Great Outdoors: Fall Colors

CARLTON, Minn. – Fall colors are near their peak in many places across the Northland.

In this week’s Great Outdoors, we take you to the colorful landscape at Jay Cooke State Park.

“You’ve got to love the crisp fall air, the beautiful variety of the colors, the bright reds, the greens, the yellows, it’s just a great time of year,” said Dave Kalina while enjoying the fall colors.

Fall weekends are the busiest time of year at Jay Cooke State Park.

“You get a lot of views that don’t have man-made things in the background, there aren’t neighborhoods in the background or houses and such,” said Ty Gangelhoff, the Assistant Park Manager.

Crowds drive in from miles away to hike through the natural beauty.

“I think it’s one of the most beautiful state parks in the state from what I remember and here today to find that out again,” said Kalina.

We met one young couple in the park celebrating their recent marriage.

“We’re just up here on our honeymoon and Jay Cooke is a special place for us or a special place for me growing up, so share that with my beautiful wife here,” said Richard Ziegler while hiking with his wife, Sarah.

For them, the park is an autumn destination, but the trip there was just as rewarding.

“Coming up 210 was beautiful, just a lot of great colors out right now in bloom and we don’t have that in the metro right now, everything’s still very green in the metro,” said Ziegler.

It’s a brief time of year but one many Minnesotans will never take for granted.

“Winter’s too long, summer’s too short, this is the best time of year to get out and just really being able to feel the freshness of the air, see the animals getting ready for the fall season,” said Kalina.

The weekend is expected to be the peak of fall colors at Jay Cooke and park rangers are expecting full parking lots.

“But it depends on the weather as well. If it’s cold and rainy obviously we won’t be as busy, but if the weather is very nice out, people really like to come up,” said Gangelhoff.

To avoid crowds, they recommend attending the park on weekdays or early or late times on weekends.

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