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Don’t miss these fall color drives


  • Article
  • Fall
  • Scenic Drives

Find incredible fall color throughout northern Wisconsin on these scenic drives through Vilas County.

Bear Lake Road is a scenic drive and biking route in Vilas County.

Get in your car and drive—Vilas County is home to some of the most beautiful fall color in Wisconsin, and it’s easy to take in the splendid sights no matter where you go. Here’s a closer look at some of the Northwoods’ best fall color drives.

First things first: be sure to check out our fall color report to see where the reds, oranges and yellows are popping up in northern Wisconsin.

Next, pick your road trip from the suggestions below (or just make up your own route through the woods):

Discover Vilas’ County’s cranberry country

Did you know that Vilas County is home to several cranberry bogs? It’s true, and this driving tour will take you past these colorful flooded bogs during harvest time (late September through October). This route travels past several bogs in and around Manitowish Waters, including Vilas Cranberry Company, Bartling’s Manitowish Cranberry and Rayala Cranberry.

Head for the border

There’s wonderful fall color throughout Vilas County, but the wonderful sights don’t stop at the Wisconsin-Upper Peninsula border. This drive takes you through the wonderful scenery around Manitowish Waters and Winchester in northwest Vilas County; if you feel like a longer drive, keep heading north to Wakefield in the U.P. before following U.S. Hwy. 2 east and Hwy. 64 south back down into Presque Isle.

A Rustic ride

Vilas County is also home to one of Wisconsin’s Rustic Roads—a series of more than 100 lightly traveled highways across the state known for their outstanding natural beauty. Rustic Road 60 is a winding 12-mile route that runs from Cty. Rd. K south of Boulder Junction to Cty. Rd. M in Sayner-Star Lake. This tree-lined drive runs through the heart of the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest and passes old logging camps and an old sawmill. There are several scenic lakes and hiking trails along the route as well.

See more scenic fall color drives here and here.

If you’re looking for a cozy place to stay after a day of driving around the Northwoods, Vilas County’s motels, resorts, cabins, vacation homes and private campgrounds are accepting reservations and have guests’ health and well-being top of mind. Book your fall getaway today!