Where do the pros go for color-soaked landscapes? Six Wisconsin Trails photographers let us in on a few secrets.
Jerry Luterman, Wisconsin Trails photographer
There is an old saying that goes something like, “I’d rather be lucky than good any day.” For me that luck takes the form of Mirror Lake State Park in Lake Delton. It doesn’t matter if the summer was too dry, the fall too wet, if it’s too windy, too cloudy, or too bright. Somehow I always get great images there. The park has a unique combination of light, hillsides, water, and trees that always brings me back. And as an added bonus: the chance to see some wildlife mixed in with the beautiful foliage.
RJ and Linda Miller, La Crosse
In Milwaukee’s Grant Park, old-growth maple trees drop their gold and orange bounty on the winding trails and wooden bridges. Highlighting the park is a beautiful partially covered footbridge spanning a small canyon. This quiet little park is an urban crown jewel.
Chris Schlosser, Wausau
Dells of the Eau Claire Park in Marathon County, a state natural area, is rich with white pine, hemlock, sugar maples, and birch trees. Under a big stone bridge, water cascades over colorful, cliff-like formations, creating a series of rapids and waterfalls. Visible at water level are ancient potholes carved 10,000 years ago by glaciers. Easy access combined with fall color make this an experience that won’t disappoint you!
Darryl Beers, Green Bay
At Peninsula State Park in Door County, brilliant and intense fall colors can be viewed from a variety of perspectives. Numerous trails and roads create stunning canopies of autumn color to drive, walk, or bicycle under. Shoreline views at lake-level are drop-dead gorgeous. This park has the added advantage of elevated views overlooking Green Bay. My favorite: Sven’s Bluff.
David Sladky, Merrill
The Turtle Flambeau Flowage in Iron County is rich in wild colors. The islands are bunched in the remnants from gold and red sunrises, peaked with evergreens that often twinkle on top with an eagle, and done once again in the shimmering waters. The stirring of fall color in the water and sky makes for a never-ending play of enthusiastic images.
Richard Hamilton Smith, Park Rapids, Minn.
Despite the diversity of lakes, streams, waterfalls, old pastures, hills and valleys, when I wander the trails and backroads of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, I am most enthralled with her trees: the hemlock groves near Namakagon; Owen and Day lakes’ big pines; in places too numerous to list her maple and oak stands with open forest floors carpeted in fern, moss, and mushrooms; the giant birches of the North Country trail; aspen groves in late light near Highway 13; tamarack and spruce swamps near Drummond.
See more photos from these photographers in our Fall Colors photo gallery. This article appeared in the September/October 2008 issue of Wisconsin Trails.
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