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Fair with Haze 31°
S 8 mph
While many northern and some central Wisconsin counties have already hit their fall color peak, southern counties — both in the east and west — are expected to peak this weekend or next week. The Wisconsin tourism department offers details on fall color through its Web site, www.travelwisconsin.com, or by calling 800-432-8747.
Here are peak color forecasts from around the state:
Kenosha — This week
Racine — Next week
Lake Geneva — This week
Milwaukee — Next week
Door County — This weekend
Eagle River — This weekend
La Crosse — Next week
Minocqua — At peak
Wisconsin Dells — Next week
The best part about living in Wisconsin is our beautiful fall weather. And the best way to take advantage of this season — with its cooler temps, crisp air, blue skies and no bugs — is by checking out some of these nearby areas for walking:
Kenosha County Bike Trail — Runs from Anderson Park through Lake County in Illinois on the south, then from 35th Street on the north part of Kenosha County all the way through Racine County. Whether you walk (or ride a bike), you’ll find fall colors on each side of this path, which moves through wooded areas and neighborhood back yards. Bonus: It is now a paved trail, which we love much more than the crushed gravel.
Petrifying Springs — On County Highway A, just west of G (30th Avenue) and just north of Highway E (12th Street). Hands down, this has to be the most beautiful spot in Kenosha County when the fall color starts to pop.
The Pike Trail — Runs about 10 miles along Lake Michigan, with access points all along the lakefront. You can’t beat the Lake Michigan scenery along this level, paved walkway. You’ll also pass three National Register Historic Districts, two historic lighthouses, Carthage College’s campus and the Poerio Nature Center. Use this trail to connect west to the new portion of the Pike Trail at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
Prairie Springs Park — At highways 165 and H in Pleasant Prairie. A 2.3-mile paved walking and jogging trail goes around Lake Andrea, offering a smooth, level walking area (and free parking). Dress in layers, however; there’s often a cold wind blowing off the lake, which can make walking there unpleasant if you’re not dressed for it.
Silver Lake Park — County Highway F, about 8.5 miles west of I-94, just south of Highway 50. The combination of the sun bouncing off the lake and the dusty reds and yellows of the leaves makes this a glorious place to take a walk during autumn weekends.
Bristol Woods — Off highways C and MB, west of I-94. Home of the Pringle Nature Center, Bristol Woods has well-tended, wood chip-covered forest trails that offer an up-close look at the fall colors. And, this late in the year, you can actually walk in the woods without being accosted by hordes of mosquitoes.
Bong Recreation Area — 26313 Burlington Road, off Highway 75. Only a small part of this 4,500-plus-acre park is used by the public, but it includes hiking trails as well as nature trails. You will have to pay a daily use fee, however, which might not be worth it just for a quick walk.
Brighton Dale Park and Golf Course — Highways 142 and 75 in Brighton, adjacent to Bong Recreation Area. The main reason to visit this park is to see the 250-year-old oak trees. Amazing. The trails are well tended, and the variety of plants is plentiful.
Hawthorn Hollow — 880 Green Bay Road. Look for lots of maples, occasional river birch and plentiful oak trees. The walking trails are well kept and offer lush scenery, including a nice bridge over a bubbling brook. Note: No dogs are allowed.
White River State Trail — The western end of this trail is at County Highway H, south of the I-43 and Highway 12 interchange in Elkhorn. From Highway 12, take the County Highway NN exit west and then turn left (south) on Highway H. Go about a half-mile south to the trailhead parking lot. Ten miles of this state trail between Elkhorn and the Walworth County line just west of Burlington are open to hiking, biking and snowmobiling. The trail goes past farmlands, through the historic village of Lyons and within five miles of Lake Geneva. (Note: Bicyclists and horseback riders age 16 and older must have a state trail pass.)
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