Five Ways to Enjoy the Fall Colors in Door County

Evidence of the coming fall season slowly creeps onto Door County trees.

Evidence of the coming fall season slowly creeps onto Door County trees.

We’ve turned the Labor Day corner, and that means Fall will soon sweep northern Door County, dusting her with a panorama of exquisite colors. The peninsula’s later spring ensures our fall arrives later as well, making the Door one of the later counties to update her emerald summer foliage to warmer fall hues. Travel Wisconsin’s handy “Fall Color Report” predicts Door County’s colors peak the third week in October. Just traveling to Door County is sure to provide plenty of breathtaking vistas. A walk or run through the woods is always lovely as well, but here are some other ways to get your fall fix. 


View from Land

Take a bike ride in Peninsula State Park. Bring your own wheels or rent some at Edge of Park Bicycle & Moped Rental  in Fish Creek, and hop on the Sunset Trail. The entire trail winds through marshes and to the tops of scenic overlooks to make a nearly 10-mile ride—or much less, depending on how you choose your adventure. 

Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in 13 minutes (7.9 miles)

Perhaps the most iconic photo of Wisconsin is the very last mile of Highway 42 in the fall. You’ve seen it: the road glistening with fresh rainfall, the leaves practically on fire converging around the whimsical road. Go for a leisurely fall colors drive, ending in Northport, and you’ll get to photograph this classic, serpentine stretch of road for yourself. 

Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in 30 minutes (20.7 miles)


Over a Drink

On your way back down the peninsula, choose a waterfront spot to enjoy both the leaves and the lapping waves. The Shoreline Restaurant in Gills Rock overlooks Hedgehog Harbor, offering diners a view of the colors on the opposite shore. 

Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in 26 minutes (19 miles)

Ephraim’s Eagle Bluff gets a kaleidoscope makeover in the middle of October, and the perfect spot to take it in is from the porch of the Old Post Office Restaurant. Attend a fish boil dinner or sip a glass of wine as the sun sinks over the fall colors.

Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in 12 minutes (8.6 miles)


Up in the Air

Cana Island Lighthouse is one of several well-maintained lights in Door County that offer guided tours to the top of the tower. Cana Island’s unique location provides views of the Baileys Harbor Boreal Forest to the northwest and Bues Point to the south west. Take in the fall palette from a new perspective.

Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in 14 minutes (6.5 miles)


Though the third week in October will bring the most brilliant colors, any time in October is sure to offer bright blue skies, crisp, faintly smoky breezes, and a tableau of fall colors. Settle back onto your balcony at the Blacksmith Inn after a day of chasing that perfect autumn photo and enjoy the gorgeously seasonal view of Baileys Harbor. Reserve your headquarters for fall colors here.