Lose Yourself In Color At These 5 Wisconsin State Parks

Leap through a vibrant pile of crunchy leaves, pack a picnic and bring back the magic fall memories you had as a kid. Be sure to fill up your water bottle and bring your hiking buddy as you fall for Wisconsin’s bright-colored autumn views at these 5 state parks. 

Uncover the unexpected, reconnect with others and satisfy your fall foliage cravings.

Mill Bluff State Park – Camp Douglas

Colorful sights of bluffs, pinnacles and rugged rock formations sprawl across Interstate 90/94 with fall colors that you can’t miss. Hidden beauty is atop Mill Bluff with a climb of 223 stone steps to an overlook highlighting the lush forestland. Hike through two short trails if you drive across Interstate 90/94 to the other side of the park.   

This extraordinary hike can be explored with your favorite companions, hiking boots and the sounds of nature as you travel through Mill Bluff State Park.

Natural Bridge State Park – North Freedom

It’s all right there in the name — this stunning sandstone arch is Wisconsin’s largest natural bridge and is a beauty to see in the autumntime. Feel a crisp breeze and see a fall kaleidoscope at every corner as you hike four miles through oak woods and native prairie. You may encounter a picture-perfect moment next to the star attraction, the sandstone arch. This arch was created through wind erosion and includes a sprawling rock shelter at its base. Wandering together is a beauty all in itself as you explore the fall foliage here.

Nelson Dewey State Park – Cassville

Have you ever had a picnic at a park named after Wisconsin’s first governor, Nelson Dewey? Well, now’s the chance to do so as this park was once part of Nelson’s estate. This perfect combination of nature and history lines the Mississippi River and includes five hikes less than a mile each — a short and sweet travel through a 500-foot bluff with views of the pristine Mississippi River. Catch an extraordinary vista, powerful river and spectacular colors on camera or take a photo with your hiking buddies using the selfie stand and be sure to tag us @TravelWI on your adventure.

This park has historic culture being home to three groups of Native American burial mounds and Stonefield — a historic site that includes a recreated 1900-era farming village, Dewey's home site and the State Agricultural Museum.

Roche-a-Cri State Park – Friendship

What better spot to travel with friends than in Friendship, Wisconsin? Kick back, munch on a sandwich and be in awe as you take in the countryside views. The Cambrian sandstone will have you in awe as you see rocks that once stood in Glacial Lake Wisconsin dating back to the Ice Age. You can spot history through the mound with its decorative petroglyphs and pictographs. Venture through 6 miles of hiking to soak in the fall foliage of oak, pine and maple trees and possibly see vultures soaring between Roche-a-Cri and Friendship Mound.

Straight Lake State Park – Luck

Any day is an adventure at Straight Lake State Park. See Straight Lake’s crystal waters including the Straight River, Rainbow Lake and numerous ephemeral ponds. 

Take in autumnal splendor by hiking on the challenging trail that goes past Rainbow Lake or follow the Ice Age National Scenic Trail to adventure through several miles of the park. Keep an eye out for the park's glacial tunnel channel, considered the most impressive in the Midwest. Many visitors catch glimpses of Straight Lake's abundant wildlife, which includes bald eagles, trumpeter swans and river otters.

Want to explore and take in more fall colors? Check out these 15 Fall Color Hikes for more adventure.

This entry was posted in State Parks & Forests