Each year I try and make one new Wisconsin River canoeing trip. Last year it was the Flambeau River in October. I timed it perfectly for fall color. After my trip was over, I was not ready to throw in the towel and head back to Chicago. It was too amazing up here. I extended my trip and headed north to experience Copper Falls State Park fall color. It was definitely worth the extra hour drive north.
Copper Falls State Park fall color
The most noteworthy draw to the park is of course the waterfall that is the namesake of the park. There is much more to the park than just Copper Falls. There are several other smaller falls, great hiking, an observation tower, and if you come in early October, great fall foliage. My trip occurred the first week of October, which was October 9-11th if you are interested in timing your trip for a similar time. Each fall, Travel Wisconsin has a fall color chart if you can manage planning a trip at the last minute.
Most of the action at this park takes place at the hiking trail that begins at the end of the park drive. Just drive to the end and park and hike the 1.7 mile Doughboys Trail. Most of the waterfall action is found just off of this trail including Copper Falls and the smaller but scenic Brownstone Falls. The observation tower is a short but uphill jaunt just off the Doughboys Trail.
North Country National Scenic Trail
If 1.7 miles is not enough trail for you, don’t sweat it because there are 17 miles of trails in the park. If that is still not enough, the North Country National Scenic Trail bisects the park. This trail will be over 4,600 miles when finished. That should quench your adventurous appetite.
I did not have time for 17 miles much less 4,600 when I visited the park; however, I did get off the Doughboys Trail and walk a couple of miles up the North Country Trail. There were tons of people on the falls trail, but I did not see a soul on the North Country Trail. The outfitter I rented the canoe from on the Flambeau suggested I check out the backpacker campsite. I am glad I did because it is beautiful, and I plan to return and camp here someday. Perhaps someday I will do the 4,600 mile trail, and I will camp here.
Returning the loop
After checking out the backpacking site along the North Country Trail, I doubled back to the Doughboys after taking a picture of the most picturesque toilet ever. I continued to enjoy the fall colors as I looked out over the Bad River, which created the gorgeous gorge. Hiking this trail made me think of the rock group U2 for two reasons as the song Bad is one of their best, and they also made an early album called October.
After about three or four hours wandering through a yellow, orange, and red wonderland, I returned to my car and started heading south. Copper Falls State Park is another amazing destination in the great Wisconsin state park system.
The goal of Traveling Ted is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then sign up for the email newsletter. Notifications are sent out once or twice a month with what is new with Traveling Ted’s adventures. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).