RV Vacation: Fall Colors

Sep 28 2015

Summer is coming to a close and fall is on the way quicker than you can say “pumpkin spice latte!” You’re starting to get excited about all of your favorite fall activities like watching football games, gathering around the campsite bonfire and visiting the pumpkin patch. You can almost hear the crunch of all those colorful leaves under your feet!  So, why not really get into the season by taking a scenic fall road trip to take in all the bright reds, yellows, and ambers that Mother Nature has to offer?

We’re offering several RV road trip ideas that will have you running to your closet to put on your favorite fall sweater. Grab your keys! We’re hitting the road to see some of the best spots for fall color in the Midwest!

MACKINAW CITY, MICHIGAN

Located on the northern tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, Mackinaw City provides a picturesque fall experience right on the shore of Lake Superior. If you feel like getting out on the water, catch a ferry to visit Mackinac Island for the day, where you can get a horse-drawn carriage ride around the island and see the famous Mackinac Island Inn.  You will see a lot of bright fall colors while you’re here, and you can even take the Mackinaw City Fall Color Tour.  Don’t forget to sample the fudge and caramel apples!  There’s a shop on just about every corner ready to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Where to stay:

Tee Pee Campground

Only one mile from Mackinaw City, this beachside campground has spectacular views of the water. There are nightly beach bonfires, walking and bike trails and a free shuttle to the Mackinaw ferries.

WINONA, MINNESOTA

This southern Minnesota river town has some spectacular fall color.  The tree-covered bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River valley along the Great River Road are painted red and yellow each fall, with plenty of trails and parks to stop and explore. The downtown area has a thriving arts scene, too. Or try your kayaking skills and watch for migrating waterfowl.  Winona is one of the prime spots in the entire country every fall for birdwatching as huge flocks migrate south for the winter.

Where to stay:

Prairie Island Campground

This campground is located near the bank of the Mississippi River. This site offers fishing, canoe rental, putting greens and more.

LAKE MACBRIDE/ PALISADES KEPLER STATE PARKS, IOWA

These eastern Iowa State Parks are at their best in the fall.  Lake Macbride is a family favorite because it has plenty of activities for everyone from hiking, fishing or paddling the lake in a canoe.  You can even rent a pontoon boat and glide along the shore to see all the colors.  Just a few miles north at the Palisades is an 840 acre park filled with towering hardwood trees along a scenic stretch of the Cedar River.  Along the miles of hiking trails and limestone bluffs you’ll see Indian burial mounds and maybe a few fossils – a molar tooth of a mammoth was once found here.  But keep looking up – the fall leaves steal the show.

Where to stay:

Lake Macbride Campground

Located at Iowa’s largest state park, this campground is close to the lake, plenty of hiking trails and boat rentals.

DOOR COUNTY, WISCONSIN

This is the “fingertip” of Wisconsin that juts out and separates Lake Michigan from Green Bay, and it is absolutely ablaze with color in the fall.  It’s sometimes called the Cape Cod of the Midwest.  Miles of winding two-lane roads link quaint towns and villages.  There are orchards bursting with apples to pick and roadside stands where you can find the perfect pumpkin.  The shoreline offers some of the Midwest’s most beautiful views.  You can also join in a Door County tradition with nightly “fish boils.”  Fresh whitefish are cooked in big iron pots over wood fires on the beach, offering visitors the perfect ending to a crisp, fall day as you watch the sun go down.

Where to stay:

Wagon Trail Campground

Located within walking distance of Lake Michigan, this wooded site is the perfect place to see some fall colors.

MARK TWAIN NATIONAL FOREST, MISSOURI

The Mark Twain National Forest winds through 29 different counties in Missouri, giving you lots of room to explore and see the fall colors.  Just 80 miles southwest of St. Louis, the Arcadia and Black River area is a world away in the Ozark Mountains.  Hiking and mountain biking trails abound, and after being out in the fall air you may want to stop by one of the many local wineries.  If you see pink elephants, don’t worry.  Elephant Rocks State Park is a favorite for kids.  Giant pink granite stones stand trunk to tail, looking just like circus elephants on parade.

Where to stay:

Big Creek RV Park

At this campground you will be in the middle of the Ozark Mountains, right on the bank of Big Creek.

So, are your ready to get in the RV and head out on your fall adventure?  No matter which compass point you choose, some of the country’s best fall colors are just down the road.  Pack up your camera, grab your sweater and get ready to enjoy some of the best leaf-peeping you’ll ever experience!