There are many reasons to fall in love with the Northwoods and one of them is fall itself. The beauty of nature is at its peak in the Minocqua area. Go on a truly amazing autumn adventure by combining a drive to see fall colors with our top day trip attraction, exploring stunning waterfalls. The drive between these falls is nearly as spectacular as the falls themselves with the Northwoods fall colors on full display.

Copper Peak:

Start this tour off at the pinnacle of fall color viewing at Copper Peak. See fall colors as far as the eye can see, which is Canada, if you are wondering. During the fall, this ski jump operates as a fall color adventure ride. Start your tour on an 800-foot chair lift ride to the crest of the hill. Next, take an 18-story elevator to the main observation deck. The true thrill-seekers can walk an additional 8 stories to the top starting gate for over the top views overlooking over 2500 square miles, 3 states and even Canada on a clear day.


Peterson Falls:

Peterson falls is an easy to visit waterfall located on the Wisconsin/Michigan Border. Look for the large Ero Nasi Construction sign and the smaller Peterson Falls sign. Turn right onto the gravel road. Follow this road a short distance (.3 miles) to a small turn around. Park here. The trail follows the river bank. It is a short 10-minute walk to the Falls. If you want to extend your waterfall tour, there are several waterfalls not far from here. Gabbro Falls and Powderhorn Falls are both about 11 miles to the east. To continue on our fall color tour, head next to Potato Falls, about 20 miles west.

Potato Falls:

The waterfall is large, easy to find, and provides all sorts of opportunities for exploration.  From the parking lot, there is an observation deck where you can get a somewhat obstructed view of the falls but there is also a maintained trail complete with stairs that will take you down into the gorge. At the bottom of the trail, there is another observation deck where you can view the entire waterfall. The waterfall is located in a county park in Gurney. The park is easy to find, and there is no fee. The park is at the end of Potato River Falls Road, west of Hwy 169. Potato River Falls Road is gravel, but it is in good shape and the park is just about a mile from Hwy 169.

Copper Falls:

An easy to visit set of waterfalls with a scenic gorge and a very scenic neighbor. There is a $10 day use fee to visit the park but has lots of opportunities for different types of recreation including viewing two waterfalls within the park.  Copper Falls State Park has 17 miles of trails with several overlooks of the waterfalls. Try either the Doughboys Nature Trail or the Waterfall Trail. The Doughboys Nature Trail is a 1.7-mile trail and follows the scenic heart of the park, Copper and Brownstone Falls. A half-mile is accessible for people with disabilities. The Waterfall Trail is accessed from the end of the road in the park’s north end. This trail offers access to both Copper Falls and Brownstone Falls.

Tour Driving Directions