Parks in Kandiyohi County show off fall colors
This is the weekend to get out and see the fall colors Mother Nature has to offer. Whether it be on a drive, a fall hike, a night camping or just relaxing under the trees, a number of parks in the area — including Robbins Island in Willmar and Sibley State Park off North U.S. Highway 71 — are open for your favorite fall activity.
Most of Kandiyohi County is thought to be at 75 to 100 percent of peak color currently, with the southern two corners of the county at 50 to 75 percent of peak.
Sibley State Park
Peak fall color season was short and abrupt for Sibley State Park near New London this year, hitting 75 to 100 percent this week. That's according to reports from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The cool nights and sunny days brought on a rapid change and the park will soon be nearing the end of peak fall colors, according to Thursday's Parks and Trails report.
Asters provide the last of the wildflower fall color.
Ash, basswood, hackberry and many understory trees that provided early color have shed their yellow leaves. Bur oak trees are adding a striking bronze tone to the forest while red oaks offer orange and red tones to the landscape.
The bright yellow of aspen trees provides a sharp contrast to the deep green of cedar trees.
Most maple trees have retired their leaves for the year.
For the adventurous, the Lakeview and Oak Ridge campgrounds are still open for people to camp underneath the falling leaves.
Hike the Mt. Tom Trail for fall colors of the oak savanna and other leaves. The Pond View Trail offers views of native grasses. Climb the Mt. Tom lookout to get a bird's-eye view of tree tops and the surrounding landscape.
The Cedar Hill Picnic Area and Beach offer "a great view of Lake Andrew in its fall beauty," according to park officials.
Kari Goldschmidt of Willmar said Mt. Tom and Sibley State Park are "one of my family's favorite places. We'll all be there camping one week from today, over MEA every year whether it's sunny, windy, raining or snowing. (It's a) beautiful place to be. We're lucky to have what I believe is one of the finest state parks in Minnesota."
Monson Lake State Park
Leaves are mostly green and yellow, according to the Parks and Trails report. Grasses have matured into the fall. Wildflowers have mostly finished blooming for the year and have gone to seed. Migratory waterfowl can be seen moving through the pothole region, including Monson Lake.