during the first few weeks of October is like passing through a watercolor painting. Wisconsin
All the regions are fantastic, but Travel and Leisure recently ranked the “Driftless Region” of southwestern
among “America’s Best Fall Color Drives.” Wisconsin
This past weekend, my husband and I had the pleasure of passing along the edge and then through the heart of the region. Trekking to this part of the state has always been one of our favorite pastimes.
On this particular weekend, we traveled Interstate Hwy. 90 to “family weekend” at our daughter’s college; then took a couple of side trips on state highways and county roads through the Driftless Region on the way home.
The leaf colors are changing so fast now, it’s hard to pin down which region is “near peak” or “peak.” But the color in and around the Driftless Region is definitely worth a road trip.
The U.S. Geological Survey describes this region as a “highly eroded, unglaciated” landscape. Much of the area was never covered by glaciers, or contains deposits from the edges of the glaciers. The landforms, plants, and even some animals (bats) are unique to the area.
Here are a few sources that describe the Driftless Region in detail:
to the Madison border passes along the edge and in and out of the Driftless Region. The sections of the interstate in the glaciated regions are just as beautiful. Along the way, Maples, Hickories, Hemlock, Birch, Ash, and Sumac blaze as if on fire. At peak, the Oaks join in with their burgundies, bronzes, golds, and deep browns. Minnesota
Traveling I-90 is easy—with clean, well-tended rest areas and tourist stops along the way. But if you want to see more rustic locales, take a side trip on any of the state or county highways for photo ops, picnic spots, apple orchards, and produce stands.
The sun is setting earlier in the day, so the oblique light highlights plants in shades of color that are hard to adequately capture with a camera, a painter’s brush, or a blogger’s words.
But I have another chance next weekend—we’ll be heading back that way again to see our daughter in her first role in a college play production.
(Thanks to Hanni at Sweet Bean Gardening for hosting the Hope Grows meme. What will I look forward to next month? Maybe a surprise?)