As the leaves change and the air cools, autumn arrives in Mille Lacs, Minnesota. This region, known for its picturesque landscapes and outdoor recreation, becomes even more enchanting when the trees fill the area with vibrant foliage. If you’re an autumn enthusiast, you’ve come to the right place!
Here are the top locations to experience the fall colors around Lake Mille Lacs:
This 68-mile route encircles the lake, offering breathtaking views of the fall foliage at various pull-off spots. Be sure to visit the charming towns of Isle and Garrison, and don’t miss the iconic walleye statue in Garrison for a family photo. Another stunning drive is along Vista Road, showcasing the majestic colors as you drive between the stands of trees. Finish your journey in Isle with a treat from Isle Bakery, where homemade pie awaits.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park is a prime destination for a vibrant display of autumn leaves. The park spans over 9,000 acres with diverse landscapes, including hardwood forests, wetlands, and serene lakeshores. A highlight of the park is the 100-foot fire tower, which offers a bird’s-eye view of the stunning fall colors stretching out in every direction. To get to the tower, follow the signs for Trail Center and park in the bump out on the right after turning off the main road. The trail to the tower is just on the other side. Hiking the Glacial Ridge Trail or Touch the Earth Trail, which winds through the colorful woods offering a closer look. In mid-October, join the 1/2 mile autumn in the forest trail walk to learn about the changes currently occurring throughout the park.
Located on the southeastern shore of Mille Lacs Lake, this park is another fantastic spot to witness the fall colors. The park’s hardwood forests create a vibrant tapestry of reds, oranges, and yellows during the autumn months. Take a stroll along the lakeside trails, or rent a canoe or kayak from Isle Outfitters (which offers free delivery to the park) to enjoy the colors from the water. Keep an eye out during your visit, and you might have the opportunity to witness one of the two albino deer that roam the park.
This hidden gem at the north end of Mille Lacs Lake offers miles of unpaved roads and trails that wind through the 15,000-acre forested landscape. The dense canopy of oaks and maples creates a striking contrast with the blue skies, making it an excellent location for photographers and nature lovers.
Immerse Yourself in the Beauty of Autumn in Mille Lacs
The Mille Lacs area is a captivating destination to witness the fall leaves and their breathtaking colors. Whether you prefer hiking, kayaking, or simply taking a scenic drive, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the beauty of autumn. To make your fall adventure even more enjoyable, consider following along and signing up for text alerts with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources using their “Find Fall Colors” map. Start planning your fall foliage getaway today!