In a year where everything is, well, different and unpredictable, we are soaking up something we look forward to every fall: the beauty of changing seasons. With rolling hills, Rustic Roads, waterfalls, and trees for miles and miles, Wisconsin and Illinois are home to some of the best fall foliage drives in the U.S. But don’t take our word for it, get out and plan a fall day trip of your own to see the gorgeous autumn colors! To plan the best route, be sure to check the fall color report (Wisconsin) before you go, and don’t forget to pack snacks and a travel mug filled with your favorite warm fall beverage.
Ideas for our Wisconsin Members
- Lake Geneva: Known for its breath-takingly beautiful views year-round, Lake Geneva offers a variety of ways to see the fall colors, including a zip-line canopy tour, Lyons State Wildlife Area, and Rustic Roads 11, 12 and 36.
- Pepin County: While it’s best known as the birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House on the Prairie books, Wisconsin’s Pepin County is also home to spectacular fall foliage views along the Mississippi River.
- Red Cedar Trail: Take in the fall colors on foot or bicycle, and see a variety of Wisconsin topography as you explore prairies, marshland, forests and farmland.
- Jack Lake: Located north of Antigo in the town of Upham, view the fall colors on land or in a canoe or kayak on the quiet and peaceful Jack Lake.
- Perrot State Park: Home to 500-foot bluffs overlooking where the Trempealeau and Mississippi rivers meet, Perrot State Park is home to unforgettable views of fall colors.
- Black River State Forest: Want to see an ocean of trees? Hike or bike through 68,000 acres of pine and oak trees atop 300-foot glacial mounds in the Black River State Forest.
- Horicon Marsh: In addition to beautiful water-filled views, Horicon Marsh is also a great place to see fall migration of Canada Geese, with nearly 200,000 birds making their way through the marsh each fall and spring.
- Kettle Moraine: With 115 miles of brilliant fall colors, varying geological landscape and plenty of history, don’t miss out on all the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive has to offer.
- Great River Road—Wisconsin Edition. Travel through 33 river towns as you take in 250 miles of fall colors along the Mississippi River.
- Marinette County: Take in the fall colors and listen to the peaceful sound of flowing water at 12 different waterfalls in Marinette County.
- Timm’s Hill: At an elevation of 1,951.5 feet, Timm’s Hill County Park is home to the highest natural point in Wisconsin, lending well to a spectacular view of the fall colors.
Ideas for our Illinois Members
- The Morton Arboretum: Home to magnificent trees, glorious seasonal color and plenty of fresh air, The Morton Arboretum stretches across 1,700 acres and is home to 222,000 live plants. Note: Timed-entry tickets are required for all guests and will help ensure paced arrivals and moderated attendance numbers.
- Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve: Enjoy the fall colors from the Sawmill Creek bluff overlook, on the trails or along the Rocky Glen waterfall at Waterfall Glen.
- Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park: Dunes, swales, marshes, forests and 6.5 miles of sandy shore along Lake Michigan make a great stop to view fall colors and soak up the Midwest’s natural beauty.
- Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area: Located just 55 miles southwest of Chicago, Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife area offers prairie, water, shoreline and woodland hiking to take in the fall colors.
- Apple River Canyon State Park: With limestone bluffs, deep ravines, springs, streams and plenty of trails, the Apple River Canyon State Park is beautiful any time of year, especially autumn.
- Great River Road—Illinois Edition: Travel along the Mississippi River and take in the grandiose bluffs paired with heavenly fall colors as you travel through nine towns in Illinois.