Wisconsin Fall Foliage: A MapQuest Guide
Wisconsin fall foliage features brilliant hues and spectacular scenery. The changing colors of leaves in autumn is one of nature’s most beloved rites of passage -- and makes for one of the most popular and inexpensive getaways for families. As part of LeafQuest -- a MapQuest series helping leaf peepers across North America find easy and rewarding destinations -- here are three recommended spots for viewing Wisconsin fall foliage. — Andres Jauregui
Rib Mountain State Park
Wisconsin fall foliage usually peaks in mid-October, with areas in the north of the state achieving their prime color conditions earlier in the month. Small-but-mighty Rib Mountain State Park, located outside Wausau in north-central Wisconsin, draws leaf peepers from the surrounding region with more than 13 miles of hiking trails and two observation towers that, on a clear autumn day, are ideal for viewing the surrounding countryside. The mountain itself -- more of a hill at 670 feet tall -- is one of the oldest geological formations in the world.
4200 Park Road, Wausau, WI 54401 | Get Directions
Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive
This scenic drive runs through six counties in southeastern Wisconsin, traversing Kettle Moraine State Forest, where every September through November dense fall foliage cover rural roadways in brilliant canopies. Start your quest at the picturesque basilica at Holy Hill in Hubertus, which rises above the surrounding landscape on a wooded hill, making for excellent autumn photo opportunities. There are also several other historic sites along the 115-mile route, including Wade House, an 1860s stagecoach inn.
Holy Hill Basilica, 1525 Carmel Road, Hubertus, WI 53033 | Get Directions
Governor Dodge State Park
Oak-hickory forests account for the majority of wooded areas in Wisconsin's western landscape, with generous smatterings of sugar maple and basswood. This combination makes for a fiery fall color show, and Governor Dodge State Park is an ideal place to see it. At more than 5,000 acres, the park is a haven for hikers, mountain bikers and leaf peepers and is only about an hour's drive west of Madison. The land on which Dodge now stands was once home to buffalo-hunting Native Americans -- its official website notes that stone arrowheads "are still found throughout the park."
Governor Dodge State Park, 4175 Highway 23 N, Dodgeville, Wisconsin 53533 | Get Directions
This photo slideshow of Wisconsin fall foliage focuses on the southern parts of the state.
Did we miss a Wisconsin fall-foliage spot? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
Want other great fall-foliage destinations? Check out more LeafQuest.
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