I found the perfect trail for fall, even if I hiked it surrounded by green leaves.
When I hit the Superior Hiking Trail last weekend — on the section between the Cook County Road 1 trailhead to Temperance River State Park — I knew I was ahead of the fall color season. I didn’t mind too much, until I found myself surrounded by old-growth maple trees. What a glorious canopy they will make when their leaves are glowing red and yellow.
When that will happen, exactly, no one knows for sure. When will any of the prime showcases for fall color around the state be at their peaks?
Fortunately for hikers — and leaf-peepers of all sorts — there are ways to find out.
Go to Explore Minnesota, where you can sign up for fall color e-mail updates. You can also call for guidance: 1-888-847-4866.
Another great resource is the Fall Color Finder produced by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. You can also sign up there to receive text or e-mail updates.
The home pages of every state park note the conditions of fall colors in the park. When I last checked, the Temperance River State Park update says that most of the trees are “clinging tight to summer,” and that moist conditions are bringing out the fall mushrooms.
True, the best red I saw on my hike was on a toadstool.
The twinge of disappointment I felt at having missed fall’s brilliant display didn’t last long, as the trail carried me past a marsh, the gurgling Cross River and, 8 miles later, ended at the fierce Temperance River waterfall.
Soon, I think, it will be time to lace up the hiking boots once again.
“We’re thinking [the fall color] is going to be great this year,” Minnesota DNR spokesman Patricia Arndt told the Star Tribune.
Send your questions or tips to Travel Editor Kerri Westenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow her on Twitter: @kerriwestenberg.