Every fall my family took a ride up to Calhoun County to see the leaves, ride the ferry, and get apples. It has such pleasant memories for me that I continue to go year after year with my children and now my grandchildren. Depending upon your location, you might want to substitute a different orchard, but looking at the colored leaves and picking apples is a great day regardless of where you do it. To avoid the traffic jams, make your trip a week before the scheduled “peak” on a Saturday or a weekday instead of Sunday. Eat before you go, take a picnic (Marquette Park has playground equipment and lots of scenic picnic spots), or stop at a restaurant along the way.
Take the Great River Road (Rt. 100) to Grafton. Stop at any of the many roadside stands or turn right onto Rt. 109 and follow the signs to Eckert’s, or any other local orchard, and pick your own apples. While you are there, pick up a pumpkin and lots of freshly harvested vegetables. Retrace your way back to the Great River Road and continue on to Marquette Park where you can stop and stretch your legs, have your picnic or just drive through to look at the leaves. Children will enjoy trying to find a leaf of every color. Take a magazine along to press the leaves in. When you get home, cover them with clear contact paper or iron them between two sheets of waxed paper to preserve them. Continue up the River Road (Rt. 100) to Hardin, make a left turn as soon as you come off the bridge and follow that road through Brussels to the public ferry. Take a free boat ride across the river, turn right on the River Road (Rt. 100) and you’re headed back home again. Hopefully the children are asleep in the back seat and you have had a great day!