Wandering Wisconsin helps you plan a fall getaway | WUWM 89.7 FM

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Wisconsin is home to 50 state parks, over 40 historical landmarks, and of course, plenty of great beer and cheese. With so many unexpected adventures and places to discover, why not plan your next vacation right here in our home country?

We have teamed up with Wisconsin trip to help you achieve it. Wandering Wisconsin is our new monthly conversation where we bring you suggestions for places to visit across the state. To get started, we’ll help you plan a fall getaway.

Autumn colors

You could plan an entire vacation just around Wisconsin’s beautiful fall colors and Travel Wisconsin has a resource to help you do just that. Their fall color report is an interactive map that shows the state of the leaves’ progression from green to peak colors, according to Amanda Weibel, communications manager for Travel Wisconsin.

“And when you select a location, you can also find nearby restaurant and accommodation recommendations, as well as three-day weather forecasts to make planning your trip as easy as possible,” she says.

Wisconsin is almost half covered in forest, so there are endless places to experience the colors and different ways to enjoy them like on foot, by bike, or by car. One unique way Weibel suggests enjoying the fall colors is by using a kayak or canoe.

One way to enjoy Wisconsin’s fall colors – by canoe.

“It’s just such a great experience to be on the water [to] have the contrast of that water or the reflection of the leaves,” says Weibel. “It makes the fall color even more spectacular, and a great place to check out is the Kickapoo Water Trail in the Driftless region. There are outfitters along the river who can help you with equipment rentals and shuttle services, making the trip even easier, and you can just enjoy your way along the Kickapoo River. “

Kickapoo River Valley
Distance from Milwaukee: approx. three hours

If you want to stay closer to Milwaukee, Weibel also recommends Holy Hill Basilica for taking in the fall colors.

“Built nearly a century ago which sits on top of a hill formed by glaciers during the ice age. And there are 178 steps to reach the top of this viewing tower, but it is well worth the effort you’ll be able to see for miles above that colorful canopy,” she says.

sacred hill
Distance from Milwaukee: approx. 40 minutes

Farm visit

While you’re enjoying the fall colors, you might as well partake in another essential part of any fall getaway – a stop at a farm.

Skelly Farm Market in Janesville offers pumpkin picking, apple cider and hay rides. But Skelly’s big draw is their elaborate corn mazes. They were one of the first farms in the country to start making corn mazes.

Corn Mazes at Skelly's Farm Market

Skelly Farm Market

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Wisconsin trip

You can find two elaborate corn mazes at the Skelly Farmer’s Market in Janesville.

Scott Skelly, Skelly’s Director of Amusement, explains: “This year, for our 25th year, we really wanted to mix things up and we actually have two mazes on our farm – one six-acre, one nine-acre. And the six-acre maze, we just innovated with something really new this year, it’s like an escape room in the corn maze. So you find clues and when you get to the end of the maze you have to actually unlock a real door to get out of the maze based on the clues and keys you find as you go.Then in the impossible maze it’s really a great experience.We made it a life-size video game. As you go through the maze, you find different lost fruits or vegetables and you get points and scores and you can see how you compare to other people who have been through the maze, all using your smartphone to scan.

Another unique thing that Skelly offers is choose-your-own hay rides.

Skelly Farm Market
Distance from Milwaukee: approx. one hour and 30 minutes

If you want to make an entire weekend of a trip to Skelly’s, there are dining and shopping destinations in downtown Janesville – like the Sandwich bar. Adorn Janesville sells ethically made clothing, jewelry, accessories and gifts if you want to get into some holiday shopping. AND, you can also check out the The glass garden where you can try your hand at making your own stained glass creations.

And of course, you’ll need a place to stay when planning your fall weekend.

“There are only a few neat local hotels, whether you’re on the Rock River in downtown Janesville, there are even bed and breakfasts. If camping is your thing, you know we have Koshkonong Lake not too far which has campgrounds and other places nearby. So always a good time to get out there and find a good place to stay and enjoy the whole weekend,” says Skelly.

Wandering Wisconsin is a partnership between WUWM and Travel Wisconsin. You can hear them every month on Lake Effect.

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