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What to do in fall in Vilas County


  • Article
  • Events
  • Fall
  • Hiking
  • Parks & Natural Areas
  • Scenic Drives

There’s a lot to see and do when the leaves changes in the Northwoods. Here’s how to spend a perfect fall weekend in Vilas County.

Scenic County Road P near Winchester, Wisconsin, is a beautiful place for a fall drive.

Fall is the most spectacular time of year to visit Vilas County when the county’s forests explode with stunning color. There’s a lot to see and do in the county every autumn, and the brilliant leaves provide a dramatic backdrop to any getaway. Here’s how to spend a perfect fall weekend in Vilas County.

Colorful drives

There’s perhaps no better way to take in the drama of the fall scenery than a drive on one of Vilas County’s tranquil roads. One beautiful route that’s drenched in fall color is Rustic Road 60. This 12-mile route winds through the heart of the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, running from Cty. Rd. K south of Boulder Junction to Cty. Rd. M in Sayner-Star Lake. R-60 passes near old logging camps, hiking trails and an old sawmill. See more fall drives here.

Cranberry heaven

Start your weekend experiencing the magic of Vilas County’s cranberry marshes. Lake Nokomis Cranberries is a must-visit in the fall—the farm has more than 330 acres of gorgeous cranberry bogs and guided tours take visitors into the heart of the marsh, where they can see workers use special machines and techniques to bring in the bounty. After the tour, find your own bounty at the gift shop, which sells everything from lotions and soaps to dried cranberries and delicious cranberry wine.

Scenic hikes

One of the best times to experience the trails of Vilas County is in the fall, when summer bugs are a distant memory, the air is fresh and the scenery is incredible. There are dozens of trail systems to explore, but here are three great bets: the Anvil Lake Trail near Eagle River, the Catherine Wolter Wilderness Area in Presque Isle and the WinMan Trails between Winchester and Manitowish Waters.

Fall festivals 

Fall weekends are especially lively in Vilas County—festivals take place throughout the county, offering fun for all ages. These festivals include craft fairs, horse-drawn wagon rides, pumpkin painting and more. Check out our event calendar for a full list of events.