Best places to spot fall colors - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Best places to spot fall colors

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Eau Claire (WQOW)- Fall brings many things to mind: pumpkins, Friday night football, cozy sweaters, apple picking and of course, the changing of the leaves. The brilliant colors will fade quickly because snow is looming in the future.

Fall colors are sprouting up around us, and whether you prefer a place to bike, take the family for a walk or go for a Sunday drive, we've got a list of lookout spots, you need to see.

"I don't know how far we're seeing but it's a few miles there," says Don Hodgins of Fanny Hill.

First, for those who like the view but don't like want to be up close and personal, try the deck at Fanny Hill.

"A lot of people come out here because of the beautiful scenery we have. You look out the windows and this is what you see out here," Hodgins says.

It still may be a little too soon. Things like temperature, precipitation and soil condition affect when the leaves change

"What you want to see is ample moisture leading up to the growing season and once fall comes, the dry sunny days and cool frost-free nights are the best conditions for those leaves to change," says Leann Lombardo, WQOW's meteorologist.

But the window of opportunity to see this season's shades comes and goes in the blink of an eye.

"The colors haven't started changing yet. I think in the next two to three weeks things are going to really start popping around here. When the color starts turning out here, it is just beautiful," Hodgins says.

"Here in the Chippewa Valley, we expect the peak to be anywhere from the first week in October to the third week in October. If you're going to be out looking at leaves, you'll want to go when its 50-75 percent because once they start to peak, they'll turn brown really quickly and fall off. So, in order to get the best color, go before it peaks," Lombardo says.

That's the when and why. But weren't you promised where too?

If you're looking for a serene place for a scenic stroll, try the Putnam trail - which runs from UW-Eau Claire's campus to Putnam Drive.

If its family time you're looking for, Rod and Gun Park is where you want to go.

For the biker in you, there is the Chippewa River State Trail.

And for those looking for a winding road for a Sunday drive, try Carson Park.

Those are the top five, tried and true, but don't be afraid to try someplace different and new.

All five of these places are free and open to the public.

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