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Tony Bennett, Published September 15 2013

Spectacular fall colors predicted in Minnesota

It happens every year, but some years, it happens in just the right way.

The fall colors are about to bloom all over Minnesota, transforming the state’s green leaves into an ever-changing canvas of yellows, reds and browns. And it’s predicted that, this year, the hues are going to be particularly spectacular.

“We’re anticipating that the colors are going to be brilliant, because we’ve had adequate moisture,” said Patricia Arndt, communications and outreach manager with the Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Parks and Trails. “And what we need right now are cool nights and warm days. That’s when we start to see the color change.”

According to Arndt, the forecast looks good for making the desired tints “zoom out” of leaves.

“We’re expecting that the colors are going to pop,” she said. “The other piece that we need is adequate moisture, and we had that earlier in the year and in the early part of summer, so that usually means there’s going to be a good fall.”

An easy way to watch the flag of colors unfurl over Minnesota is by keeping an eye on the DNR’s fall color update map at dnr.state.mn.us/fall_col

ors.

“Our park managers from around the entire state report in by noon on Thursdays,” Arndt said. From these sites, “you’ll be able to watch the colors march across the state over the next 6 to 8 weeks.”

The USDA Forest Service is also getting in on the internet action – their page at www.fs.usda.gov/super

ior will report weekly on the state of the leaves in the Superior National Forest, specifically, and there’s also a national hotline that includes the latest info about Minnesota and Wisconsin at (800) 354-4595.

Many events and activities at local parks are planned around the season’s beauty.

“We’ve timed many of our fall hiking, biking, geocaching and paddling programs at Minnesota state parks and trails to coincide with peak color,” Arndt said, “and we hope to see lots of people getting outdoors to enjoy this beautiful time of year.”

Ely has even renamed the fall season “Getup” in an effort to attract tourists to the area to see the foliage.

“Fall is such a negative word. And yet for hundreds of years, that’s what we’ve been calling these post-summer months,” Ely mayor Ross Petersen said. “With all there is to do this glorious time of year in Ely, well, we’re just going to go ahead and rename it ‘Getup.’”