Summer has slipped away and fall color is in full force on the Travel Wisconsin Fall Color Report. Time to hit the road and start roaming through autumn’s glory. Here are a few places for your scenic drives when color coverage gets up over 70%!
Head up the peninsula on WI-42 on the bay side and then come back south on WI-57 along Lake Michigan. Along the route, the park road at Peninsula State Park is superb, and the last bit of WI-42 is famously curvy like a slalom path to the Washington Island ferry. Be sure to stop at the Wild Tomato Wood-Fired Pizza and Grill for an excellent pizza or a traditional Door County fish boil at the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek.
The Driftless Area
US-14 runs north from Spring Green to La Crosse, winding among the hills and vales untouched by the last glaciers. Stop for lunch at Driftless Café in Viroqua. Mix it up a little, and from Readstown head north on WI-131 into the Kickapoo River Valley, or, drive south on the same highway to Gays Mills, famous for its apple orchards.
The Kettle Moraine Region
Created by the deposits of colliding lobes of glacial ice, the Kettle Moraine offers a clearly marked path of roadways that stretch 120 miles from Elkhart Lake down to Whitewater. Most of the path runs through the state forest, and scenic overlooks include several park observation towers and the picturesque Holy Hill basilica in Hubertus. Eat fresh rainbow trout at The Trout House at Rushing Waters Fisheries, a restaurant in Palmyra.
The folks in the Hayward area put together six brilliant routes through the Northwoods, from a 70-mile loop through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest to a 60-mile run around Chippewa Flowage. Maps are downloadable or available by mail. Finish the day with a classic supper club experience at The Ranch Supper Club in Hayward.
The Great River Road
Already a great road trip, this national scenic byway follows the Mississippi nearly 250 miles, from Prescott to Potosi, with 33 towns along the way and towering bluffs of trees in radiant colors. Don’t miss a chance to dine at the historic Trempealeau Hotel in the town of the same name. Stop in La Crosse at Grandad Bluff or Wyalusing State Park for the best vistas.
Photo by Kevin Revolinski