People from in and out of state go to Whitewater to take in fall colors

(ABC 6 News) – Southeast Minnesota is entering peak fall colors this upcoming week and a lot of people are heading to state parks to take them in.

Attendance at parks across the state is still just as popular in summer as it is in the fall. While there are fewer people coming out to go camping every day, the number of daily visitors is just as high as ever.

Fall comes quickly in Minnesota, and people from in and out of state flock to their nearest state park to take in the views before that notorious winter chill freezes over the state.

Whether you’re a longtime Minnesotan or a first-time visitor, state parks like Whitewater have something to offer for everyone.

“Now is a great time, it’s perfect weather to go out for a hike, to go out for one of our longer hikes or any hike to just get outside,” said Kim Wentland, Whitewater Assistant Park Supervisor.

They visited their niece, Grace Eekhof, a new resident of Rochester. The three of them were glad to witness the changing seasons and all those fall colors for themselves.

“We wanted to get away from that Florida heat and come out and experience the fresh air and experience the mountain and the hills, and just what Minnesota has to offer,” said Steve Clapp.

Whitewater is popular for its five overlooks that feature a breathtaking view of the bluffs. Everyone agreed it’s one of the best views they’ve ever seen.

“Just getting out to have those great views, I love fall,” said Wentland. “Fall’s my favorite time, the smell of those leaves and just walking through any of those leaves is probably my favorite thing just in any park, but especially Whitewater.”

“It’s good to enjoy that. Good to enjoy, look at that blue sky, look at the trees, look at the mountains,” said Steve Clapp.

“It’s beautiful,” added Ingrid Clapp.

“God’s great creation out here. Going back to Orlando, selling my house, and maybe coming back here to Rochester. Go Vikings!” exclaimed Steve Clapp.

Whitewater State Park is open year-round and people can come here to visit from 8 am to 10 pm daily.