Fall Foliage Trip Suggestions - IA, MN, or WI

khardbored

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Oct 20, 2012
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The extra hour for the OP would be a game changer for him and his family. If he is willing to go 6, why not just go 7? SE Wisconsin would be nice, but NEW is another level, especially if they've never been.

We just spent 2 weeks in far Northern Wisconsin / the UP this Spring.

Probably not the same as Fall, but lovely area! :)
 
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crs8975

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Seen many posts for Prairie du Chien and that area. If you make it there this weekend or next, hit up Pete's Hamburger Stand downtown. Pretty good burger.
 
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khardbored

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1 week out -- How are the foliage conditions on the ground in the target area? Could use an update from my SE MN, NE IA, SW WI peeps. @Al_4_State , any others?

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According to this map on the WI Tourism Website, Dodgeville is expected to peak 3rd week in Oct.; Madison the 1st week in Nov. (Updated 2 days ago)

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Should I be skeptical?
 

Al_4_State

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madguy30

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Any final updates or suggestions? We head out Wednesday (10/19)

With the wind the last few days some of the most colorful trees have started to lose leaves around Madison...although there's still plenty that haven't even turned from green.
I would guess there's still plenty of good in the NE IA/SW WI areas.

Still other 'fall' stuff in those areas like pumpkin patches etc. and nice weather so can still be a really good trip.
 

Gonzo

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313-150 + 184-92 + 129-58 + 38:15-21:45 = 10-7

Devil's Lake State Park just outside Baraboo, Wisconsin is pretty stunning this time of year. Just don't go on a Saturday, or if you do, plan to get there early. It's packed on weekends. There are some pretty cool little places to eat and grab a drink/beer in and around Baraboo, just let me know if interested.
 

madguy30

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313-150 + 184-92 + 129-58 + 38:15-21:45 = 10-7

Devil's Lake State Park just outside Baraboo, Wisconsin is pretty stunning this time of year. Just don't go on a Saturday, or if you do, plan to get there early. It's packed on weekends. There are some pretty cool little places to eat and grab a drink/beer in and around Baraboo, just let me know if interested.

South of Baraboo west of Prairie du Sac/Sauk City has some good stretches along the WI River particularly Highway 60 that runs right along it.

Iirc even Baraboo itself has some trails throughout town that might be really cool.

Sky High just outside of Devil's Lake for fall treats, Wollersheim Winery for that and a good view.
 

Gonzo

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South of Baraboo west of Prairie du Sac/Sauk City has some good stretches along the WI River particularly Highway 60 that runs right along it.

Iirc even Baraboo itself has some trails throughout town that might be really cool.

Sky High just outside of Devil's Lake for fall treats, Wollersheim Winery for that and a good view.
313-150 + 184-92 + 129-58 + 38:15-21:45 = 10-7

The pan fried walleye with maple pecan butter and blackberry Old Fashioned at Driftless Glen Distillery were pretty life changing.
 
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GoldCy

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Breitbach's in Balltown for a meal and looking over the river. (take the River road from Balltown north to Pikes Peak)

Pikes Peak State Park for river views and some light hiking.

Prairie Du Chien - Stark's, Cabela's, some shopping for the wife.

Gays Mills - Apple Orchards

La Crosse - fun place to stay for a night with good restaurants, hotels, bars

Lanesboro MN area - good bike trails if you like that. More bed and breakfast places to stay vs hotels.

I'm sure the Galena area is fun in the fall but I have never been there this time of year so can't say for sure.
You forgot to mention Pete's.
 

CloneAlta

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Family has some time off the week of Oct. 16-22. We'd like to head a little north from the DSM area to see some Fall Foliage.

Per the national foliage map, it would be peak at that time in NE Iowa, SE Minnesota, and SW Wisconsin.

What are some national/state parks, cool outdoor locations we should consider for a 2 or 3 day trip in that area you might recommend? Wife, myself, and 2 Jr. High age boys. We are OK with some limited hiking (a mile or two) & climbing, but we're not master outdoorsmen. We're staying in motels! ;) We'd like to stay within a 6 or so hour drive of Des Moines.

Also, if you had general recommendations of places the boys might like in that area, I'd take those suggestions, too!

View attachment 103927
(The area circled would be the best bet for that week)
Don’t overlook Table Rock Lake near Branson! Should be at the peak the next two weekends. Be sure to catch Johnny Morris’ venues while there—-Big Cedar Lodge, Top of The Rock, Dogwood Canyon, Buffalo Ridge Golf Course & Payne’s Valley Golf Course!
 

StClone

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Central Wisconsin has peaked and now many trees barren. Fiery sumac, and many native maple species (Black, Sugar, Mountain) are going out fast. Red Maple and Silver Maples maybe for a little longer. Yellow and golds of Aspen and birch degrading too. Oak species will show in a bit with their subtle mauve, dull reds, bronze-orange, and brick.
 

khardbored

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Central Wisconsin has peaked and now many trees barren. Fiery sumac, and many native maple species (Black, Sugar, Mountain) are going out fast. Red Maple and Silver Maples maybe for a little longer. Yellow and golds of Aspen and birch degrading too. Oak species will show in a bit with their subtle mauve, dull reds, bronze-orange, and brick.

Keeping our fingers crossed! Motel is now locked in, so we;ll just have to deal with it!!!! :)

Just need 48 more hours!!!

Edit: We'll be a bit further south than that, between Winnona, MN and the IA border. May cross over to La Crosse once.
 

khardbored

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FWIW, here is the Des Moines area it's all over the place.

I have some trees that are nearly barren, and some that are still 100% green and perky.

Big sycamore, dogwood, and oak trees right across the street from me are still 85% green, too. But then you go 100 feet over and one is 100% blaze red.

Can't these leaves coordinate?!?!? :p
 
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qwerty

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Have lunch at Breitbach's in Balltown then do the overlook couple hundreds yards up the road, then continue up and take the car ferry over to Cassville, WI. Drive south and stop at Potosi Brewery, then Grotto in Dickeyville. We usually come back to Iowa at Dubuque since it is an annual day trip but you could continue on to adventures in WI.


Dubuque also has the River Museum, the cable car ride,

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We were just there Sunday. Still plenty of leaves and color to be seen.
 
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