Personally, I love when the Fall colors come out in Door County. There’s just something about driving with the shore on one side and a colorful bluff on the other side of the road.
I would love for you to experience this, too. That’s why I wrote this post, to help you experience the Fall colors in Door County.
Here is what we’ll cover in this post:
- Are the Fall colors out in Door County?
- Lodging to See the Fall Colors
- Where to see the fall colors in Door County
- When are the Fall colors usually out in Door County?
- How long are the Fall colors out in Door County?
- Why do leaves change colors in the Fall?
- Why do deciduous trees lose their leaves in the Fall?
- Frequently asked questions
Are the Fall Colors Out in Door County in 2023?
Yes, the Fall Colors are out in Door County in 2023.
Colors are now very visible in Door County. The Fall foliage is beautiful. Now is the time to visit Door County for leafpeeping. However, peak Fall colors are yet to come.
Check back to this post frequently, because we will update this status to let you know when you can expect to see the Fall colors in Door County. The peak time for Fall colors in Door County is estimated to be the 2nd week of October.
Fall Colors Status as of October 2, 2023
The following picture was taken on County Road D, near Forestville, Door County, Wisconsin. There is still significant green on the trees, but also some vivid colors. Leave have not reached their peak.
Fall Colors Status as of September 22, 2023
The following picture was taken just south of Jacksonport, Door County, Wisconsin. Leaves are starting to turn beautiful colors in areas of Door County. They have not reached their peak.
Fall Colors Status as of September 19, 2023
The following picture was taken in Forestville, Door County, Wisconsin on September 19, 2023. Currently, most of the leaves are still green, but some leaves are starting to turn a little bit yellow.
Lodging to See the Fall Colors
There’s lots to do in Door County in the Fall besides seeing the Fall Colors. Make it a multi-day trip!
Read our article on the best hotels in Door County for a good starting place to find lodging.
Where to See the Fall Colors in Door County in 2023
Here are some of the best places to see the Fall colors in Door County:
Door County Fall Colors Drives
Here are some of the best drives to see the Fall Colors in Door County.
Sturgeon Bay to Egg Harbor via Bayshore Drive
This is one of the prettiest drives in Door County, and one of the best drive to see the Fall colors.
It takes you right along the shore of Green Bay. That alone makes it an amazing drive.
But, there are also high bluffs on the other side of the road for several sections. Those bluffs have hardwood trees, and fields separate the bluffs from the road.
Those are perfect conditions to get good views of the Fall colors.
Imagine driving along Bayshore Drive as the golden hues of the sun setting over Green Bay bathe the colorful trees in amber light.
That’s what you can experience by taking this drive when the Fall colors are out in Door County.
Baileys Harbor to Ephraim Area via County Road Q
Get off the beaten track with this meandering drive on the east side of the peninsula. This will take you through some of the most ecologically significant and unsettled portions of Door County. A great place to see the Fall colors.
Jacksonport to Ephraim via County Road A
This drive is a little different than the other two I suggested. Instead of a winding road along the shore, it’s a straight one through the middle of the peninsula.
But, I think this is a great one to view the Fall colors. Here’s why:
This road goes through a high area on the peninsula, and there are lots of farm fields along it.
This means that you will get good views of the forested areas on the other side of the farm fields.
Give this one a try to see the Door County Fall colors.
Eagle Tower at Peninsula State Park
The Eagle Tower at Peninsula State Park is another great place to see the Fall colors in Door County. This amazing structure will elevate you over the treeline, giving you an amazing view of the leaves below.
Ula Street Park in Fish Creek
This park is across the bay from Peninsula State Park. At the right conditions, it will give you views of the forested bluffs of Peninsula State Park and all the colorful trees on them.
When Are the Fall Colors Usually Out in Door County?
This changes every year based on many variables, including air temperatures, rainfall, and wind conditions.
Usually, you can count on the Fall colors being out in Door County in early through mid-October.
Check back to this page, as we will keep it updated to let you know if the Fall colors are out.
How Long Are the Fall Colors Out in Door County?
The Fall colors are usually out in Door County for a period of two weeks. However, this can depend on many conditions such as rainfall, wind, and temperature.
The Fall colors do not stay out long, so if they are out, you need to move quickly to see them.
Why Do Leaves Change Color in the Fall?
In the fall, leaves change colors because of a special process called photosynthesis. During the spring and summer, leaves make food for the tree by using sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. They contain a green pigment called chlorophyll that helps with this process and makes the leaves look green.
As the days get shorter and the weather becomes cooler in the fall, the trees get a signal to prepare for winter. They stop making food and the chlorophyll breaks down and disappears from the leaves. With the green pigment gone, other colors that were hidden in the leaves start to show up.
These hidden colors are caused by different pigments in the leaves. For example, some leaves turn yellow because of pigments called carotenoids, which are always present but get masked by the dominant green chlorophyll. Other trees, like maples, turn vibrant red or purple because of pigments called anthocyanins, which are produced when the weather becomes cool.
The mix of pigments in each leaf determines the final color we see. Trees with more carotenoids may have leaves that turn yellow or orange, while those with lots of anthocyanins can have red or purple leaves. The unique combination of pigment colors makes autumn a beautiful and colorful time of the year!
Why Do Deciduous Trees Lose Their Leaves in the Fall?
In the Fall, deciduous trees lose their leaves as part of a smart plan to survive the colder months. During the spring and summer, leaves work hard to make food for the tree using sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide through a process called photosynthesis. These leaves contain a green pigment called chlorophyll, which makes them look green.
As the days become shorter and the weather gets colder in the Fall, deciduous trees receive signals to start shedding their leaves. The changing seasons act as a natural alarm clock for the trees, telling them that winter is coming. They know that it will be hard to get enough water and sunlight during the cold season. So, to conserve energy and water, the trees stop making food, and the chlorophyll in the leaves breaks down, revealing the other colors that were hidden beneath the green.
The process of leaves falling is called “abscission.” The trees produce a special layer of cells that forms where the leaf stem meets the tree’s branch. This layer gradually weakens and severs the connection between the leaf and the tree. As a result, the leaves eventually fall off. This clever adaptation helps the tree save water and energy during the winter when it’s harder to grow and thrive.
When the leaves have fallen, the trees enter a state of rest called dormancy. During dormancy, the tree slows down its growth and metabolic processes. It becomes like a sleeping bear, conserving energy to survive the winter. In spring, when the days get longer and the weather warms up, the trees wake up from their winter slumber, and new leaves begin to grow again, starting the cycle anew.
Frequently Asked Questions
The peak time to see Fall colors is usually mid-October, but it can vary each year.
Some of the best places to see Fall foliage in Door County include Bayshore Drive, Peninsula State Park, and County Road Q.
Yes, many places for Fall color viewing, like parks and roadsides, are free to visit and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Summary: Door County Fall Colors 2023
- The Fall foliage is usually visible in Door County in mid-October.
- The Fall colors are usually out in Door County for a period of about two weeks.
- Good places to view the Fall colors in Door County include Peninsula State Park, Bayshore Drive, and County Road Q.
- Leaves change color when chlorophyll breaks down, revealing hidden pigments.
- Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the Fall as a strategy to conserve energy and water.