Tip Line: 414-777-5808 | newsdesk@cbs58.com

Experts say leaves fell sooner in Wisconsin this year, changing color faster

A wet spring and summer followed by dry conditions these past two months have leaves falling earlier in Wisconsin and changing color faster.

That's according to Bradley Herrick at the UW Madison Aboretrum.

"The recent warm temps have exacerbated the lack of rainfall through additional water loss in trees and soil," Herrick tells CBS 58 News.

Wisconsin Travel Best Bets is out with its list of the best fall colors and say this weekend might just be the best time to get out there.

Kettle Moraine State Forest, located near West Bend, about 45 minutes northwest of Milwaukee

•You can hike, bike, camp, fish, canoe/kayak

•This area was formed by glaciers which changed the landscape adding kettles and eskers, ridges and cliffs

•Parnell Tower Loop Trail, hiking 3.5 mile loop, series of steps that lead to the highest point in the forest and climb the 60-foot observation tower overlooking the treetops

•New Fane Loop System Trails Biking Four loops of moderately challenging mountain biking trails (5.5 miles total)

Interconnects with 4 loops of hiking trails (nearly 8 miles) Area is thickly forested, skirts a large pond

•Need an admission sticker to the park and a trail pass is required for bikers 16 and over

Bong State Recreational Area, near Brighton in Kenosha County

•Great spot to bring the ATV or an off-highway motorcycle

•Visitor Center Nature Trail

•An easy 30 minute walk

• Open grasslands, through a restored prairie

•Cross a boardwalk overlooking beautiful Wolf Lake where you’ll see tons of migrating waterfowl

•Vista Nature Trail, slightly longer walk, can take up to an hour, but is less used than the Visitor Center Trail so there’s more natural beauty to behold.

Hiawatha Trail and Bear Skin State Trail

•Trails run from Tomahawk (Lincoln County) to Minocqua (Oneida County)

• 3.5 hours northwest of Milwaukee

•Both trails are former railroads

•33 miles to explore

•easy trail to hike or bike

•Trail passes through fun city parks - great for kids

•These counties are FULL of lakes and rivers - you’ll cross over water more than a dozen times

•Look for herons, wood ducks

•Need a trail pass for bikers 16 and over

Schmeeckle (sch-MEEK-lee) Reserve

•Located in Stevens Point

•2.5 hours northwest of Milwaukee

•Several cool trails here

•280-acre natural area on the UW-Stevens Point campus

•5 miles of trails and walks; mostly designed for walking

•Winds through pine forests, meadows, cattail marshes, prairie, oak woodlands and through wetlands

•Trail of Reflections, short, half-mile loop that it wheelchair accessible.

• Includes a reflection pond and a treehouse, great spot for wildlife viewing (birds, fox, deer, waterfowl)

•Lake Loop Trail, a one-mile jaunt that loops around Lake Joanis

•Come early to see the fog that forms over the water in the fall, bring your camera

Share this article: