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It might still be only August, but a handy tool to keep track of where Minnesota's most vibrant fall colors are occurring is already up and running.

The crew over at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is in charge of a lot of things when it comes to our state parks and recreation areas. And one of those things is tracking when Minnesota's fall colors will be at their peak in various parts of the state.

Normally, the DNR's Fall Color Finder Map isn't up and running for nearly another month or so but this year, thanks to the pandemic-- sorry, I'm apparently a little too used to writing that phrase-- thanks to the ongoing drought in Minnesota, some leaves are already starting to turn colors.

So, the DNR has launched their 2021 Color Finder earlier this week. Right now, there isn't a lot of changing colors, as the map shows 0 to 10 percent in both northeast Minnesota already, where the Greenwood Fire is still burning and here in our neck of the woods as well. And, it looks like trees in the rest of the state haven't started to peak, either, although the DNR reports that some trees have started changing color across the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

We'd heard earlier this month that the drought could have an effect on how brilliant the fall colors are this year as well as speeding up our brilliant color display that occurs each fall. (There's a lot of science involved in why, but it mainly has to do with trees shedding their leaves early to conserve what little moisture they still have.)

Minnesota DNR

In a normal year, the DNR says those brilliant yellow, orange and red colors typically don't start appearing on tree leaves in Minnesota until mid-September in the very northern part of the state, with much of the central part of the state seeing leaves start to change colors from mid-September through early-October. Here in Rochester and southeast Minnesota, our peak colors usually occur in late September through mid-October.

And keep scrolling to check out some way-cool road trips that will give you some amazing views here in Minnesota, no matter when the leaves change colors this year!

 

Five Minnesota Road Trips To Travel For Remarkable Views

Check out these five Minnesota road trips that will surely take your breath away