Peak fall color season is just around the corner in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Here’s how to see some of the state’s best fall colors on your next getaway to the Minocqua Area.

First things first: Check out the Wisconsin fall color report to see how things stand in the Northwoods.

Walking & Hiking

There are few things more peaceful than strolling through the Northwoods and marveling at the stunning reds, yellows, and oranges that light up the landscape. The Minocqua Area is home to more than 600 miles of hiking and biking trails so there’s plenty to explore, no matter where you go. The Madeline Lake Trail sits just north of the Oneida County-Vilas County border and offers several loops ranging from 3 to 5.5 miles. The Raven Nature Trail, located east of Minocqua in the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, takes hikers through a roughly 1.5-mile heavily wooded tract of forest.


If you want to move a little faster while still taking in some breathtaking scenery, hop on a bike and explore the Minocqua Area’s great biking routes this fall. The Bearskin State Trail runs from Minocqua south to Tomahawk and crosses 16 railroad trestles that offer outstanding views of Northwoods lakes. The level, packed granite surface makes the trail a nice ride for all ages and abilities. (Note that a state trail pass is required for cyclists.) Mountain bikers can explore the Shannon Lake Trail in the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, which offers a good mix of beginner and intermediate-level runs, as well as the McNaughton Trail (located just west of County Highway 47), a ski trail system that’s good for beginning mountain bikers.

Driving Tours

The Minocqua Area is home to two of Wisconsin’s designated Rustic Roads—lightly traveled rural routes noted for their scenery—and both are a great way to explore the region’s fall colors. Rustic Road 58 stretches for nearly 10 miles west of U.S. Highway 51 and south of State Highway 70 along Blue Lake Road and Mercer Lake Road, passing by those lakeshores and the Tomahawk River. Rustic Road 59 is a Northwoods wilderness road tucked inside the route of Rustic Road 58 that travels for 4.5 miles along Sutton Road between Blue Lake Road and Highway 70.

See more options for fall color driving tours in the Minocqua Area here.

Extend your fall color getaway for a weekend or longer—the Minocqua Area is home to lots of welcoming lodging properties, including cabins, cottages, hotels, and motels. See a sortable list here.