MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Whatever you like in a landscape, we are lucky enough to have thousands of spectacular views in Minnesota.
And if it’s falls colors you’re looking for, there’s one spot you keep ranking the very best.
For the second year in a row, your votes sent us to Taylors Falls for the best view in Minnesota.
Certain views etch themselves in your mind in a way that even a little rain can’t wash away.
“There are some things that people count on for a sense of stableness in their lives,” said painter Barbara Young.
She’s lived in Taylors Falls for 42 years.
“They know that when they come to a certain place, they can count on this view,” she said.
For generations people have taken in the views in Taylors Falls and tried to capture it in a moment, through a lens or, perhaps best, with a paintbrush.
“Everywhere you look, there’s a picture to paint. The uniqueness of the park and the gorge. It’s so dramatic. It’s kind of a gathering place for those that seek out beauty,” Young said. “Those of us who have the scenic kind of vision of beauty where you can see the long vistas of the river winding through the valley, the trees on either side, the little towns. It draws you.”
She’s one of seven artists who live within a two-block area.
“One who does it full time as a profession, and the rest of us do it because we can’t help but not do it,” she said.
Amy Frischmon’s great grandfather moved to Taylors Falls in 1905.
“I see the view of Minnesota and Wisconsin with the beauty of the St. Croix River that takes your breath away,” Frischmon said. “It’s amazing.”
Taylors Falls became a destination point in 1886 when people flocked to the area to witness a spectacular log jam. But the spectacle of nature kept them coming back.
“You’re able to see the beauty in strange ways. Or at a certain time when the light is just perfect and captures a part of a scene, or brings out a color that just resonates with you,” Young said. “‘Oh my goodness, that would be perfect for a painting.'”
From nature’s palate, to Barbara Young’s, there’s nothing abstract about the reds and golds of the maple, the crimson of the sumac, the rusts of the oak and bright yellows of the birch — all against the greens of the pines.
“It’s an opportunity to see what it’s like from hundreds of years ago to now. It really has been, for the most part, unchanged,” Frischmon said. “And it shows you the true beauty of God’s work.”
Taylors Falls’ locals say the best time of day to see the leaves is before and after the noon hour. It’s harder to see the vibrant colors when the sun is highest.