Favorite Autumn Road Trips
One of my fondest memories as a child is just loading in the car with the family and seeing where we would end up. My mom would say “let’s take an adventure and see where the road leads us.” I still seek the open road especially this time of the year when the leaves are changing, and the air is cool. Wisconsin has some of the most breath-taking places to visit in Autumn, here are a few of my favorites.
Southern Wisconsin Road Trips
Taking the roads that lead to Gays Mills and the apple orchards that line the path to the valley. Located in the Kickapoo Valley the scenery along the way makes for a gorgeous backdrop. There is a spectacular scenic overlook off of Hwy 171 that is not to be missed. Stop for some apple cider or get lost in a corn maze at one of the orchards along the way.
Holy Hill located in Hubertus on 435 acres of rolling landscape and is the highest elevation in Wisconsin. This peaceful destination is a place of pure beauty and reflection. Climb the 178 steps of the Scenic Tower open in good weather until the end of October. This tower will give you the most magnificent views of the countryside from on top.
My tour of views would not be complete without a visit to this beauty, Devil’s Lake State Park located in the Baraboo bluffs. Hike around the lake for spectacular views or hike a trail to the top for scenery of the crystal blue lake and the bluffs that frame it all.
The changing leaves that cover the bluffs near the Wisconsin River in La Crosse make for a beautiful panoramic view with the refection of the water below. Take Bliss Road that leads to Grandad Bluff for sights that will take your breath away.
Dodgeville to Spring Green
The scenic fall ride on Hwy 23 from Dodgeville to Spring Green is one of a kind in Southern Wisconsin. Enjoy the landscape and architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and stop along the way at the House On The Rock, delight in the overlook from the house. For the nature side of things stop at Tower Hill State Park where you can visit the restored tower. For more colorful fall landscapes hike one of the challenging trails among the bluffs.
The Wisconsin River winds through many beautiful areas in the Badger State and all along the way it creates some inspiring landscape. Sandstone cliffs, gorges and rock formations located on the Upper Dells in Wisconsin Dells is incredible in the fall. Sit back and enjoy a boat tour and learn the history of the river or paddle out on your own journey for some tranquility.
Northern Wisconsin Road Trips
Minocqua, St. Germain, & Eagle River
Head North to Minocqua, St Germain, and Eagle River. Drive the back roads, take in the forests, the crisp air, and vibrant colors. Get out on one of the many lakes and enjoy the clear waters and calmness that the lake provides, along with an incredible array of foliage, while you drop a line in the water.
Celebrate the autumn season in the picturesque Door County with the Bay and Lake Michigan as elegant backgrounds. Drive Skyline Road through Peninsula State Park or take in the sunset in Fish Creek at Sunset Park. Have a picnic at Waterfront Park in Sister Bay or take the Ferry to Washington Island for waterfront vistas. For wide views from above, climb the Cana Island Lighthouse, you may have to get your toes wet walking across the stone causeway, but the setting is well worth it!
Fall in Bayfield, Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Superior is striking in Autumn with the captivating colors bouncing off the shores of “Gichi-Gami” as the fishing boats line the lake. Kayak the Apostle Island National Lakeshore to see a unique way to gaze at the seasonal foliage. For the back to nature lovers, hike to Lost Creek Falls or Houghton Falls. With lighthouses and orchards abound, this little gem is sure to please.
As the road calls, so will be my journey to find more changing leaves, colorful vistas, and bountiful terrain in this amazing place we call home.