Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Double your pleasures cruising the fall colors in a vintage plane at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. © Experimental Aircraft Association

Double your pleasures cruising the fall colors in a vintage plane at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh.
© Experimental Aircraft Association

October 2009

Wisconsin Traveler

Of fall flights, sights, and frights

Fall is such a sweet season for the senses – the sounds of feet shuffling through crunchy leaves, the sights of colored leaves fluttering down as you sit on a bench, the earthy smells as the growing season ends, the dreams of hitchhiking on the backs of birds winging their way to where warmer days are still in the forecast. As we reap the fall harvest and can up the garden's goodies, take some time to explore during those all too fast weeks when the landscape is splashed in vivid colors.

Start with the view from on high. Traveler is heading to Oshkosh and the Fall Color Flights at the EAA AirVenture Museum, Wittman Regional Airport, 3000 Poberezny Road. Book a reservation for a 20- to 25-minute ride in a vintage 1927 Ford Tri-Motor aircraft for a bird's-eye view of the dappled fall foliage. The plane seats up to nine passengers. Flights are available every 45 minutes Saturday, October 10 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Sunday, October 11 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For costs and reservations, (920) 426-4886, (920) 426-6840 or EAA AirVenuture Museum.

Rather watch the leaves rush by at eye level? Come aboard for an Autumn Color Weekend Train Ride at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum, E8948 Diamond Hill Road in North Freedom. The 50- minute rides through the Baraboo Hills are offered throughout the day October 9-11 starting at 11:30 a.m. on Friday and at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. In the mood for a romantic night out? Consider the dinner trains at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Looking for more of a family outing? The railway also offers Pumpkin Special rail trips October 17-18 that stop at a patch where you can pick a 'punkin.' Look for the train ride information and special events at Mid-Continent Railway Museum or call (608) 522-4261 or (800) 930-1385 for times and fares.

More in the mood for a quiet stay at a park? Come on over to Kohler-Andrae State Park, 1020 Beach Park Lane in Sheboygan for the Halloween in the Park party on Saturday, October 17th, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Enjoy a guided candlelight hike, pumpkin carving, crafts, star gazing and other entertainment around the campfire. Bring costumes if you have them, but leave your pets at home for this hike, (920) 451-4080.

Want to book your travel through time? Take part in the autumn rituals of preparing the farmstead for winter at Old World Wisconsin, S103 W37890 State Road 67, Eagle from October 10-18. See a steam-powered sawmill cutting logs, pioneer harvesting demonstrations with teams of oxen, and draft horses powering antique farm machinery. Stroll through farmhouses and village homes, enjoy an occasional food sample, and shop for some period goods in the crossroads village's Thomas General Store. Call (262) 594-6300 or email Old World Wisconsin for more information.

Stretch your legs and consider a hayride with or without spooks! Roche-A-Cri State Park in Friendship (1762 State Road 13) hosts a Pumpkin Walk and hayrides on Saturday, October 24 starting at 3 p.m. Games and free face painting are offered at the office picnic area. Non-haunted hayrides run from 3-5 p.m. and haunted rides run from 6-8:30 p.m. for $2 a ride. Join Naturalist Janna Misener for a talk at 4:30 p.m. Then after dusk, walk the mile-long pumpkin-lit mound road. Food and drink will be available, and park admission is free for the program. (608) 339-8088.

For an other-worldly experience, try Caving by Candlelight from 6-8:30 p.m. on Friday, October 23 at the Ledge View Nature Center, W2348 Short Rd. in Chilton. Wear old clothes and join the costumed guides heading down stairs and ladders into the caves. Adults should bring their kids five and older to keep them from getting scared, (920) 849-7094.