There’s a lot of beauty to be seen throughout Wisconsin, but the vibrant foliage when the trees turn in the fall just might be at the top of the list! There are tons of spots to take in the changing colors, but here are some of the best.
Baraboo & Wisconsin Dells Area
Devil’s Lake State Park
Many times leaf looking requires you to see the beauty from the ground, but Devil’s Lake offers you the ability to see the colors from above. Not only will you enjoy a great hike, but you’ll be rewarding by the fantastic views of the beautiful leaves at the top.
Mirror Lake State Park
Named quite literally, Mirror Lake State Park’s water is a no-wake lake – making it so still it acts as a mirror to reflect all the beauty around. That means you not only get to see the colors once, but twice. We recommend taking your kayak out to be in the middle of it all and celebrating after with an Old Fashioned from Wisconsin’s #1 Supper Club, Ishnala – that sits in the middle of the park.
Gibraltar Rock State Area
Located on the Ice Age Trail, Gibraltar Rock is similar to Devils Lake in the fact that once you make the hike, you’ll be rewarded with views from above. Although it’s not directly overlooking water, the 200 foot cliffs offer an amazing view of Wisconsin River valley and miles of rolling hills and farmland.
Interstate Park – St. Croix Falls, WI
Wisconsin’s oldest state park is known for its picturesque setting along the beautiful St. Croix River. Located in northwestern Wisconsin, visitors can climb the cliffs, kayak in the rushing waters, explore the glacial potholes or take in the views of the St. Croix River Dalles. This is also the spot where the 1,000 mile-long Ice Age Trail comes to an end.
Great River Road
Autumn is one of the best times to travel the Great River Road! Spanning over 250 miles along the Mississippi River, traveling through over 30 historic towns and villages – the unique landscape is overflowing with bright shades of red & gold.
To see some of the best colors in the Coulee Region, check out Grandad Bluff. Almost ten years ago, La Crosse renovated this area to allow better access for those who want to see the spectacular views. Once at the top you’ll be overlooking the Mississippi River Valley and at almost 600 feet, you’ll see three different states – Wisconsin, Minnesota & Iowa.
Copper Falls – Mellen, WI
Located in northern Wisconsin, Copper Falls State Park offers some of the most unique scenery in the entire state. Glacial activity, ancient lava flows and the Bad River have created rocky gorges and two main waterfalls – Copper Falls and Brownstone Falls. The park is also home to a number of hiking trails and if you’re not up to hiking the steep steps, there are several overlook opportunities.
Door County is overflowing with places to see the leaves change colors. Most know to visit Peninsula State Park where you can ascend Eagle Tower to see views for miles around. However some argue the best colors are found along the interior roads south of Sister Bay and Ephraim. If you like to take in the views by bicycle, these interior roads are safer & less traveled as well!
And of course, anyone who knows Door County knows that the best way to experience all it has to offer is by water. Though the water may be chilly in October, a scenic fall color tour by boat will be a memorable experience.
“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
Holy Hill – Hubertus, WI
Located 45 minutes outside of Milwaukee, in Hubertus – this spot offers a canopy of colorful leaves. You can even climb to the top of one of the bell tower, one of the region’s highest elevation spots for a spectacular view of the changing leaves.
With an abundance of lakes and nature areas, Lake Geneva is a great spot to watch the autumn colors come alive! The Geneva Shore path is 21 miles long and completely encircles Geneva Lake, allowing you to see the leaves against an impressive backdrop.
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Nestled along 12 miles of Lake Superior, this national lakeshore offers some of the best sights in the world. Made up of 21 islands, not only can you see cliffs and sea caves, but the treetops are lined with vibrant hues of red, yellow, and orange.
Blue Mounds State Park – Blue Mounds, WI
Sitting on the tallest hill in Southern Wisconsin, Blue Mounds State Park overlooks the Driftless area. With two 40 foot observation towers, there’s multiple options for you to take in the scenic panoramic views. They say on a clear day, you can see all the way to Iowa! There is direct access to the Military Ridge State Park Trail, so don’t forget to bring your bike.
Hayward Lakes Area
Hayward is a known vacation spot, offering lots of accommodations and dining options – even in the fall. Located in northwestern Wisconsin, they’ve even created six fall color tours for optimal viewing that travel through Sawyer County. They even mark the routes with distinct leaf shaped road signs!