Wisconsin Weekend: Lumberjacks, Pumpkin Chuckin, Film, Wines, Fall Fests, Fall Colors and more!

It’s mid-October, UW-Madison has its Homecoming weekend activities, the Brewers are bringing the NLCS back to Miller Park, the Bucks’ season is underway, the Packers have a bye and fall colors are peaking throughout the state! Fall- and Halloween-themed events abound, as do festivals. Explore some great roads, towns, parks, and more – and take it a few fun activities while you’re at it. There’s always a LOT to do during your Wisconsin weekend. Here are some State Trunk Tour event picks as you explore… Pick Some Roads and GO!!:

Marshfield: Lumberjack Fall Festival & India Festival

Lumberjack Fall Fest in Marshfield

TIMMMMBERRRRR! Power Pac Equipment busts out the axes this weekend with Marshfield’s Lumberjack Fall Fest, happening Saturday, October 20th. Feel the rush of adrenaline as competitors race up poles at lightning speed or saw through twelve inches of aspen with the speed of a modern-day chain saw. Then move to the edge of your seat as they show off their fancy footwork while running on logs or throw axes with the precision of a dart board champion. The show includes numerous entertaining demonstrations including Log rolling, Pole climbing races, Ax throwing, log chopping and sawing, and chainsaw carving. Timberworks will perform three shows, too! Plus, nearby you can take an Indian culture, food, dance, and more at the India Festival on the Marshfield Fairgrounds, which is where they also hold the Central Wisconsin State Fair. Hit U.S. 10 or Highways 13, 80, or 97 to hit “Hub City” and enjoy Marshfield. More…

Kohler: Kohler Food & Wine Experience

Held at The American Club, the Kohler Design Center and adjacent locales, the annual Kohler Food & Wine Experience makes for a delicious and decadent culinary Wisconsin weekend. Explore amazing meals from national and regional chefs and check out the remarkable list of representatives from wineries, distilleries, and more from across the country!

Kohler Food & Wine Experience

The Kohler Food & Wine Experience offers experiences Thursday through Sunday, with a top-notch experience for all who attend. You’ll find Kohler just south of Highway 23, two miles west of I-43. Highways 28, 32, and 42 also bring you close! More…

Union Grove: Great Pumpkin Chuckin Fest & Best of the Midwest BBQ Cook-Off

Great Pumpkin Chuckin Festival, Union GroveNow this is a fun and delicious time for all! The annual Great Pumpkin Chuckin Fest will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20th, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21st, at the Racine County Fairgrounds. Don’t miss out on this smashing fun time! Returning this year is The Best of the Midwest BBQ Cook Off. Over 50 teams will compete for $7,000 in prize money and the title of “The Best of the Midwest,” with costume contests for Kids and Adults. In the Pumpkin Chuckin Competitions, teams will catapult pumpkins as far as the eye can see! Other events include multiple Stage Performances by the Racine Zoo, Food, Vendors, Seasonal Beers, Free Kids Games and Activities, Carnival and Hay Rides, Pumpkin Baking Contests, and so much more. Free Admission and Parking! It all takes place in Union Grove at the Racine County Fairgrounds, off Highway 11 near U.S. 45. More…

Jefferson: Warriors & Wizards Festival

Warriors and Wizards Festival logo

Warriors and Wizardry fans: prepare your wands, cloaks, and brooms and get ready for a magical weekend you’ll never forget! The newly-renamed Warriors and Wizards Festival (formerly named something that rhymes with Barry Votter) brings the magic to Jefferson again in 2018 with all of your favorite activities and vendors– plus a whole range of new experiences for fans of all ages! Enjoy werewolves, wands, magic, broom flying, potion making, and more. Wristbands allow access to specialty events and venues such as live Wizards Chess, Dragon’s Alley, Serpent’s Alley, Festival Village, Quidditch Matches, the Greenhouse, and more! This year they are hosting four very special vehicles from some of your favorite Movies, TMNT Van, Landspeeder X-34, from Star Wars, 1966 Batmobile and the Ecto -1 from Ghostbusters. Check out over 200 vendors and enjoy granted access to free shuttles from parking to the events. U.S. 18 and Highways 26 and 89 bring you to Jefferson, just six miles south of I-94 between Madison and Milwaukee. More…


Flyway Film FestivalPepin, Stockholm, and Maiden Rock: Flyway Film Festival

The 11th annual Flyway Film Festival is held in Pepin, Stockholm, and Maiden Rock with additional dates to be announced in Red Wing, Minnesota. Over 50 national and international independent films will be shown in four venues, with many filmmakers and industry professionals in attendance to interact with audiences via Q&A and networking events. Highway 35, the Great River Road, connects them all! More…


Green Bay: NEW Zoo Boo

NEW Zoo Boo

The NEW Zoo (NE Wisconsin Zoo, that’s what “NEW” stands for) northwest of Green Bay celebrates the NEW Zoo Boo during the Friday-Saturday weekends of October 19-20, and 26-27 this year. Plenty of spooky Halloween fun, trick-or-treating, haunted hay rides, giant inflatables, and all the fun you can have regularly at the zoo are all included as part of the fun! Festivities run 3-8pm each day. Tickets for NEW Zoo Boo are $12 at the gate; children under 2 are admitted free. You can purchase tickets in advance online for $10. Zoo Pass members receive one free entry. No wagon rides will take place on the final weekend or in case of inclement weather. The NEW Zoo is accessible via U.S. 41/141 just north of Green Bay; Highways 29, 32, 54, 57, and 172 are all close by. More…

Wisconsin Dells: Fall Wine Walk

Wisconsin Dells Fall Wine WalkWisconsin Dells is hosting their very first Fall Wine Walk (kind of like their Spring Wine Walk, just in a different season) Saturday afternoon from 3-7pm. The Fall Wine Walk transforms downtown retail establishments and restaurants into wine tasting destinations. Nearly 20 businesses are participating, pairing red and white wine samples with delicious hors d’oeuvres. Your Fall Wine Walk ticket gets you a commemorative wine glass and sample tastings at all the participating stops. All attendees will also receive a booklet listing each wine, so it is easy to remember your favorites! Tickets are $40. This is on top of all the things there are to throughout the Wisconsin Dells and Lake Delton areas, from waterparks to fun shops, museums, and everything else there is to do in Lake Delton and the Dells. I-90/94, US 12, and Highways 13, 16, and 23 bring you there! More…

Milwaukee: Hunting Moon Pow-Wow

Hunting Moon Pow-Wow Logo, 2018Hunting Moon Pow Wow is three days of excitement, bringing together a host of Native American cultures for a celebration of singing, drumming and dancing in the heart of downtown Milwaukee at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. Long a part of Native culture, the pow wow is an important social gathering; it’s a chance for Native people to connect with one another, connect with their vibrant history and traditions, and to connect with non-Native people through the power, beauty and pageantry of the event For over a decade, Hunting Moon Pow Wow has called Milwaukee home. Each year, dancers, drummers and singers gather from across the country to not only socialize, but compete for huge cash prizes—this year totaling over $100,000! Experience the splendor for yourself—Hunting Moon Pow Wow is a celebration not to be missed. Admission is free and open to everyone! You’ll find the UW Milwaukee Panther Arena on Kilbourn Avenue in downtown Milwaukee, bounded to the north and south by U.S. 18 and to the west by Highway 145 right before it ends. It’s within blocks of I-43, I-94, I-794, Highway 32, and within a mile of Highways 38 and 59More…


Hales Corners: China Lights: Panda Mania

The China Lights light up your Wisconsin Weekend through October 21st at Whitnall Park in the Milwaukee suburb of Hales Corners! This year’s theme is China Lights: Panda Mania. Enjoy stunning illuminated sculptures and a look into Asian life and culture. The 9-acre Gardens transform into a magical paradise of enchanting illuminated displays. Dragons, glowing pagodas and iridescent pinwheels add color, vibrancy, and excitement. Check out a backstage tour of the lanterns and participate in the nightly parade. Or simply enjoy wandering through the thrilling spectacle, which includes live performances of music, juggling and other arts. Enjoy a variety of Asian and Western cuisine from numerous local vendors, celebrate Asian culture with entertainment and live performances and a bustling marketplace. The entertainment ramps up Tuesdays through Sundays, 5:30pm-10pm – China Lights is closed Mondays. It’s on now through Sunday, and then it’s done for the year. Highways 24 and 100 bring you there, and I-41/43/894 is right nearby!

China Lights at Boerner Botanical Gardens

Just a small sample of the China Lights last year at Whitnall Park in Hales Corners.

More for your Wisconsin Weekend

There are MANY more events to check out, like Oktoberfest events in Elkhorn, Prairie du Chien, and Evansville.  Check out the Fall Colors Sky Ride at Granite Peak near Wausau, or head to the Fall Colors Train Ride near Osceola through portions of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Explore history, enjoy parks, experience shops, bars, and restaurants, and have FUN! In true State Trunk Tour fashion, Pick Some Roads and GO!!!

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The State Trunk Tour Logo for Wisconsin highways and great trips

Wisconsin highways, road trips, attractions, quirks… just what IS the State Trunk Tour?

The State Trunk Tour is all about Wisconsin highways, drives, road trips and celebrating the fun of the Badger State by selecting state highways and riding them end to end, reporting everything along the way.

Wisconsin’s state highways – the first system of numbered highways in the world (first done in 1917 – which means 2017 marked its 100th anniversary!) – connect all sorts of points of interest, attractions, cities, towns, recreation trails, scenic byways, lakes, rivers, bridges, historical sites, geographic markers, taverns, antique shops… you get the idea.

Wisconsin is one of the most fun and unique states in the country. We’re in the smack dab in the middle of the northern and western hemispheres. We have plenty of “world’s largest” entries: the musky, the corkscrew, a talking cow, an indoor water park, a six-pack, and a can of chili are just some of them. Wisconsin also claims a number of “world’s firsts” and inventions including the snowmobile, malted milk, the hamburger, hydroelectric power, outboard motor, rail-to-trail, and a bunch more.

We have two Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, and beautiful drives along all of them. Dynamic cities like Milwaukee and Madison offer incredible options for things to do. Vacation hot spots like Wisconsin Dells, Lake Geneva, Door County, Minocqua, Eagle River, and Hayward draw people from all over the country. Quaint, relaxing towns like Ephraim, Shullsburg, Hudson, Bayfield, Princeton, Green Lake, Oconomowoc and more offer great boutique shopping and plenty of charm.

Follow one of our Wisconsin highways end-to-end – or in sections – and enjoy everything along the way. Sample Featured Routes below or pick your own from the State Trunk Tours menu. We’ll help guide you, provide fun history, insight, and trivia, and welcome your feedback and additions as we continue to build our web and mobile sites. We’re on a new platform, adding and updating more routes, attractions, photos, points of interest and more constantly, so check back often. Updates will be sent out via Facebook and Twitter, of course!

"Wind around from a Genoa lock through the Driftless Area"

State "Trunk" Highway 56 runs through the beautiful Driftless Area from the Mississippi River to the middle of Richland County, near Richland Center. The hilly landscape makes for beautiful vistas and it's very pleasant drive through farmlands and small towns like Viola and Viroqua - and even some places that don't start with the "v."...

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"Coast to Coast covering Circuses, Canoes, and Coulees (and more)"

State “Trunk” Highway 33 is a "coast-to-coast" state highway, connecting La Crosse on the Mississippi with Port Washington's scenic harbor on Lake Michigan. From the big blue waters of the Great Lake to the beautiful coulees framing La Crosse, you encounter hairpin turns in what seems like a mountain range, Baraboo's famous Circus Museum, ski slopes of Cascade Mountain, the natural wetlands of Horicon Marsh, and some of the best canoeing in the nation along the Kickapoo. It's a great cross-section of southern Wisconsin....

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Historic Mindoro Cut on the original route of Highway 108

"'Cutting' between West Salem and Melrose"

State “Trunk” Highway 108 is a short but very scenic ride through Wisconsin's "Driftless Area". A popular motorcycle ride as well as drive or bike ride, Highway 108 is best known for the "Mindoro Cut", which cuts through a particularly beautiful area where the highway twists, turns and zigzags. Highway 108 has essentially been the same route since 1919...why mess with such a great drive?...

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LaCrosse Brewery

La Crosse To Lake Country

A former U.S. highway, State “Trunk” Highway 16 comes in from Minnesota at La Crosse and works its way toward Milwaukee through routes so popular they were supplanted by Interstates in most areas. Paralleling I-90 and/or I-94 much of the way, Highway 16 goes through many of the towns the interstate highways bypass. Highway 16 used to continue into downtown Milwaukee and across Lake Michigan on a ferry to Muskegon, where it then ran all the way to downtown Detroit just short of the Canadian border, hey. Today, though, it ends at I-94 in Milwaukee's western suburbs, but not before passing by a ton of interesting things along its almost 200-mile journey....

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Wisconsin Fall Color Report

Real Racine Fall 2018
Visit Marshfield via State Trunk Tour
GO Chippewa Falls