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, stroll 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.
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 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.
This hilly, rolling and scenic trail near Boulder Junction 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.
If you’re looking for a longer hike—a half-day’s worth or so—explore the Catherine Wolter Wilderness Area near Presque Isle in Vilas County. Consisting of more than 2,000 acres of forest and 15 lakes and ponds, you’ll never run out of beautiful foliage and undeveloped scenic vistas to take in. You won’t have to contend with bugs this time of year, so you can keep your eyes peeled for loons, osprey, otters and fishers. You might even see a moose!
Looking for more hiking spots? Check out these beautiful options.