(Photo by Don Del Greco, Maplewood Park Supervisor.)

Some trees have begun to turn colors early due to this year’s drought. A severe drought usually dulls colors and causes premature leaf shedding. Minnesota’s landscape likely will be filled with more subtle colors of tan, bronze and auburn.

The above map, dated Sept. 9, shows progress of colors in geographic areas of Minnesota.

Forest Health Program Coordinator and official MN DNR fall color predictor, Val Cervenka, suggests a visit to the prairie this fall. “Let the lemons make lemonade! Head to the prairie to see beautiful native grasses that resist drought with their deep roots.”

Below, the Hallaway Hill Overlook trail at Maplewood State Park, east of Pelican Rapids, is spectacular any time of year. It’s an excellent place to climb to get grand panoramic views of the park… or a sunrise, if you’re an early riser. 

Maplewood’s popular “Leaf Days” event is Sept. 25-26 this year, featuring a variety of activities during the fall color season.