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great minnesota hikes to take in fall to the fullest

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great minnesota hikes to take in fall to the fullest

waiting for a single fall weekend for hiking is a bit like choosing just one day to pick apples. you miss out on a lot of varieties. the best advice? get out as much as you can to catch the many waves of fall color rippling through minnesota.pick a strategic destination, and you can enjoy bonus colors in places such as maplewood state park, east of pelican rapids, where eastern hardwoods edge up to almost 600 acres of restored western prairie.park manager don del greco compared the season to a symphony starting, with flashes of scarlet sumac and yellow ash and rustling russet prairie grasses up to 5 feet. it’s followed by bursts of neon orange, deep red and even purple on the crowns of the park’s maple trees before moving downward.“it’s been nothing but a crescendo,” he said in recent weeks. “we’re seeing some of the best color all fall.”in other parts of the state, you can find golden birch, copper tamarack and bronzed oaks as the season progresses. many trails and forest or park roads tug travelers forward with tunnels of color, but the most spectacular views usually require a hike up to one of minnesota’s river bluffs, glacial hills, ridges or the north shore mountains.that’s also a good way to ditch the steady flow of sightseers.maplewood can draw up to 1,500 cars a day on good-weather weekends when leaves blaze the brightest. southeastern minnesota’s great river bluffs state park can draw up to 500 cars a day, which is four times more than they get ...