Wisconsin September 13, 2017
This Dreamy Road Trip Will Take You To The Best Fall Foliage In All Of Wisconsin
We’re actually rather spoiled here in Wisconsin when it comes to fall colors. We’ve got so much amazing green space across the state and so many different types of land that pretty much everywhere in the state is a great place to go looking for fall foliage.
Last year we told you about a trip through the middle of the state and up in to Door County. This time, we’re sending you out west to the Great River Road for an awesome trip right along the Mighty Mississippi.
For the entire road trip and all the addresses to stop along the way, click
Your trip starts up in Prescott, near the Twin Cities and takes you all the way down to Potosi. There's a ton of history along this stretch, as well as quaint small towns, great food and even a few breweries and wineries. If you're headed out on this trail, make sure to do some research because it could make for an amazing weekend.
Kinnickinnic State Park
We're starting just off the Great River Road at Kinnickinnic State Park. This great spot is where the Kinniickinnic and St. Croix Rivers meet. The two rivers valleys have very different moods and it's a perfect spot to start checking out the changing colors.
Great River Road Visitors Center
Then you'll head to the Great River Road Visitors Center in Prescott - not only does this give you a great view of the river up where it first enters Wisconsin, but you'll be able to stock up on ideas for stops along the way.
Maiden Rock Bluff State Natural Area
This spot overlooks Lake Pepin and is a 400-foot limestone cliff face that is home to nesting peregrine falcons. The views are breathtaking, so make sure you bring your camera.
Nelson-Trevino Bottoms State Natural Area
Located below the confluence of the Chippewa and Mississippi Rivers, this spot is home to a large delta floodplain. Nelson-Trevino Bottoms is home to silver maple, river birch, American elm, and cottonwood dominate wooded areas. Additional canopy species include swamp white oak, bur oak, willow, and green and white ashes, providing all kinds of interesting colors in the fall.
Buena Vista Park Outlook
Next stop is Alma, where you can watch Lock and Dam No. 4 before heading to the Buena Vista Park Outlook. This Largest natural balcony overlooking the Mississippi River provides stunning 180 degree views of the river valley. It's also a great place for a picnic. Stockholm is known for some lovely dining options, so stop and grab some to go with plans to nibble on it here.
Merrick State Park
Located near Fountain City, this park is next as you work your way south. If you're an outdoor enthusiast and making this a weekend trip, camping here is a great way to enjoy it even more. A rather underrated state park, there's multiple spots here, including out on the island.
Brady's Bluff, Perrot State Park
There are a few different trails in Perrot State Park that lead up to Brady's Bluff depending on your skill level. But all lead to the same great view from a bluff 460-feet above the Mississippi River. This area is part prairie and it contains over 100 species of native Wisconsin as well as some species of the Great Plains that are at or near their northeastern limit here. Several rare animals are also harbored by the natural area including three butterflies and a state threatened land snail.
Rush Creek State Park
This spot is unique in that it's got a rocky prairie that meets up with it's limestone cliff. You'll find a bunch of different plants and flowers in the prairie. Here you'll see a forest full of red and white oak and a significant amount of black walnut, hickory, basswood, sugar maple, and aspen. All those different trees provide a cacophony of color as their leaves start to turn.
Wyalusing State Park
One of the state's most popular spots, Wyalusing is an outdoor dream with several overlooks to the brilliant river valley below. The bird watching here is top notch. You'll see an amazing array of colors from one of Wisconsin's oldest state parks.
Nelson Dewey State Park
The last stop on the trip is the spot named for Wisconsin's first governor. With a 500-foot cliff and a ton of history to discover, it's a great spot to wind up your trip before heading inland to refresh yourself with some beers at Potosi Brewing.
Where else do you love to road trip looking for fall colors in Wisconsin? Let us know in the comments!