It's happening! Fall color is about halfway to its peak around the Whitefish Chain, which means the beautiful scenery will only continue to become more stunning.
There are so many wonderful ways to see the riot of color that's taking over the Whitefish Chain. Whether on foot, by bike, by car or by boat, a fall day on the Chain can't be beat.
There are several fantastic walking trails around the chain where you can enjoy Minnesota's fall splendor. The Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway, which surrounds the chain, lists many of the area's walking trails here. Be aware that some trails allow hunting. The Uppgaard Wildlife Management Area, for example, is a great place to see the colors and to observe wildlife.
Biking, too, is a great way to see the colors and feel the fall air. Many of the roads surrounding the Chain have eight foot wide shoulders to allow for more comfortable biking. Or, hop on the Paul Bunyan Trail, a relatively flat and scenic trail, and make your way north or south. The trail runs from Brainerd to Bemidji, crossing through Merrifield, Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Jenkins and Pine River along the way. Find a map and parking here. If you didn't bring your bike, don't worry! There are plenty of opportunities to rent bikes around the Whitefish Chain.
Just a short way from the Whitefish Chain is the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, which has some of the best mountain biking in the Midwest. Paved trails are also available. The former mining area has been retaken by nature and offers beautiful scenery and a great opportunity to get outside.
If you have limited mobility or just have a short amount of time, take a drive. The previously mentioned Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway earned its title for a reason- it's scenic! The roads that make up the byway travel beside lakes and woods. Don't be surprised if you see deer and other wildlife. Find a map of the Byway here- you might want to also check out some of the stops along the way!
If you want to really combine woods and water, get out on the chain on a boat. We've detailed some great stops here. Suffice it to say that getting out on the water offers a fresh perspective and unforgettable scenery.
So however you get out around the chain this fall, enjoy the blazing colors of the season and breathe in the crisp air. This is one of the best times of year.