Motorcycle Touring in the Midwest

Motorcycle Touring in the Midwest | Change of Season Means Fall Colors
The Gile Flowage west of Hurley, WI is alight with fall colors and shimmering water.

Dawn broke this morning with sound of shotguns booming down along the Lower Wisconsin Riverway. Duck, goose and upland bird hunters have broken out their fall hunting gear from 12 gauge to camouflage and are heading for the great outdoors. With change of seasons comes the opportunity to get out there in the countryside and enjoy the view; the same goes for motorcyclists.

For touring motorcyclists, one of the most popular aspects of this time of year are fall color rides, in groups or solo. While the interstate highways can be great venues to see the colors, slowing down and getting out on more lightly traveled state, county and town roads can be a relaxing way to get close to the colors and the communities.

Wisconsin Fall Colors Motorcycle Riding
While some foliage has muted colors, this ancient sugar maple tree near Hurley, WI puts on a vivid show in the October sun.

So, too, there are great opportunities for rest stops and picture-taking at small parks at the township and county level that often have no fees, unlike some state parks.

In the northern counties of some states, the colors are already getting deep into their change from green to gold, yellow, red, orange and brown. The color season varies depending on locale, altitude and weather in the area.

In parts of the upper Midwest, for example, this season may not be as vibrant as other years due to unusually wet weather conditions in late summer and early fall—at least according to some experts.

So far, we’ve seen evidence of that in the U.P. of Michigan and Wisconsin. On the other hand, some pockets of vivid colors are out there.

To help you plan for some fall color site-seeing, state departments of tourism have set up some websites that can help you know where the best chances of seeing full-on fall colors and when to go. Here are some for the upper Midwest.

Get out there and see the sights!