The Twin Cities southwest metro is now at peak fall color, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Fall Color Finder.

One of the best parts of fall in Minnesota is spending time among the fall leaves as they change from green to yellow to red before hitting the ground.

Northern Minnesota trees are past their peak, according to the DNR but if you’re looking for a fall hike in the Twin Cities southwest metro, now is the time to do it.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Always a popular designation, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is a great place to explore fall foliage. The Arboretum just completed its fall color report.

“Fall color at the Arboretum and in other metro areas has more golden hues and fewer deep orange and red colors due to warm, wet weather,” Director of Operations Alan Branhagen said in the report. “The Sugar Maple trees are at peak color and should hold through this week. The entrance to Three-Mile Drive is a golden tunnel past the Berens Cabin and again at the end of the drive approaching the Iris Garden. As always the gargantuan maple at the Harrison Sculpture Garden creates a ‘traffic jam’ as visitors stop to get pictures,” Check out the full fall color report online at arb.umn.edu/content/fall-color.

Gale Woods Farm

Three River’s Park’s Gale Woods Farm is a real working farm in Minnetrista. The large campus includes woods full of fall colors. Check out farm animals and the agriculture and food production process. A 2.1 mile limestone trail runs through the rolling hills of the park featuring fall colors and pigs, sheep and cows. Learn more about Gale Woods Farm at threeriversparks.org/location/gale-woods-farm.

Lake Minnetonka

Fall colors take a nautical background around Lake Minnetonka. From the Port of Excelsior to Gray’s Bay there are lots of reds and yellows to be seen. Many sailors and boaters are packing up their boats for the winter but while the boating season may be over that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the lake. Take a walk around Lake Minnetonka or one of the many other area lakes and find fall foliage abound.

Luce Line Trail and Lake Minnetonka LRT Trail

Bundle up and grab your dog or a friend and take a walk on the Luce Line Trail or Lake Minnetonka LRT Trail. Trees of green, yellow and red line the trails creating a perfect fall walk, bike ride or run. Learn more about the Luce Line Trail online at dnr.state.mn.us/state_trails/luce_line/index.html and the Lake Minnetonka LRT trail at threeriversparks.org/location/lake-minnetonka-lrt-regional-trail.

Frances Stevenson is a reporter for the Lakeshore Weekly News, covering the communities around Lake Minnetonka.

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