Fall color report on the Superior

Fall Color 2022 October 26

A wind whistles through the empty forest, sending brittle leaves scuttling over the ground, rolling over each other and speaking in a harsh dry whisper of secrets we cannot know.  There are glimpses of things better left unseen, movement in the corner of your eye that vanishes, soft sighs that have no source, sudden inexplicable chills with a paranoid feeling of being watched in a forest devoid of hiding places.  Be wary of the forest, and if you go, listen carefully to the woods around you.  Perhaps you will learn the secret of which the leaves whisper…but perhaps, you don’t want to know. 

Our Halloween edition is, appropriately, the last of the fall color reports every year.  The leaves are off and there is 0% of fall color left.  We hope you have enjoyed these reports as much as we enjoy creating them.  And, while it can be spooky out there if you want it to be, the Forest is actually beautiful now and throughout the year.  You just have to look for it.

Downloadable maps of the fall color tours:

Laurentian Fall Color Tour (Laurentian District) 

Sawtooth Mountains Fall Color Tour (Tofte District)

Discovery Auto Tour (LaCroix District) 

Nationally designated Scenic Byways and Scenic Drives:

Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway

Superior National Forest Scenic Byway

North Shore Scenic Drive

When is peak color?

Peak of fall color is as unpredictable as the spring ice out date and depends on a variety of factors including weather conditions, leaf stripping wind and rain.  The size and geography of the forest also plays a role as the North Shore area will peak at a different time than the inland area. Click here to view a collection of pictures taken every week at the same photopoint on the Honeymoon Trail from 2008-2015.

What is the science behind fall color?

Check out this explanation from the Forest Service Northern Research Station.

See past years colors here.