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15 Awesome Fall Activities in Wisconsin

A guide to the best fall foliage and fall festivals in Wisconsin and other fun things to do in the dairy state during autumn

Nothing beats fall in the Dairy State, Wisconsin. There are just so many things to love about fall activities in Wisconsin. Some of the most popular attractions in Wisconsin are even fall specific, such as the fall foliage.

According to the Wisconsin Fall Color Report, the second week of October is often a great time for enjoying the fall foliage Wisconsin offers. Indeed the fall leaves in Wisconsin are famous all over the USA for their intense colors. This guide shares with you the best fall activities in Wisconsin, USA.

Abundant woodlands filled to the brim with bright fall foliage color, various fall events, like Halloween, Oktoberfest. There is also much autumn fun to be had in Wisconsin Dells, Door County, apple picking, cranberry festivals, autumn festivals, pumpkin patch, farmer’s market… The list goes on and on.

Fall activities in Wisconsin, clearing morning fog on the st. croix river in interstate state park, minnesota, autumn.

These fall activities in Wisconsin are perfect for all age groups, whether solo, family with kids, romantic couples, life-loving friends, or (nature) photographers. And they can be enjoyed in various ways such as scenic car drives, hiking, pleasant walks, boats, and train rides.

Many of these activities and places are best visited in September and October. But if you’re also looking for places to visit in Wisconsin in November, I’ve got you covered!

If you love fall fests such as cranberry festivals, apple fests, or good ol’ Oktoberfests, have a look at my guide about the best fall festivals in Wisconsin.

1. Fall Foliage in Wisconsin

Next to Vermont and New England region, the US state famous for its fall colors is Wisconsin. Every autumn, the leaves of deciduous trees (oak, maple, elm, birch, etc) change their color to a stunning combination of red, orange and yellow due to the anthocyanin, carotene, and xanthophyll pigments.

The fall foliage has actually become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Wisconsin for fall visitors.

The best places to see fall foliage in Wisconsin are Seven Bridges, Holy Hill Church, Lake Geneva, Minocqua, Eagle River, Sturgeon Bay, and Door County.

As the fall color is highly weather-dependent relying on the length of daylight and change in temperature, the depth of the color and the exact time of occurrence may vary from one year to another.

The best time for fall foliage in Wisconsin is late September to mid-October. Scenic drives, breathtaking hikes, and great day trips are some of the ways to enjoy this amazing fall color.

Fall Foliage in Central and Northern Wisconsin

Best Thing to do: Bring your own inflatable kayak

Accommodation Options: The Northernaire Resort has a privileged location next to the lake and the Gordon Lodge comes with hot pools. For Airbnb and cabin lovers, the Hauser’s Bayfield Cabin is ideal for a cozy winter getaway.

The Northern Wisconsin fall colors start to appear first, during mid-September. In autumn, the Hayward Lakes region is a prime location for a fall foliage tour along breathtakingly beautiful scenic routes marked by the leaf-shaped road signs.

Autumn is an excellent time to visit Minocqua, a town near the Eagle River, to catch the fall foliage in this northern region. Among the most popular hiking trails in Wisconsin for the fall colors is the Bearskin, which traverses 16 miles of a former railroad corridor.

This area is also famous for boasting some of the best resorts in Northern Wisconsin.

The peak fall colors in central Wisconsin can be viewed in late September. Head to for mind-blowing color and photo opportunities galore.

The graceful spires of , 192 feet above the hilltop, overlooking a sea of color during fall is something not to be missed (1525 Carmel Road, Hubertus, 37 miles or 45 minutes from downtown Milwaukee).

Fall Foliage in Southern Wisconsin

Tenney City park. Madison, Wisconsin, Midwest USA

Best Thing to do: Rent an RV and do the State’s only National Scenic Byway

Accommodation Options: The Grandstay Hotel and Suites come with hot tubs and the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott boasts a great swimming pool. For Airbnb fans, you’ll enjoy the landscapes of this Scenic Country Art Studio.

Further south to Milwaukee, in Southern Wisconsin, a biking or walking tour of the 100-miles along the in late October will offer glorious fall color hotspots. The fall color drives southern Wisconsin reveals much darker foliage colors, perfect for nature and photography lovers.

The the state’s only National Scenic Byway, ranks as one of the best fall drives in Wisconsin during autumn.

The small riverfront town is worthy to stop by for a night's stay at the historic Trempealeau hotel.

When looking for the best places to visit in Wisconsin in the fall, Lake Geneva fall colors are a must too! Indeed, Lake Geneva is considered as one of the places to see the fall colors in Wisconsin.

A simple walk or car drive along the 26-mile path around Geneva Lake will reveal the magical beauty of the colorful fall trees reflecting on the water (downtown Lake Geneva, 50 miles or 55 minutes from downtown Milwaukee). It’s thus also the perfect day trip from Milwaukee.

The Seven Bridges Trail, Grant Park, South Milwaukee features 381 acres of woodland, paved walking and bicycling paths, a 2-mile long bridge, as well as lookouts over the sandy shoreline (South Lake Drive and Park Avenue, South Milwaukee, 10 miles or 16 minutes from downtown Milwaukee).

These are also some of the best places for hiking in Southern Wisconsin!

If you are wondering where the best fall colors in Wisconsin are, check out the legendary Wisconsin Fall report. It tells