Washington County Fall colors
Just 35 minutes northwest of Milwaukee, the pace slows down, the smiles get bigger, and the rolling hills of the Kettle Moraine take people to Washington County, known for its beauty and friendly people.
Washington County is full of lakes, hunting grounds, hiking and biking trails, dog friendly parks, historical attractions mixed with modern museums, festivals and farmers markets.
The Washington County Park System includes more than 1,200 acres of breathtaking views, wooded trails and serene lakes and ponds. Outside activities include bike trails for all stages of bike riding, hiking, picnicking, boating, canoeing, fishing. In winter, the parks are bustling with activities such as ice-fishing, sledding, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.
Award-winning golf courses lure golfers through three seasons, and two ski hills beckon during winter.
Designed for strolling and exploring are quaint downtowns in communities such as Richfield, Germantown, West Bend Jackson, Hartford, Slinger and Kewaskum.
In Richfield, Holy Hill Road leads to the Basilica of Holy Hill, the Shrine of Mary, open to the public and with more than 400 acres of scenery. At Richfield Historical Park, an 1870 gristmill and 1900s farmhouse provide a picturesque outing. richfieldhistoricalsociety.org
In Germantown, the historic Dheinsville Settlement includes original buildings from its commercial past, while the Bast Bell Museum houses more than 5,000 bells.
West Bend boasts the Museum of Wisconsin Art. The Old Courthouse & Jail Museums find new fans around Halloween. (Oct. 31-Nov. 1 there are paranormal tours!) historyisfun.com.
Jackson is in the center of Washington County, with the Jackson Marsh Wildlife Area a Mecca for hunters, birders and other outdoor enthusiasts.
Hartford, close to the Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, provides great hikes and views as well as a charming downtown area. (Autumn Fest is Oct. 5.) downtownhartfordwi.com.
Don't miss these amazing Attractions
The Museum of Wisconsin Art West Bend
Collects and exhibits contemporary and historical art from the state of Wisconsin. wisconsinart.org
Wisconsin Auto Museum Hartford
Features an ever-changing display of classic and vintage autos and artifacts. wisconsinautomuseum.com
Dheinsville Settlement Germantown
A registered national landmark, 1850's original German settlement. germantownhistoricalsociety.org
and Pink Pumpkin Run
Oct. 5 / Pink Pumpkin Run starts at 9am followed by a festival with artisans, crafters, food, and music.
Food Truck Festival
Oct. 5 / Enjoy delicious food and entertainment. wcfairpark.com
Oct. 11 / Dress in your Halloween best and trick or treat downtown.
Downtown West Bend
Oct. 13 / A day of family fun with activities for kids and adults at Homestead
at The Hill
Oct. 26 / Find antiques, unique gifts and great food.