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Why fall in Wisconsin is the perfect time for a road trip

Photo by Kat Schleicher for Milwaukee Magazine
Fall forest road in Wisconsin .

Fall in Wisconsin is something special, and one of the best ways to take in the changing colors and explore the scenery is by getting in your car and simply driving.

For freelance writer Kevin Revolinski, fall road trips are his specialty. From small river towns to bluff views, he writes about why the Great River Road, which follows the Mississippi River, makes for the ultimate fall drive across Wisconsin for this month’s Milwaukee Magazine.

As Revolinski explains, there's a simple, critical component that makes for a good fall drive: colors.

Illustration by Lucy Engelman for Milwaukee Magazine
Illustration by Lucy Engelman for Milwaukee Magazine

A great place to see those colors is the Great River Road. This interstate road begins in Minnesota and travels south through Louisiana. It travels past many river towns, making for an excellent scenic route — and Wisconsin has a couple hundred miles of it.

Harper's Ferry, Iowa, is one of those river towns that's definitely worth a visit, Revolinski says. "So, that's wild space preserved ... so, the hikes are fun and some are easier than others. It's got the Effigy Mounds National Monument, [which] is like 200 plus Native American effigy mounds."

Along with a great playlist, Revolinski has two more recommendations to bring on a road trip: "I also say pack a cooler, and I don't mean to bring food with you, but to bring food home with you. There's so many places — cheese factories, ... farmers markets or all sorts of things along these road trips."

He adds, "I also am a big fan of the Gazetteer, the map book. Instead of trying to figure out on Google where to go from or where ..., it's much easier to open up a book that's got a sprawling map that gives you the perspective and gives you an idea of what's close by."

And, he says, bird watchers should be sure to also pack some binoculars.


Audrey is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Rob is All Things Considered Host and Digital Producer.
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