See Wisconsin’s fabulous fall color from new heights at these scenic spots!
The historic Wollersheim Winery & Distillery in Prairie du Sac sits on a hilltop overlooking the Wisconsin River Valley. Take advantage of the guided vineyard tours in the fall for one-of-a-kind views of vibrant rolling hills. Time your visit to mid-October when they mark the release of their Ice Wine, a sipping wine that pairs well with cheesecake.
Perched on a hill in Bayfield, the Old Rittenhouse Inn and sister property Le Chateau provide both elegant lodgings for you and your group as well as fantastic views of Madeline Island and the colorful autumn shoreline of Lake Superior. Innkeeper Mark Phillips recommends the third-floor suites with balconies in the main inn and the wrap-around porch on the Le Chateau porch for the best fall vistas.
With a name like Infinity Room, you know this place has loads of leaf-peeping potential. It’s located within the whimsical House on the Rock attraction in Spring Green that makes for an all-day adventure. The room juts out 218 feet over a scenic valley surrounded by trees that explode with color in the fall.
Head to the Door County peninsula for even more aerial autumn views. Start with a walk across the Bayview Bridge in Sturgeon Bay to see the ship canal below flanked by bright foliage. Make your next stop Whitefish Dunes State Park where the “Old Baldy” dune is the tallest in the state. Then on to the wheelchair-accessible Eagle Tower at Peninsula State Park for a panorama of vibrance around Green Bay. And lastly, end your autumn adventure here with a visit to the Cana Island Lighthouse on the Lake Michigan side where you can walk the open-air catwalk at the top for unforgettable views with your crew.
Sticking with lighthouses, The Wind Point Lighthouse in Racine is open for tower climb tours on select dates during the fall. This 108-foot-tall lighthouse was first lit on Nov. 15, 1880 and continues to be lit today. In Milwaukee, you and your group can take a weekend tour of the North Point Lighthouse, located between two wooded ravines in Lake Park, one of the oldest structures still standing in the now-urban area. The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1893, a name that may be familiar, as he also designed New York’s Central Park.
In Eau Claire, head to Mount Simon Park that’s right in the heart of the city and hike to one of the highest spots in the area — a summit outcrop appropriately named Top of the World. You’ll be rewarded with a view of Dells Pond Lake and vibrant scenery lit up with autumn hues. Just north of the city, High Bridge, a converted railroad bridge that crosses the Chippewa River, offers more picture-perfect fall views.
The scenic tower at Holy Hill Basilica in Hubertus, stretching 192 feet to the sky at the tip of the spire, is open through October. Climb the 178 steps with your crew to the observation deck for views to Milwaukee nearly 30 miles away and fall color blanketing the Kettle Moraine State Forest.
Instead of waiting for a snowy blanket of white to visit Granite Peak in Wausau’s Rib Mountain State Park, consider a fall chairlift ride for a much more colorful view of the 700-foot vertical drop. When finished with the ride, climb to the top of the 60-foot observation tower in the park for an equally breathtaking view of the Wisconsin River Valley below.
For a speedier view of a colorful tree canopy, try the Northwoods Zip Line in Minocqua with both zip lining and aerial trekking. Or add some rock climbing and rappelling to your zip lining adventure in Chimney Rock Park outside Wisconsin Dells, with outfitter Vertical Illusions providing everything you’ll need for an unforgettable excursion. The park features the highest castellated rock mound in the world, and you’ll zip over a demarcation line where boreal forest meets deciduous forest.
These are as sky-high as it gets in Wisconsin!
First up, Timm’s Hill in Timm’s Hill County Park near Ogema is the highest point in Wisconsin at 1,951 feet above sea level. If that’s not high enough for you, climb the additional 60 feet to the top of the observation tower for some of the state’s most outstanding fall color views of northern hardwoods.
Not high enough? Take a ride with Handcrafted Furniture Balloon Rides in Wausau to soar above the fall foliage during this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
And for the most adventurous in your group, get your fill of fall color with some skydiving. Skydive Wissota offers a dramatic patchwork of colors because of the different types of trees. For skydiving enthusiasts, there’s also Wisconsin Skydiving Center in Jefferson and Seven Hills Skydivers in Madison.