak colors for fall. That goes from the trees, to the grasses and wildflowers as well. They input the information by Thursday morning every week, we have great information heading into the weekend on where you can find fall colors across the state," explained Rachel Hopper, visitor service and outreach manager at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
They’ve been doing this Fall Color Forecast for about 10 years and have figured out the science behind it.
“Every fall, when the days start getting a little bit shorter and the evening becomes kind of cooler in weather, but you still have warm and sunny days. That really starts to change the color of the leaves," Hopper said.
Explore Minnesota has crafted a diagram to help people with locating the best scenic fall spots.
“You will see a map of the entire state and it will highlight the best places to go" According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota State Parks and Trails. “Right now, around far northern Minnesota and there is also a little pocket around Itasca and Lake Bemidji. Those two locations are about 25-50% peak color, while the rest of the state is about half-and-half between 10 and 25% peak color and then less than that so not yet turning," Hopper said.
This forecast is available for anyone to see especially if you want to plan a trip, go to an apple orchard or other fall activities.