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Fall Colors Along North Shore?

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posts: 48
reviews: 14
Fall Colors Along North Shore?

We're planning to head up this weekend (Fri-Sun, 2 adults and a dog) to Duluth to try and see the fall colors along the North Shore. Even if the weather forecast is crappy this weekend, we're still going because we've canceled the past two weekends due to poor weather forecasts.

We're staying at the Sheraton Duluth, and plan to day trip up and down the North Shore. We'd appreciate any recommendations as to parks and trails to see the color this weekend. Also, are aspens and birches concentrated in any one area?

6 replies to this topic
posts: 851
reviews: 131
1. Re: Fall Colors Along North Shore?

Looks like your timing is PERFECT - colors and weather-wise, good job! While you may not have a ton of sunshine, Duluth has a lot of fiery color that shouldn't be too diminished by overcast skies. Jay Cooke is one of my favorites, along with Skyline Ridge drive and 7 Bridges Road. Moose Lake State Park and Banning State Parks are also good stops en route. The recent rains have appeared to replenish the waterfalls. And if you have time to day trip north from Duluth, Gooseberry Falls has several great trails, along with the scenic cliffs & pulloffs on the way.

From my recollection, the birchs/aspens were concentrated along the Lake Superior shoreline.

posts: 48
reviews: 14
2. Re: Fall Colors Along North Shore?

Thanks, Bonnie!

posts: 355
reviews: 3
3. Re: Fall Colors Along North Shore?

Well, we were on the North Shore this Tuesday, and, sorry to say, but your timing isn't perfect. The color was sort of disappointing compared to other years. Lots of yellow from the birch and aspen all the way up to Split Rock State Park but it really wasn't that vivid. We hiked some in Gooseberry and there was some color but it was sort of patchy.

Further up, we took the Lax Lake Road to Finland. The yellows were brighter here, especially to closer we got to Finland. There were individual maples that were very nice, but the majority of the maples were already bare. No hillsides where you would go, "Wow!" like other years. A local told me the wind and rain of last weekend knocked a lot of the leaves down.

Even with sub-par color it was still pretty though. A lot of cars in the lot for the hike along the Split Rock River. That's always a good hike. Our favorite is the Mt. Oberg loop. Take the Onion River Road a few miles north of Tofte to the parking lot if you have never done that hike. Another hike we like is the trail along the Temperance River. You don't need great fall color to enjoy any of these hikes.

Proctor, Minnesota
posts: 151
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4. Re: Fall Colors Along North Shore?

Some great info here... http://www.northshorevisitor.com/fall-colors/ & northshorevisitor.com/fall-colors/fall-color…

We've been on most of these, and even if the timing isn't "perfect", they're still very pretty. One of my favorite drives is up the the Trestle Inn to grad a burger. www.trestleinn.com & tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g43069-d3514…

Let us know how your trip is!

posts: 851
reviews: 131
5. Re: Fall Colors Along North Shore?

Thanks CCDM_9... keep in mind that the yellow/green colors along the shore are not usually the vibrance that folks seek. You need to go inland to see the red/orange, but not necessarily too far. I do recall Jay Cooke always had a lot of color and the DNR site says it's peaking - www.dnr.state.mn.us/fall_colors/index.html. Several images were taken as late as yesterday.

I personally saw great color when I cut north from Two Harbors to Ely a few weeks ago. It wasn't peaking, but what we did see was technicolor! However, since I don't know what the weather's been, the wind and rain can definitely affect the amount of leaves. And when we were in NW WI last weekend (south of Duluth), the colors looked amazing.

travelswide, if you can go inland instead, I would recommend that. The North Shore is gorgeous, but not necessarily for a variety of color.

6. Re: Fall Colors Along North Shore?

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