Northern Wisconsin's Fall Color Trail


Fall's peak colors are just around the corner. Discover northern Wisconsin's best vantage points to get a glimpse of the season's famous fiery reds + oranges that continue for miles into the distance. Colors peak across northern Wisconsin at varying times, which is one of the greatest things about celebrating the season in the North - you're always a day's trip away from a rainbow of changing foliage. Explore the Northwoods' quaint communities in search of the dreamy colors you love + the hidden treasures you seek. 

For updates on peak colors, read the Manitowish Waters Color Report, the Travel Wisconsin Fall Color Report, + the Fall Foliage Map.


corrigan's lookout 

Overlooking the Penokee Range and Upson Lake, Corrigan's Lookout is easily one of the best lookout points in northern Wisconsin. Combine an already gorgeous, expansive view of the terrain with fall colors and nearby waterfalls to make the drive worth it. Find Corrigan's Lookout on a logging road on the west side of Hwy. 122, north of Upson, WI (there is a small white arrow sign). Walk a very (okay, very very) muddy 0.25 mile trail to the rock outcropping. The view just might take your breath away.   

While you're there, visit Foster Falls - one of our favorite falls in northern Wisconsin. Bring a book + a blanket to savor the moment, you'll understand why. 


Hurley Historical marker 

Located just outside Hurley, Wisconsin is a gem of an overlook when it comes to fall colors. Stop at the historical marker at the overlook on the south side of US Highway 2, about about 10 miles west of Hurley. The Penokee Range is located off in the distance and if you're traveling through on the right day, will be a rainbow of colors. It's a great spot to stop to stretch your legs or walk the dog, especially if you're headed to Bayfield for the day. 

While you're there, visit the Bell Chalet for dinner.


potato River falls

Nestled into the woods of northern Wisconsin, Potato River Falls is one of the most beautiful falls and a great spot to view the changing season. Dropping 90 feet into the Potato River, the falls are framed with deciduous trees that make the view that much better. We suggest exploring the short hiking trails to find your favorite vantage point, and maybe bringing a picnic lunch to enjoy. Information on other waterfalls in Iron County, Wisconsin is available here

While you're there, head to Saxon Harbor to dip your toes in the big lake. 

St. Peter's dome

This one almost isn't fair, but one of the best fall color spots in northern Wisconsin is St. Peter's Dome in Ashland County, Wisconsin. Currently closed due to flooding in 2016, St. Peter's Dome is a hike to the top of a hill, overlooking miles of forest with Lake Superior in the distance. Put this adventure on your bucket list and stayed tuned for a date when this trail is open again. We promise, it's worth the wait. 

While you're there, explore the Copper Falls State Park near Mellen, WI. 


porcupine mountains

Fall colors + Lake Superior is a match made in heaven. Make the short drive north to the Porcupine Mountains to explore the woods + water. Take a chair lift ride at Porcupine Mountains Ski Area, enjoy the lookout at Lake of the Clouds, and hike to the lookout tower on Summit Peak Tower Trail.

While you're there, explore the waterfalls of the western Upper Peninsula. 


Chair lift from Copper Peak

Rise to the highest, unobstructed vista in the Midwest, Copper Peak Adventure Ride, to view the horizon filled with fiery reds and oranges. Take an 810’ chairlift ride before ascending an additional 18 stories to the main observation deck. From there, overlook over 2,500 square miles, 3 states, and even Canada on a clear day. On a peak fall color day, expect the view to take your breath away. 

While you're there, bring your mountain bike to explore their single track trails + explore Black River Harbor


mt. ashwabay

Take a day trip to Bayfield for apple picking, delicious food, and of course, fall colors. As you arrive into town, begin your day with a hike to the top of Mt. Ashwabay, located just south of Bayfield, to stretch your legs. For a prime overlook spot, park in the parking lot near the tent for Big Top Chautauqua and hoof it to the top of the hill. On a clear day, view changing foliage for miles, including on the Apostle Islands. For more details regarding the Bayfield Peninsula + fall colors, read this article here. For day trip information, check out our previous journals posts...

Weekend Guide to Bayfield 
10 Bayfield Secrets Only The Locals Know
6 Reasons to Spend A Day in Bayfield
A Day at the Big Coffee Roastery 

While you're there, take a sunset boat cruise with Apostle Island Cruises and visit our favorites: Big Water Coffee/Bayfield Tea Co., Apostle Island Booksellers, + Cafe Coco.  


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Explore northern Wisconsin with the Northerly Collective Adventure Guide.