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Editorial: Enjoy it while we can

Ask most residents what they like about living in Wisconsin and they’ll say the changing of the seasons. Ask them which season they like best and many will say autumn.

This year – after heavy spring snows tortured our trees and downed our power lines and summer dragged through week after week of rainless days – fall is especially sweet.

Rain seems to come just enough. The days have been warm and the nights cool but not cold. The leaves on green trees are turning red, orange, amber and gold.

It’s perfect weather for a long walk along a country road or through a city park or for a bike ride. Or for a real Wisconsin tradition, visit a pick-your-own apple orchard or pumpkin patch.

According to Travel Wisconsin, the state’s official tourism site, while fall colors to the north and east of us are farther ahead, here in Pierce County the leaves are just starting to turn. Looks like the perfect time to plan an autumn jaunt.

And this area offers the ideal places. Right here in Pierce County there’s Nugget Lake County Park near Plum City, the Lee-Kay County Forest west of Spring Valley, the Trimbelle Recreation Area west of Ellsworth, the Martell County Forest along the Rush River and Eau Galle Lake Recreation Area near Spring Valley.

Drive the Great River Road along the Mississippi or visit the area’s state parks, Willow River or Kinnickinnic.

Travel Wisconsin’s website offers a Peak Foliage Map, showing current conditions across the state. For regular updates on fall colors, visit the website

It’s a good time to be here. Remind yourself of one of the reasons we stay.