Wisconsin fall foliage is truly unmatched.
From the ripe-apple-red leaves of Door County, to the subtly auburn leaves of northern Wisconsin, to the pure-gold Birch leaves of Rib Mountain, you can’t visit Wisconsin in the fall without feeling completely mesmerized.
Whether you’re looking for the best Wisconsin fall road trip or some stateside fall photo ideas, here are answers to all of your Wisconsin fall foliage questions!
Is Wisconsin Pretty In The Fall?
Yes, Wisconsin is very pretty in the fall. From early October to early November, the Wisconsin fall foliage boasts epic red, orange and yellow views. This makes Wisconsin one of the best fall destinations in the US.
Note that peak fall color times depend on where exactly in the state you are visiting, but we will discuss this more in depth later on.
Where Are Fall Colors In Wisconsin?
You can find fall colors everywhere in Wisconsin during peak month (October).
Whether you’re traveling in Wisconsin’s biggest cities, exploring Northwoods Wisconsin or hanging out in your own backyard, you’re sure to find fall colors on any Wisconsin tree (unless, of course, it’s an evergreen tree).
Where Should I Go In Wisconsin In The Fall?
1. Door County
Although there’s never a bad time to visit Door County, Wisconsin, it’s hard to beat Door County in the fall.
Between the plentiful apple orchards, cherry wineries, and endless park trails, there’s no way you’ll be bored during Door County’s fall. Plus, there is certainly no shortage of amazing Wisconsin fall foliage here.
To see some of the best fall colors in Door County, visit Peninsula State Park and Winding Road, both of which are pictured here.
2. Washington Island
Like Door County, there are unforgettable things to do on Washington Island in every season. In fall, you get the unique opportunity to see monuments like the Washington Island Stavkirke surrounded by Wisconsin fall colors.
You can learn everything you need to know about visiting Washington Island, Wisconsin, here.
3. Rib Mountain
The town of Rib Mountain, Wisconsin, just south of the city of Wausau, is known for its ski hill and state park. But, what people don’t know is that Rib Mountain is the gold mine of Wisconsin fall foliage, literally.
If you have time, take the Rib Mountain ski lift up the hill to see the colors from a bird’s eye view. You can purchase low‑cost tickets next to the Rib Mountain State Park parking lot.
4. Manitowish Waters
Furthermore, north of Rib Mountain is the small town of Manitowish Waters. Drive north from Rib Mountain on Highway 51, and you’ll eventually drive right into this quaint cabin town.
5. Northern Wisconsin-Michigan Border
Unsurprisingly, you can find spectacular fall foliage along the border between Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. These photos in particular were taken on the Menomonie River via Highway 8, just east of Niagara, Wisconsin.
Here, you will find a picnic-friendly park on the Wisconsin side of the river and a fun souvenir shop on the Michigan side. The shop, which is worth the stop, is called True North Outpost. It offers not only U.P. souvenirs but also river rafting excursions, Northwoods trinkets, and local candies and drinks.
6. Northern Wisconsin Waterfalls For Wisconsin Fall Foliage
Waterfall hunting may seem like a summer activity, but don’t write off Wisconsin’s waterfalls in autumn.
Whether you’re a hobby hiker or prefer short walks, there is a waterfall in northern Wisconsin that will fit your accessibility preferences and fill your wanderlust. You can read everything you need to know about the best waterfalls in northern Wisconsin here.
7. Bayfield And The Apostle Islands
Similarly, the city of Bayfield and neighboring Apostle Islands are also situated in northern Wisconsin. While these two places have a strong summer reputation, they are completely engulfed in the best Wisconsin fall foliage in the fall months.
You can still enjoy all of the same iconic Apostle Islands activities in the fall, such as kayaking, boat tours and camping, in addition to fall-specific activities like the Bayfield Apple Festival.
If you prefer the big-city fall scene instead of woodsy adventures, these next two places to go in the fall in Wisconsin are for you.
First, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, boasts both city vibes and fall colors. Visit Holy Hill, Boerner Botanical Gardens, Oak Leaf Trail or North Point Lighthouse for some of the best fall foliage in Milwaukee.
Likewise, Madison also offers great fall city vibes, but, unlike Milwaukee, you will see a more classical, historical city rather than a stark skyline.
To see the best fall colors in Madison, visit UW Madison’s Lakeshore Preserve, Tenney Park, Elver Park or the UW Madison Arboretum. Or, you can go straight to the state capitol.
10. Your Own Backyard
Finally, often times, the best place to see fall colors is in your own backyard. Whether you live in Wisconsin or are staying in a hotel, you will undoubtably find fall colors nearby.
Fall foliage is visible everywhere in the state. Sometimes, all you have to do is take a short walk or drive down the street to see jaw-dropping Wisconsin fall foliage.
When Is The Best Time To See Fall Colors In Wisconsin?
The best time to see fall colors in Wisconsin is during the peak month of October. However, peak weeks depend on which region of Wisconsin you are in.
For example, if you visit the northern regions of Wisconsin, the best time to see fall colors will usually be from the last week of September through the first week of October.
Likewise, if you visit the central regions of Wisconsin, the best time to see fall colors will be around the second or third week of October.
And, lastly, if you visit the southern regions of Wisconsin, the best time of see fall colors will be toward the fourth week of October.
Regardless, peak fall colors in Wisconsin are always primarily in the month of October. To check peak fall color updates, visit the Travel Wisconsin Fall Color Report here.
How Long Do Fall Colors Last In Wisconsin?
Peak fall colors last in Wisconsin one to two weeks, but you will see non-peak fall colors for about a month (last week of September through the first week of November).
Where are you going to see Wisconsin fall foliage this year? Let me know by leaving a reply below or by sending me a message on Instagram.
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Top 10 Things To Do On Washington Island All Year Round (With Map)
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[…] looking for a getaway that is more low-key without big-city hustle and bustle, I instead recommend Door County, Wisconsin, or Washington Island, Wisconsin, both of which are only a few hours north of […]