Minnesota Fall Foliage: A MapQuest Guide
Minnesota fall foliage features brilliant hues and spectacular scenery. The changing colors of leaves in autumn is one of nature’s most beloved rites of passage -- and makes for one of the most popular and inexpensive getaways for families. As part of LeafQuest -- a MapQuest series helping leaf peepers across North America find easy and rewarding destinations -- here are three recommended spots for viewing Minnesota fall foliage. — Saira Bajwa
Afton State Park
Drive along the southernmost part of the St. Croix Scenic Byway into Afton State Park for a vibrant show of colors during the peak foliage season. The stars of the show here are oak, maple, sumac and ash trees. The Minnesota park spans 1,695 acres and offers scenic bluffs, prairies full of wildflowers, hiking trails and views of the St. Croix River. The nearby Afton Alps are also a popular recreational destination for skiing and golfing.
6959 Peller Ave. S., Hastings, MN 55033 | Get Directions
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park
Minnesota's Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park is home to a wide variety of trees, including sugar maples, box elders, green ashes, basswoods, black walnuts and staghorn sumacs -- all of which create a collage of autumn colors that light up the park. Prairie flowers also add splashes of yellow and purple to the backdrop crimson and golden leaves. Peak fall foliage usually occurs mid-September and lasts until mid-October. While taking in the beauty of the park, swing by the restored 1800s village -- Historic Forestville. Tours are usually offered every weekend.
21071 County 118, Preston, MN 55965 | Get Directions
Whitewater State Park
Fall colors on maple, basswood, butternut, black walnut, birch, cottonwood and elm trees light up Minnesota's Whitewater State Park during the autumnal turning of leaves. Take in the colorful wildflowers and golden prairie grass, which add to the vivid landscapes throughout the 2,700-acre park. Guided tours and special walks are usually offered during peak foliage season. Check the website for the latest information.
19041 Highway 74, Altura, MN 55910 | Get Directions
Autumn in Whitewater State Park.
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Want other great fall-foliage destinations? Check out more LeafQuest.
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