People go out to enjoy fall colors before they peak

The trees are bursting with colors, and people want to enjoy them before they're past their peak
Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 5:54 PM CDT
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MENASHA, Wis. (WBAY) - It’s like walking into a painting.

Autumn leaves are bursting with color this time of year, and thousands of people are taking the opportunity to visit hiking trails and parks to enjoy the sights before the leaves reach their peak.

Mid-October is the peak season for many counties. Staff at Heckrodt Wetland Reserve in Menasha see thousands of visitors stopping by to enjoy the maple, oak and birch trees that are carpeting the forest in red and gold.

“It’s gorgeous out there. I just took a walk and I was like, ‘Yep, it’s peak.’ The reds and the yellows and the oranges, the trees, it’s just amazing,” said Andrea Bierbrauer, Heckrodt naturalist and early childhood program manager.

The decomposing leaves also give off a smoky, earthy scene -- a familiar and welcome smell for some people we talked with.

“I don’t know how you describe a fall smell, but it just smells great.”

The walk in the woods is an exciting time for all ages.

“Yesterday we had a group of kids learning about leaves. We were jumping in and raking and doing all sorts of things,” Bierbrauer said.

Michael Yarroch brought his son to the wetland reserve to enjoy the fall colors.

“The leaves are spectacular. They’re coming down a little but now, but there’s still a lot of beautiful color here in Heckrodt, so it’s a beautiful place to be and see all the changing colors,” Yarroch said.

Travel Wisconsin says the northern half of our viewing area, from Green Bay northward, has reached or passed its peak. The southern half of the viewing area still has about a week of painting to do. So when you’re out and about this fall season, don’t forget to stop and look up.

“And enjoy the fall leaves, because the winter snow is just around the corner,” Bierbrauer said.