Where to go: Final Report: Deep orange-golds as the tamarack and bright yellows in the willows wrap up the end to the fall colors in Itasca! Views in the lowlands are the best places to go to see tamaracks. Hiking the boardwalk on the Dr. Roberts trail takes you up close to the tamaracks. Touring past wetlands and lake along the South Entrance Road or along Wilderness Drive will reveal these golden colored conifers.
What you'll see: Trees: The grand finale for our autumn colors are the brigh yellow of willow and the deep orange-gold of a few remaining tamaracks. A hike along the Dr. Roberts Trail will reveal the rich golds of the tamaracks. Shrubs: The bright yellow leaves of the willows are pretty much all that remain in the shrub layer, adding a pop of color to an otherwise gray and brown understory. Flowers: Many of the autumn flower species are past peak. Typical Peak Color: Itasca has two main waves of color change. Maple/Birch/Basswood/Dogwoods and other shrubs typically peak the last week of September. These trees are past peak. Oak/Aspen typically peak the first and second weeks of October. These trees past peak. Tamarack typically peak the second or third week of October. Just past peak.
Also of interest: The bike trail is now open! Why not enjoy the warm autumn weather by biking. You will be amazed at Itasca's rolling landscape, now made visible after all the leaves are down. Animals: Animals are on the move! Most of our winter residents are all that remain for birds. Slate-colored juncos are passing through the park. Ruffed grouse can be seen along roadways. Adult and immature bald eagles are busy along roadways feeding on roadkill. Trumpeter swans and cygnets continue to grace the park lakes. Watch for flocks of wild turkeys as they feed along the shoulders of the park roads in early morning. Red and Gray squirrels and chipmunks are continuing to collect seeds for their winter food stash. White-tailed deer are active at dawn and dusk. Male white-tails displaying polished antlers. Young fork-horned bucks are being seen feeding with does and fawns. Porcupines are on the move, seen walking along roadways and trails during the day.Last updated: October 31, 2014
Canít decide between a one-day or year-round park permit? The DNR has a special offer that can help. Start by purchasing a one-day permit for $5 and visit as many state parks as possible. After visiting the state parks, trade in the one-day permit by the end of that day and get $5 off the purchase of a year-round permit. Year-round permits, which cost $25, provide unlimited access to all 76 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas for a full year from the month of purchase.
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36750 Main Park Drive
South entrance to the park is 23 miles north of Park Rapids on U.S. Highway 71. From Bemidji, the east entrance is 30 miles south on U.S. Hwy 71 and 1/10 mile north on State Hwy 200. The north entrance is 21 miles south of Bagley on State Hwy 92/State Hwy 200.
GPS device users: Lat. 47.194648 Long. -95.165012
Best time to contact the park:
Memorial Weekend thru first Saturday in October: Daily, 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Beginning first Sunday in October thru Thursday before Memorial Weekend: Daily 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.