The days are getting shorter

Fall is a wonderful time to explore Duluth streams.

Leaves, leaves, leaves! Everywhere you look, their bright fall hues fill up your senses. Fall is a great time for exploring Duluth's parks and trails; it's also a time for readying your house and yard for the upcoming winter season. Read on to find the best places to explore AND to learn how you can easily alter your fall cleanup habits to protect Duluth Streams.

Maple leaves Explore the North Woods
Brightly colored leaves are certainly the highlight of autumn in Minnesota. Find out about some of the hiking trails in Duluth. As you wander along, you might notice that water levels are lower than earlier in the summer. Rainfall levels in Duluth are highest in the months of August and September, and drop off dramatically in October. This data can be viewed in the Climate section of the website.

If you are trying to time your outings to take advantage of the best colors, visit the following sites for up-to-date reports on the fall colors:


Check out the Hawk Migration

Planning a fall visit to Amity Creek? Why not wander up to Hawk Ridge along the way? This natural viewing area is part of the southern migration path of many raptors. The raptors fly southwest along the northern shore of Lake Superior, to avoid crossing Lake Superior. They finally turn south in the Hawk Ridge area. Learn more at the following websites:

Fall Cleanup

Plan on spiffing up the yard with a good raking? Keep leaves and other debris out of the street; it may eventually find its way to the local stream, transported by rainwater after a storm. So many leaves aren't supposed to end up in the streams!

In the forest, only a small fraction of leaves naturally drop straight into the creeks. Excess leaves from our yards add excess particulate material (see erosion) and also contribute organic material that rots, and in doing so consumes oxygen. During low flow periods (such as later on in the winter) this can be a significant stress to aquatic critters and fish.

Leaves and grass can go in your backyard compost pile or bag them and bring them to the WLSSD yard waste composting site (hours of operation).

DON'Ts for fall raking:
DON'T rake or blow fallen leaves onto the street. They may eventually find their way to the local stream, transported by rainwater after a storm. This many leaves aren't supposed to end up in the streams!
DOs for fall raking:
DO collect yard waste for proper disposal DO bag leaves and bring them to the WLSSD yard composting site DO compost leaves in a compost bin or in a wooded area of your yard

Protect your stream from excess debris. Before there was a City, most leaves rotted on the forest floor to become part of the soil.

Help by mulching curbside leaves or sweeping them off the road and into the woods where they belong.