This 2-hour, 110 mile drive along Minnesota’s North Shore that might just be the best place to see fall colors in Minnesota. Check out the Minnesota DNR fall color finder to find the best time to go, then pack up the car for a trip up north. Here’s what you’ll discover:
The road – Highway 61 – is lined by a mixed forest of trees on one side. The rugged hills will be ablaze with color. It’s the one time of year that your eyes will be on the trees and not the water. Lake Superior lines the other side of the route north, and it’s simply breathtaking when surrounded by autumn leaves.
There are places to stop along the way, including several beautiful beaches. If you have more than two hours to spare, stop at Iona’s Beach or Black Beach to rest.
And if you have all day, you may want to make a couple of stops along your trip north. For example, Duluth holds many incredible places to see the fall colors. Head to Hawk Ridge for a look at the leaves from above.
North of Duluth, Gooseberry Falls State Park is a must-see in the fall. The sight of the trees towering over the river as it heads to Superior is simply breathtaking. And of course, you can’t forget the waterfall!
Just down the road from Gooseberry Falls is Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. Visit the park itself for lovely views of Superior. But there’s also a wayside stop where you can see the lighthouse from the road.
Next, stop at the “Big Chairs” at Cove Point Lodge for a classic photo opp, mile marker 50.
There are many other gorgeous parks between Duluth and Grand Marais. Stop at Tettegouche for another easy hike to a beautiful waterfall view.
After you’ve had your fill of Minnesota’s state parks, you’ll soon arrive in Grand Marais. Explore the town, take in the gorgeous landscape, and enjoy the leaves. They won’t be back again for another year!
If you can’t get enough of the season’s colors, you may be interested in the Minnesota zipline tour where you can soar above the fall foliage.
All in all, this two-hour drive along Minnesota’s North Shore is one of the most beautiful drives in the state – especially in the fall.