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      A Colorful Time to Explore Minnesota

      Posted on September 12, 2012 at 3:39 PM

      Frontenac State Park

      A View of the changing leaves- Frontenac State Park (Courtesy Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)

      With the arrival of the Fall Season, Minnesota's autumn leaves are just weeks away from gracing us with the brilliant colors that draws thousands of Minnesotans and out-of-state tourists to our state.

      According to the MN DNR, as of September 10th, the state was already seeing some areas of colorful leaves at 10-25% of peak, primarily in northern Minnesota. Typically, top peak color is  seen in Northern Minnesota mid-September into early October, with Central and Southern Minnesota seeing peak from late September into early October.

      These fall colors are caused by chemical compounds in the leaves, which are revealed from behind the mask of chlorophyll- a compound that gives leaves their green color throughout the year, until it breaks down as nitrogen is placed into storage for the winter.

      These vibrant yellows, red, oranges, and golds draw people from all over the country to enjoy their beauty. Minnesota possesses many diverse places to enjoy the changing of the leaves, including such scenic spots as the North Shore, Taylors Falls, and Lake City. Minnesota's wide variety of trees and the coming together of the eastern hardwoods with the northern forests in our state create a natural phenomenon that cannot be missed.

      The MN DNR wants to help you make the most of this beautiful season,and offers residents and guests a mobile app that follows leaf color reports from Parks and Recreation staff across the state. In conjunction with a planned tour or just your own exploration, this tool will make following our leaves a fun and exciting part of Autumn, whether in one of our famous state parks or in your own backyard.