Searching for stunning fall colors? Picture red, orange and gold colored hillsides rising from the shores of the immense sparkling blue waters of Lake Superior. Mix in delightful small towns, a web of trail systems, and interconnected forest roads for the perfect fall getaway.
As fresh autumn air rolls in with warm days and cool nights, color spreads across the region. Maples turn first, showy and ostentatious, followed the golden season of the birch making for an unforgettable experience. In this land of four distinct seasons, autumn beauty is showcased in big and small ways.
Take in miles-wide breathtaking summit views across maple valleys to Lake Superior, then pause and admire the architectural beauty of bronzed ferns. Gaze over undulating hillsides patch-worked in red and yellow. Admire the warty tops of mushrooms.
Hikers, bikers, road trippers, nature lovers, serenity seekers, weekend warriors – the North Shore offers exploration and beauty at every turn. Head north and witness nature’s alchemy – fall colors on the North Shore, an extraordinary experience.
This is what it’s all about. The singular beauty of one maple ablaze in red against a stand of green-black pine. The unforgettable impression of miles of maple covered hillsides. Driving canopied fall color back roads, hiking – or riding a gondola – to a summit for panoramic views. From the gondola at Lutsen Mountains to backcountry drives, each corner of the North Shore showcases autumn beauty.
Fall Color Drives and Trails
There’s the beauty of the season and then there’s the beauty of accessibility. The area inland from Lake Superior includes thousands of acres of public land. Dirt roads wind through the woods, alongside inland lakes, through serene sloughs connecting with paved county roads leading back to towns and the big lake.
From the 310-mile Superior Hiking Trail to one-mile paved loops, you can hike in fall splendor all over the North Shore. Bikers can take to curving single track trails, the paved Gitchi Gami trail, or quiet gravel forest roads. Prefer cruising? Wind your way along Highway 61 detouring on inland loops, pausing for photos and to ooh and aah.
Lake Superior Views
What differentiates Minnesota north shore fall colors from other destinations is Lake Superior. The immense lake lies glittering in the sun as a backdrop to autumn hues. Whether its is peekaboo swaths of blue through golden leaves or foaming white waves on a misty day, the big lake is a presence. Besides being gorgeous and ever changing, it provides cool color balance to the intense bright colors of fall.
Delightful Small Towns
Memorable fall color touring is made better by the hospitality and offerings of small towns. One-of-a-kind shops, galleries and studios, breweries and and food trucks, zip lines and mini-golf: the perfect complement to your North Shore fall color getaway. You will find most lodging in and around the communities that dot the shore from Duluth to the Canadian border and inland. Choose from hotels, condos, resorts, cabins, campgrounds and motels.
Make lasting colorful memories with a visit to the North Shore during autumn. It is a great combination of natural beauty, small town hospitality, exploration and activities.