And just like that, it’s Autumn on the National Forest

September 22, 2021

Acting Public Affairs Specialist: D-A Brabazon


And just like that, it’s Autumn on the National Forest Knowing where and when to look is key to leaf-peeping.

Rhinelander, Wis., Sept. 22, 2021— Noticeably cooler temperatures and shorter days have a colorful effect on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Forest visitors and local residents bear witness to this change in the vibrant multi-colored pallet of the landscape. Whether by foot, bike, or motorized vehicle, knowing when to look is as crucial as knowing where to look.

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has tips for optimizing fall’s colors and leaf-peeping pleasure. In the northern portion of the forest is the Washburn Ranger District. The best places for foliage viewing include the Two Lakes Campground, the Lake Owen Boat Landing and Shelter, and Forest Road 223 north out of Drummond.

The Great Divide Ranger District, with offices in Glidden and Hayward, boasts a colorful stretch along Lake Namekagon on County Highway D and the Penokee Range Trail on County Highway GG west of Mellen. Morgan Falls and Clam Lake are also great backdrops for a weekend outing to catch the color.

On the Medford-Park Falls Ranger District, the visitors can leaf peep at the Mondeaux Flowage and Mondeaux Dam Recreation Area, Round Lake Dam, and maybe even for squeezing in a fall weekend camping trip to the Chippewa campground.

In the east, the Eagle River-Florence Ranger District has numerous water features with glorious colors. The Forest Road 2181/Military Road Scenic Byway into Franklin Lake Campground and the Luna and Anvil Lake Campgrounds provide great fall camping or day-use opportunities.

Lastly, the Mountain Fire Lookout Tower on the Lakewood-Laona Ranger District provides a bird’s-eye view of the forest canopy from high. A mountain bike adventure on Ed’s Trail, located southeast of Crandon, follows several early 1900’s railroad grades through various forest types. State Highway 55 also provides a nice drive for leaf peepers.