Best HikesFind the perfect trail

This time of year, Wisconsin travel is simply golden. Our vast forests are ablaze in color, and our trails beckon hikers. Walk down a red carpet of leaves, step through an orange stand of maples or take in a vista of golden poplars. It’s a quiet and rewarding way to enjoy the colorful scenes that pass too quickly. Here are a few of our favorite fall hiking spots.

Kettle Moraine State Forest, West Bend

Just north of West Bend, you’ll find the southern trailhead of the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. The area’s dramatic landscape was formed by glaciers thousands of years ago.

Explore the Parnell Tower Loop Trail, a 3.5-mile loop with a series of steps leading to the highest point in the forest. You can climb the 60-foot observation tower for a stunning view of the fall colors.

Or, bring your bike and check out the new Fan Loop System Trails—four loops of moderately challenging mountain biking trails interconnected with four hiking trail loops. The area is thickly forested and skirts a large pond.

Escanaba-Pallette Lake Trail, Boulder Junction

This hilly, rolling and scenic trail winds around several lakes and through a variety of timber types, so the fall colors are sure to be beautiful. Hikes of various lengths are possible, and some offer lake vistas that become even more expansive as the season progresses. Great colors can be found just off the trailhead on Nebish Lake Road. Be on the lookout for wildlife: eagles and deer can often be seen from the trail.

Star Lake Nature Trail, Sayner-Star Lake

This trail isn’t the longest in the Northwoods, but it’s incredibly picturesque. Star Lake Nature Trail is located on a peninsula extending out into Star Lake. More than a century ago, it was a pasture used by horses that hauled logs to the nearby Star Lake Mill. Today the site is filled with mature trees and picturesque trails—be sure to follow the trail that winds along the shore of Star Lake.

Looking for more hiking spots? Check out these beautiful options.

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