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4 ways to enjoy Vilas County’s fall colors


  • Article
  • Events
  • Fall
  • Hiking
  • Lakes & Rivers
  • Scenic Drives

Here’s a look at a few ways you can take in the fabulous fall colors in northern Wisconsin this season.

Couple enjoying fall colors at North Lakeland Discovery Center Vilas County WI

Peak fall color season is just around the corner in Vilas County, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy the show. Here’s a look at how you can discover fabulous fall colors in northern Wisconsin.

Scenic drives

Hit the road this fall and discover a wonderland of color on Vilas County’s highways. One of the best fall color routes in the county is Rustic Road 60 (also known as Cty. Rd. K) between Boulder Junction and Sayner-Star Lake. Wisconsin’s Rustic Roads are lightly traveled local roads known for their outstanding natural features, and Rustic Road 60 does not disappoint—along the 12-mile route, you’ll pass through the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest and alongside several lakes, including White Sand Lake, Lost Canoe Lake, and Little Star Lake.

Find more Vilas County scenic drives here.

Hiking trails

If you want to take a scenic stroll through the Northwoods instead, you’re in luck: Vilas County is home to hundreds of miles of walking and hiking trails, from gentle lakeside paths to more challenging routes that cut through the woods and forests of Vilas County. See a few suggestions for fall hiking routes here (including the Presque Isle Nature Trail and the Madeline Lake Trail), and don’t forget to download the free Map it Vilas County trails app, where you can find trails by length, location, and amenities and even navigate your route without a cell signal.

On the water

Northern Wisconsin is home to one of the largest concentrations of freshwater lakes on the planet, so it’s easy to get out on the water, whether you’re paddling, boating, or fishing. Popular lakes in Vilas County include Lac Vieux Desert (on the Wisconsin-U.P. border), Trout Lake, and Plum Lake. The county also boasts a significant collection of lake chains, including the Eagle River Chain and the Cisco Chain.

Learn more about getting on the water in Vilas County here.

Find an event

With 12 friendly communities, it’s easy to find a fun event in Vilas County any time of year, but the county has some especially notable events in the fall. Visitors will find a lot to see and do throughout Vilas County in the fall, from Colorama celebrations in St. Germain, Sayner-Star Lake, and Boulder Junction to Minocqua’s annual Beef-A-Rama.

See the Vilas County calendar of events here.