Your Middleton fall color guide
Everything you need to know to start planning your fall trip to Middleton.
Days filled with crisp, cool weather and beautiful orange and yellow scenery are right around the corner. Home to scenic parks and natural areas, an excellent trail system and plenty of incredible outdoor recreation options, Middleton offers the perfect fall getaway. Here’s a guide to help you find and enjoy the best fall color this season.
How to catch fall color
In southern Wisconsin, fall color usually peaks mid-to-late October, so check regularly for the latest conditions. Click on the link on this page or here for the Fall Color Report.
Fall color hotspots
Middleton is home to beautiful parks and trails that are perfect places to take in southern Wisconsin’s fall color show. Pheasant Branch Conservancy is a 549-acre protected area with a rich mix of woodlands, restored prairie and marshlands. The trails here are beautifully maintained for biking and hiking; most are ADA-accessible and allow you to bring along your four-legged family members (check the signage beforehand and keep all dogs on a leash, please!). Bird-watchers, runners and photographers also enjoy the conservancy. Several parking lots surrounding the park make accessibility to the trails easy.
Tiedeman Pond Conservancy Area is the ultimate spot to take in the beauty of fall. Here, you’ll find a restored wetland and the 25-acre Tiedeman’s pond, a welcoming destination for birds in fall. A 1-mile peaceful, scenic trail wraps around the pond and includes boardwalk sections.
Here are some other fall color hotspots in and around Middleton:
- Governor Nelson State Park (10 minutes/5.5 miles from downtown Middleton)
- Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor Trail (3 minutes/1 miles from downtown Middleton)
- Pope Farm Conservancy (10 minutes/5 miles from downtown Middleton)
- University of Wisconsin Madison Arboretum (15 minutes/9.5 miles from downtown Middleton)
- UW-Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve (13 minutes/5 miles from downtown Middleton)
- Devil’s Lake State Park (45 minutes/33.5 miles from downtown Middleton)
- Blue Mound State Park (30 minutes/24 miles from downtown Middleton)
- Indian Lake County Park (15 minutes/11.5 miles from downtown Middleton)
Plan an outdoor picnic
Fall can bring some lovely days to Middleton. Grab some delicious food and head to one of the city’s many parks, visit the expansive Pheasant Branch Conservancy, or find a picnic table at Stone Horse Green or the Terrace Avenue Pavilion downtown. Check out more information on packing a picnic in Middleton here.
Bike around Middleton
Enjoy Middleton’s nationally-recognized community trail system. Whether you head out on a trail to Madison, Devil’s Lake or just through the conservancy and the city, you’ll glide through canopies of fantastic foliage. The Middleton Bike Park offers five miles of single-track trails with great scenic views. A new paved pump track is scheduled to open in late 2023.
Play a round at Pleasant View Golf Course
Here, you’ll find a stunning panoramic view of Madison, with the chance to check out 27 holes of championship golf across three nine-hole courses, plus a par-3, executive 9-hole course. Lined with gorgeous trees, the fall foliage is fabulous here.
Relax on the water
Lake Mendota is the perfect place to take in 360-degree views of fall colors. At sunrise or sunset, marvel at the sky’s hues of orange and pink as they reflect off the water as you glide through in your kayak, canoe or boat. Residents and visitors can drop their boats into the water at Marshall Park or rent kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, mega paddle boards, tandem kayaks, canoes, and pontoon boats from Marshall Boats, open 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday in September.
Find a place to play
Middleton’s fall colors are also a good backdrop for your outdoor activities. Bring your pup for some playtime at MRD Dog Exercise Area, let the kids burn off some energy at one of Middleton’s more than 30 parks and natural areas, or cast a fishing rod from Lakeview Park’s ADA-accessible pier; all fishing must be catch and release. There’s a place for everyone in the family to enjoy fall in Middleton; find more recreation options here.
Thinking of staying over? Middleton has nine hotels, from pet-friendly to those with pools and kitchenettes. Check out more here.