Fall is a season for stirring scenery, and there's perhaps no worthier backdrop for autumn's colorful canvas than the dramatically rugged Baraboo Hills. Some of the oldest exposed rock on the whole continent, this quartzite range is second only to diamonds in hardness and was stalwart enough to stop the glaciers that leveled much of Wisconsin.
One of Wisconsin's most picturesque fall drives meanders along Highway 113 from Lodi to Baraboo, then follows Highway 12 a final stretch up to Mirror Lake State Park. The route clocks in at just over an hour, but you'll want to stop along the way to enjoy the natural gems clustered throughout the craggy landscape – including Wisconsin's largest and most visited state park, Devil's Lake.
Extend your stay in these magnificent surroundings by booking one of these five cabins and cottages along the route. Stay in the know about more of Wisconsin's best cabins and cottages by subscribing to our newsletter.
Contrary to what its name may suggest, Rustic Ridge offers five uniquely themed luxury cabins with hand-hewn beams, stone fireplaces, jacuzzis and covered decks. Directly adjacent to popular skiing destination Devil's Head Resort, the getaway's rates are highest during the winter months and somewhat lower during fall.
Durward's Glen Retreat – Baraboo
This 40-acre haven – listed on the National Register of Historic Places – is the perfect spot for a quaint retreat. The children of an artist who settled on this amazingly scenic property in the mid-1800s donated it to a religious order in the early 1930s to be used as a novitiate. Still owned by a Catholic group today, the extensive grounds offer several spots for spiritual reflection, and hiking trails allow visitors to enjoy the property's natural beauty.
Accommodations range from a little two-story "hermitage" to a gorgeous Gothic-style cottage built by the original owner, and a large lodge offers 30 modest rooms. The cottage requires a two-day minimum stay at $150 a night, and daily rates for the other rentals are just $55.
Devils Lake Lodge – Baraboo
Traveling with a big group? This privately owned five-bedroom, four-bathroom log home located just a block from the main entrance to Devil's Lake State Park will pamper up to 10 guests. You'll find hand-built log frame beds in each of the rooms, along with a jetted tub in the master bedroom. A reading nook in the loft and two fireplaces add to the charm
Baraboo Hills Campground – Baraboo
If you favor a no-frills experience, try a one-room or two-room cabin – or 12-person rustic sleeping yurt. Overnight rates start at $70 for a basic four-person cabin. This family campground offers Wi-Fi hot spots, a heated pool, swimming pond, store, snack shop and a multitude of recreational facilities.
Stay in an architectural marvel designed by Wisconsin's own Frank Lloyd Wright. Perched high on a wooded bluff overlooking Mirror Lake State Park, this 880-square-foot wood and stone treasure is perfect for fall. The cottage, one of Wright's final commissions in 1958, is among just half-a-dozen properties designed by the architect that are available for overnight rental.