Fall is the most scenic season in Wisconsin. When the leaves start changing, it’s time to start thinking about hopping in the car and experiencing the season’s splendor. Here are four Badger State drives you don’t want to miss this fall.
Rustic Road #17
Just east of Stevens Point near the community of Amherst, you’ll find Rustic Road #17. The route begins south of Amherst and runs for 2.7 miles through a landscape of hills, rugged terrain, colorful forests and autumn-hued fields. One of the highlights of Rustic Road #17 is the bridge over the Tomorrow River. Here, the river makes its way through a field of boulders. It’s a great place to stop and snap a photo or just soak up the scenery. For bicyclists, the 30.5-mile Green Circle Trail in nearby Stevens Point is a must-ride in the fall.
The Kettle Moraine
Located just north of West Bend, the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest is the ideal place to enjoy fall color. The glaciers that passed through the area 10,000 years ago left in their wake a landscape of low, rolling hills that are breathtaking in the fall. Take a winding drive around and through the forest for super scenery. Stop at the New Fane Trail Area for great hiking and wildlife viewing. Bring your camera because the views will be incredible.
Great River Road
Onalaska sits at the midway point of the Wisconsin Great River Road, a designated National Scenic Byway that runs for 250 miles along the Mississippi River. During the fall, the bluffs are ablaze in brilliant color. Numerous observation areas offer great places to take photos and see the many birds that migrate through the river valley during the fall. When touring the Wisconsin Great River Road, Onalaska is the perfect overnight stop. The community offers the largest shopping district in a nine-county region and the area’s best hotels. Onalaska is also home to the Great River State Trail, a 24-mile biking trail running along the Mississippi River – it’s an outstanding fall ride.
Rustic Road #60
Just south of the charming community of Boulder Junction, you’ll find Rustic Road #60. The road follows County Hwy K from County Road M to Country Road N. You’ll travel under a canopy of pines and hardwoods; the painted leaves of the hardwoods contrast beautifully with the dark greens of the conifers. Drive slowly and you’ll have a chance to see wildlife along the way. Area inhabitants include bald eagles, wild turkeys and albino deer.
Here are some other great fall driving tour options.
- Black River Country
- Rustic Road #58 near Minocqua in Oneida County
- The rolling country roads just west of Middleton