6 parks to view peak fall color

Posted by Samantha Haas on Thursday, October 12th, 2023 at 12:23pm.

As the seasons change from summer to fall, be sure to catch the leaves turn into their brilliant red, orange, and yellow hues. Check back for updates using the fall color report map at TravelWisconsin.com, which estimates that the Madison area will reach peak in late-October. There are several spots throughout Dane County that we recommend for autumn color viewing, but these six stand out for their expansive views of the tree-filled landscape.

Lake View Hill County Park

1202 Northport Dr., Madison: This park is home to the highest point on Madison's north side with gorgeous views of Lake Mendota and downtown. After meandering around the Dane County Human Services building (the former sanatorium) and checking out the newly restored fountain, you can also be surrounded by falling leaves on a short hiking trail through the neighboring woods. (Photo by Samantha Haas)

Morton County Forest

5169 Reeve Road, Mazomanie: Dane County's newest park, donated by benefactor Steve Morton, features nearly 114 acres in the Driftless Area with about two miles of year-round hiking trails. There are two scenic overlooks with bench shelters where you can take in the autumnal beauty overlooking Blue Mound, the highest point in the region. The view is absolutely worth the uphill hike! (Photo by Peter Gorman)

Brigham County Park

3160 County Hwy. F, Blue Mounds: As the road curves near this entrance of this park, you'll be greeted by sweeping views and treetops of the Wisconsin River Valley. On a clear day you can even see the Baraboo Hills in the distance. The park also includes trails that weave around the campsites and into a mature sugar maple forest, so you're sure to find color by foot, car, and even bike. (Photo by Justin Lackner)


Festge County Park

4894 Scherbel Rd, Cross Plains: Situated 100 feet above the Black Earth Creek Valley, this "gateway to the Driftless Area" features a scenic overlook with expansive views of farmland and wooded hills in a preglacial valley. Throughout the park you'll also find color in the bur oak, hickory, and maple trees, as well as the restored prairie. (Photo by Tracy Kapela)

Prairie Moraine County Park

6679 Wesner Ln, Verona: This 160-acre park is a beautiful place to hike the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, take your dog for a walk, and breathe in expansive views of the area. The trail travels through a restored oak savanna and prairie toward an opening with colorful views of the Upper Sugar River Valley and Driftless Area. (Photo by Samantha Haas)

UW Arboretum

2880 Longenecker Dr, Madison: Perhaps the most accessible and expansive park in the Madison area for drivers, bikers, and walkers is the UW Arboretum, composed of 1,200 acres near downtown Madison. The free, public space south of Lake Wingra includes 20 miles of trails that wind through woods, gardens, prairies, marshy ponds and oak savannas. This time of year they are bursting with color and chipper critters. (Photo by Samantha Haas)

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