Fall Colors Road Trip
October 16, 2017
Leech Lake Fall Color Trip
Who doesn’t love a crisp fall afternoon, sipping on something pumpkin spice and driving around taking in the autumn scenery? With fall colors at its peak here in the Leech Lake area, there has never been a better time to pack up the car, grab the GPS and spend a day enjoying the beautiful Minnesota fall colors.
If you start your drive in Walker, you can head out of town on Highway 371, on your way to MN 200 you will catch some awesome views of the bright colored leaves reflecting off the lake. Once you get to MN 200 you will proceed east along the southern portion of Leech Lake catching plenty of views of beautiful colors as you move towards County Road 8 NE.
County Rd 8
After passing the southern part of Leech Lake, you will turn North on County Road 8 NE, wherein the Chippewa National Forest you will get a burst of colorful trees amongst dark green pine tree of the forest. Get ready to take your camera out to document the beauty of this forest! If you’re looking for a little bit more of an adventure, we highly recommend a detour off of County Road 8 onto taking a left on Forest Road 3033 right before you reach Bena. This detour is truly beautiful, and you won’t be disappointed. The drive is down a narrow dirt road with red, yellow and orange trees arching over the road, making colorful tunnels.
If you’re looking to continue the drive, you take US 2 west towards Bemidji and out of the Chippewa National Forest and towards the world famous Paul Unyan and Babe the Blue Ox Statue. Now if you want to keep this trip more on the nature side, you can take a leisurely stroll along the shores of the lake by turning right onto Roosevelt RD SE and you enter the town and then North on Lake Ave SE along the shores of Lake Bemidji. After you’ve explored your way through Bemidji, make your way South towards US 71 and make your back to Leech Lake.
If you’re looking for a straight and fast ride back to Walker, this is the route for you. As you reach Kabekona Corner take MN 200 back east towards Leech Lake. Don’t panic, you won’t be on the highway long, soon you will be headed deep into a forest of many different fall colors.
Minnesota State Highway 64
Take a right on MN 64 and head South on the beautifully lined birch highway of the Paul Bunyan State Forest. This route is the perfect way to experience a Minnesota fall drive. This route offers a wide array of fabulous shades of yellow as you pass by whitened birch trees lining the highway. This narrow highway through the forest is the perfect drive, with gentle hills, fabulous color, and gentle turns.
Blue Trail Forest Road
Not long after you pass Kabekona Road keep an eye out for Blue Trail Foret Road and turn left off Highway 64 onto this winding path. This route is lined with trees that offer a wonderful sight. This is the perfect route to soak in fall colors because this allows you to drive slower due to the little amount of traffic that uses this road. After leisurely driving down this road, turn North onto Parkway forest road and make your way to County Highway 39, and head on back to Walker, where you started your beautiful Leech Lake fall color drive.
If you’re looking to get the most of the beautiful fall colors in the Leech Laka area, and want to do it at your own speed this is the route to go. This route takes you on low traffic roads, National Forest, State Forets and the best colored offered in this area. So go ahead, pack up the kids, grab lunch and go explore all the beauty that Leech Lake in the fall has to offer! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Looking to make an entire weekend of fall exploring? Explore all of your lodging options o our lodging page. We look forward to seeing you!