Wisconsin Dells Fall Foliage Offers Breathtaking Views, Scenic Tours and Incredible Photo Opps


Unexpected Fall Color Viewing
Let's start with fall color viewing, but change it up a bit by offering a few of the more unexpected ways to take in the leafy show in Wisconsin Dells. How about some stock car racing? Dells Raceway Park is a few minutes out of town and this racetrack’s oval bowl is carved out of woodsy acreage, providing a nice color contrast to the black and white finish flag. September 11 is the track's first fall race and it's a sprint car series event complete with fireworks after the race to add even more color to the evening. While the Mid-Continent Railway Museum is also on wheels, it's slow as you go on this 50-minute ride through the countryside known as the Baraboo Hills aboard a restored 1915 steel coach. Train rides depart three times a day on weekends, September 11 through October 24.

The two wineries in the vicinity are tasty stops for leaf peeping and wine sipping. The historic Wollersheim Winery in nearby Prairie du Sac is as picture-perfect as it gets, with a definite feel of Old World Europe that can be traced back to Hungarian Count Agoston Haraszthy who built this winery in the 1840s. There are tours seven times a day for a small fee and free wine tastings. You may want to mark your calendar for Wednesday, October 13 - that's the day of their Ice Wine 2009 release. The Fawn Creek Winery, located on the outskirts of the Dells, is quite new and quite spectacular with its forest-hugged vineyard. The owners there offer wine tastings as well as microbrew tastings.

If you're on the adventurous side, see the fall colorama from above the tree canopy, courtesy of a zip line. Choose from BigFoot Zipline Tours or Wilderness Canyon Zip Line Canopy Tour.

Classic Fall Color Viewing
For those who appreciate the classics, you'll likely gravitate to a Wisconsin River boat tour or Duck tour for fall color viewing. There are several tour companies to choose from including Dells Boat Tours®, Jet Boat Adventures®, Mark Twain Upper Boat Tours, WildThing Jet Boat, Dells Army Duck Tours and the Original Wisconsin Ducks®. Or, if you prefer communing with nature from the vantage point of a saddle, the Dells has a trio of stables to choose from - Canyon Creek Riding Stables, E-Z Roll Riding Stables and Red Ridge Ranch Riding Stable. Not to be overlooked are the state parks in the area - Mirror Lake State Park and Devil's Lake State Park - and the state-designated Rustic Road #49 that snakes 10 miles along the Wisconsin River.

Best Photo Opps
Gone are the days when visitors strolled around town with clunky cameras hanging from their necks. Today's amateur photographers come armed with digital technology and are always on the lookout for primo photo opportunities. Here are a few places the local visitor bureau recommends:

  • Along the downtown RiverWalk. Just east of River Walk Pub, you'll find a spot where you can line up your subject just so and get the river and bluffs in the backdrop with nary an obstruction.
  • The Lower Dells at Mexicali Rose restaurant. The century-old hydroelectric dam in the background will give the photo a sense of history and place.
  • The outdoor deck at Ravina Bay Bar & Grill overlooking Lake Delton on the southern shore of the lake. Look to your right and you'll be able to capture a view clear to the far end of the lake.

The Most Scenic Golf Holes
There are three championship courses in Wisconsin Dells and the pros at each offered their personal recommendations for the most photo-worthy hole on their respective course.

  • At Cold Water Canyon Golf Course at Chula Vista Resort, it's Hole 4 on the original front nine, an island par 3, that director of golf Sean Wenkman likes best for its fall color display. "The original nine was built in the 1920s, so when the mature trees are in full color it's really spectacular."
  • Wild Rock Golf Club, adjacent to the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, is built around and through a former quarry. Chris Goodwick, the club's director, suggests golfers take pause and snap a photo or two on Hole 6. "You can't beat the view from the back tee of Hole 6. It's a par 5, the longest hole at Wild Rock and the tee box is set high on a hill so you can see almost 20 miles to the Baraboo bluffs and the color vista is spectacular."
  • Trappers Turn Golf Club, affiliated with Kalahari Waterpark Resort Convention Center, has 27 holes with scenery so head-turning it could disrupt your golf swing. Director of Instruction Jason Manke didn't hesitate for a moment in saying the finishing hole on the Arbor 9 is his favorite. "It's a downhill par 4 with trees lining both sides of the fairway and Mystic Lake in the background."

View a full Wisconsin Fall Color Report and map.