On Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is gorgeous, with 90 miles of trails through old-growth forest, 25 miles of Lake Superior shoreline and four inland lakes.
Hiking is best in late summer and fall, when bugs are gone and hardwoods turn colors that are among the region's most vivid.
What to do: Hike the Escarpment Trail above Lake of the Clouds (pictured). See waterfalls along the Little Carp and Presque Isle rivers. Take a workshop at the Porcupine Mountains Folk School.
Events to catch: Aug. 25-27, Porcupine Mountains Music Festival.
Details: For more, see Afoot in the Porkies.
Past fast plans: Exploring La Crosse, Cooling off in Duluth, Paul Bunyan in Bemidji, Exploring Voyageurs, Exploring the Keweenaw Peninsula
Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul. Try flights at the Craft Beer Hall, eat food on a stick, listen to free concerts and watch the 2 p.m. daily parade. Aug. 24Sept. 4.
Mexican Fiesta in Milwaukee. Enjoy the best of Mexican culture at the Henry Maier Festival Park: mariachi, arts and crafts, spicy foods and contests: dance, costume, jalapeno-eating and el grito, or shouting. Aug. 2527.
Potato Days in Barnesville, Minn. This goofy central-Minnesota festival features mashed-potato wrestling, a golden potato hunt, potato car races, peeling and eating contests and a Saturday parade. Aug. 2526.
Festival in the Pines in Eau Claire, Wis. There's music on two stages, children's games, a petting zoo and an arts fair in Carson Park. Entry to Paul Bunyan Logging Camp and Chippewa Valley Museum is included. Aug. 2627.
For more, see our Events Calendar.
In 2014, Duluth made us proud by beating out 63 other U.S. towns in Outside magazine's best outdoors town tournament.
It's hard to argue with Duluth, even against such better-known towns as Boulder, Colo., and Missoula, Mont., because everything it offers is right in the city hiking, mountain biking, paddling, skiing.
But other towns are almost as deserving. Here are 10 great outdoor towns in the western Great Lakes.
Fall is the busiest travel season of the year we all know the nice days are numbered, and we're going to try our darndest to make them count.
But with pretty much everyone heading out to look for fall color, especially on weekends, there are few bargains.
That's why those of us on a budget look to our old friends: the parks, the mom-and-pop motels, the environmental centers, the hostels, the outdoors clubs.
Here's our 2017 list of 20 great autumn trips, most of which cost $100 or less per person.
In summer, you dont have to hunt wildflowers.
Theyre big and splashy, blooming by the thousands on prairie, along bicycle trails and anywhere theres sun. When everything else is green, they give us pops of color: the purple of bottle gentian, the orange of hawkweed, the yellow of tansy.
Do you like Monets paintings of Giverny? Then youll love the meadows of blue vervain and Queen Annes lace on the southwestern Minnesota prairie, the pearly everlasting on the Keweenaw Peninsula and the sunflower fields along the Waters of the Dancing Sky scenic byway in northern Minnesota.
This time of year, its a real pleasure to take a drive or a hike or bike ride. Here are 10 great places to find late-summer wildflowers.
When fall arrives, we get a sudden urge to hoist a stein of beer, eat a grilled bratwurst and listen to red-cheeked men in little felt hats play the accordion.
Fall belongs to the Germans, who streamed into the Upper Midwest in the 1850s and still are the largest ethnic group in every state. Which is a good thing, because Germans like to have fun.
In October 1810, they had so much fun at the wedding of Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen and Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, held in a meadow near Munich, that they decided to do it every year.
Emigrants to America brought the tradition with them, along with their recipes for beer and sausage, and started hundreds of smaller Oktoberfests all across the Midwest.