Jackson County is the perfect spot to enjoy the beauty of the fall colors. While it’s hard to beat walking, the colors can also be enjoyed by the road. Here are four suggestions for routes from Black River Falls that will show some of the great color locations.
Take a drive on a state-designated Rustic Road. Jackson County’s North Settlement Road stretches from County Rd. O north to WIS 54. This road travels through hardwood stands, pine tree plantations and grassland intermixed with flowages. It goes past the Pigeon Creek Campground and Dike 17 Wildlife Area, a 3,100-acre property located within the Black River State Forest.
Exit I-94 at Millston to Hwy. O. Take North Settlement Road north to Hwy. 54. Follow 54 back to Black River Falls. About 40 miles round trip.
Saddle Mound at 1,400 feet is the highest point in Jackson County and rises several hundred feet above the woods, a sandstone outlier from what was once a great inland lake. A great view from the top. Come back along Old Hwy. 54 and County K.
Take Hwy. 54 east. Exit at Saddle Mound Road and pull off to park. Take Pray Road north to Old Hwy. 54 and head west to Hwy. K. Take Hwy. K south back to Hwy. 54 back to Black River Falls. About 44 miles round trip.
The western part of Jackson County has the classic coulees and ridges that are part of the Driftless Region. It is a mosaic of cropland and mixed hardwoods in between ridges that rise up to 1,300 feet. This route takes you through the farms and rolling hills.
Take Hwy. 54 west for about 7 miles to Hwy. X. Turn right on X and go about 7 miles to Disco. Turn left on Hwy. C Go about 3 miles to Franklin Road. Turn right and follow Franklin Road for about 3 miles to Hwy. N. Turn right on N and go to Taylor (detour on West Blair Road to River Road to Hwy. 95, turn right). Take Hwy. 95 to Hixton and to Alma Center. Turn right on Hwy. F and follow F to Hwy. A just outside of Black River Falls. Turn left. About 54 miles round trip.
The combination of the Black River and colorful trees can’t be missed. This route takes you down highway and back roads that will give you plenty of water and woods.
Take Hwy. 54 west for about 9 miles to Sunnyvale Road. Go 1 mile to River Road. Turn right and follow River Road to Tower Road in Melrose. Back on Hwy. 54, turn left and follow Hwy. 54 to North Bend. Take Hwy. V to Hwy. D to Hwy. H back to Hwy. 54 and Black River Falls. About 50 miles round trip.