Was I Early or Are the Fall Colors Late?

Over the weekend we had our final family weekend of the season in Battle Lake at my grandparents cabin. My sister, brother-in-law, and I snuck off for an hour to go hike Inspiration Peak in search of fall colors.

On my way up to Battle Lake from the St. Cloud area I was super hopeful, as the colors around Upsala and Grey Eagle were super bright and vibrant. I thought that if they looked like that further south, heading an hour north would be even more colorful.


As we drove further north I couldn’t help but notice how green everything was. It was like the trees in the area didn’t get the memo that it was time to start changing.

When we got to Inspiration Peak around 1 PM, everyone else must have had the same thoughts I did. The parking lot was full, and there were so many people heading up the trail and having a picnic after the climb. It gave me a slightest spark of hope that the colors would be breathtaking.

We did the short walk up the hill and when we got to the top, we were greeted with a sea of green. The only real color was the vibrant red of the sumac that lined the trails. Kind of disappointing.

You could see the slightest change in color off in the distance, but it was no where near what I was expecting for late September. The MN DNR predicts that area of the state to hit peak in late September and early October. I should’ve waited for October. Their Fall Color Finder map even said that Ottertail County was at 50-75% of peak. I thought it was closer to 25%.

You live and you learn I guess. And even though the colors were disappointing, the company was good.


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