The most colorful time of the year is at Minnesota’s doorstep, and state parks and recreation officials are meticulously charting where the richest fall foliage will be for the next several weeks.

The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) started to map out where leaves are transitioning from green to red, gold, brown and other eye-popping hues. Updates will be entered every Thursday until all the leaves are brown and the sky is gray.

The online tool also includes a link to fall color programs and special events, a slide show and a photo uploader for people to share their favorite fall color images.

“Current weather conditions indicate we’re on track for a great fall color year,” said Patricia Arndt, communications and outreach manager for the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “With the exception of dry weather in northeastern Minnesota, most of the state has had close to or above-average precipitation, making for healthy, green trees going into fall. If we continue to have adequate rainfall as nights become longer, the autumn display should be spectacular.”

Colors typically peak between mid-September and early October in the northern third of Minnesota, between late September and early October in the central third, and between late September and mid-October in the southern third (which includes the Twin Cities).

The DNR says peak fall color typically lasts about two weeks, but that can vary widely, depending on location, elevation and weather. Trees at higher elevations are the earliest to show color change.

To see the DNR’s first take on fall colors, visit: