City Cast

Where to See Wisconsin’s Fall Colors

Hayley Sperling
Hayley Sperling
Posted on September 26   |   Updated on October 30
fall leaves in Wisconsin reflected in water

There are countless places to take in Wisconsin's majestic fall scenes. (©Kevin Revolinski)

Wisconsin is full of scenic routes for hikers, bicyclists, and motorists to take in the state’s beauty. In fact, there are 124 state-designated official Rustic Roads spanning 750 miles through 61 counties that make for beautiful adventures during all of Wisconsin’s seasons.

Here are some standout routes you can take to see the sights of autumn. Don’t forget your binoculars!

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum has more than 17 miles of trails conveniently located on the west side of town. This trip is great for anyone who wants to take in the sights without worrying about filling up the tank.

Get involved: The Arboretum hosts many free classes and hikes that are perfect opportunities for families and groups.

Location: 1207 Seminole Highway, Madison, WI 53711

fall leaves and blue skies

Did you know there are 124 state-designated official Rustic Roads showcasing Wisconsin's scenic views? (©Kevin Revolinski)

Parfrey’s Glen is Wisconsin’s first State Natural Area and one of the most-visited natural areas in the state. Located roughly four miles east of Devil’s Lake State Park, the glen is home to a variety of threatened plants and insects, and at its uppermost part, it reaches a depth of nearly 100 feet.

Know before you go: Visitors are allowed to hike the stream up to the pool below the waterfall but are not allowed beyond the falls. Also, pets aren’t allowed.

Location: 1377 County Rd DL, Merrimac, WI 53561

The Wisconsin Great River Road is a 250-mile journey along the Mississippi River that’s part of a national scenic route that travels through 10 other states and stretches 3,000 miles. This is a great trip for anyone looking for a longer getaway.

Some highlights: Check out some of Wisconsin’s historic river towns. There’s also a scenic overlook in Wyalusing State Park that has incredible views of where the Wisconsin River meets the Mississippi.

Highway 33 is one of Wisconsin’s  "Coast to Coast" routes, stretching from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River. With plenty of state parks, bike trails, and local attractions, this route makes for a great weekend getaway.

Snapshots from Kevin Revolinski’s fall drives across Wisconsin

Snapshots from Kevin Revolinski’s fall drives across Wisconsin (©Kevin Revolinski)

The Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive stretches 115 miles through six Wisconsin counties. There are numerous places to picnic, hike, camp, and bike along the way.

For even more hidden gems, check out this episode of City Cast Madison.

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