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fall color in lake geneva

Brilliant orange sugar maples provide a backdrop to the pier at Covenant Harbor Bible Camp on Geneva Lake.






















Last week I went to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in search of fall color to photograph for an upcoming book on trees and shrubs. As a guest of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and the Walworth County Visitors Bureau, I was treated to gracious hospitality and peak fall color. The wealthy of the Midwest who built their summer homes around Geneva Lake employed famous landscape architects such as Frederick Law Olmsted to ensure that they would have beautiful, extended fall color on their waterfront estates.

Current visitors to the area can take advantage of this planned color extravaganza. In a unique twist in local regulations and covenants, the public has direct access to the lakefront yards of these estates by means a footpath that encircles the entire lake. I hiked several sections of the 21-mile-long trail, took advantage of more distant views afforded on the mail-delivery tour boat run by Lake Geneva Cruise Line, and split the difference by kayaking along the shore, too, in a kayak supplied by Clear Water Outdoor. Scroll down to see more of the autumnal beauty that I was treated to on these jaunts.

Even the Baker House, the lovely boutique hotel where I stayed, got into the fall color act. Right outside their main entrance, they have witch hazel which was in bloom as well as sporting a healthy display of autumn gold. The entire press tour group got a taste of Baker House hospitality at a reception in their restaurant and on the hotel grounds on Tuesday evening. But I was fortunate enough to enjoy the superb service of their staff for my entire stay in Lake Geneva. The hotel is conveniently located just a couple of blocks from downtown and the Riviera boat docks. The public boat launch (where I put in with the kayak) is almost directly across the street. And, it’s right on the lake path. It made for a wonderful combination of convenience and luxury!

The Baker House has a restaurant on the lower level and luxurious French-themed guest rooms on the second floor. Owners Bethany Souza and Andrew Fritz live with their family on the third floor.

The yellow straplike blooms of witch hazel are often overlooked because they bloom at the same time that the leaves turn gold.

Purple, maroon, and red Boston ivy foliage dresses up this concrete wall.

Weeping willow leaves catch the golden glow of late afternoon sun.

Golden leaves of green ash stand out against a pure blue sky.

A fiery sugar maple shades the Lake Geneva footpath.

6 Responses to “ fall color in lake geneva ”

  1. Thank you for capturing “my backyard” perfectly! Spectacular color!!

  2. You’re welcome, Raven! I had a wonderful time in Lake Geneva. Thanks for your hospitality!

  3. Beautiful colors!!! I live in Southern California and I dont see much of a season change when it comes to leaves, thanks!!

  4. Very beautiful! We live at Alaska and don’t have such beauty here

  5. You should visit it the Spring, Summer and Winter, too! It is a place of four-season interest.

    If you like trees, from the lake in the summer, you can see an enormous baldcypress that stands out spectacularly and is worth the visit.

  6. Check out Lazy Cloud Inn in Lake Geneva, WI also if you are looking for fall colors. Each of their suites have their own private deck or patio which overlooks the woods. Great fall colors!!

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