Fall Colors in Manistee County Have Peaked!

Fall colors in areas across Michigan have begun to peak, and Manistee County is no exception! Today, guest blogger Maralee Cook, a Manistee resident, fills us in on how you can still enjoy fall in its prime during a visit to her hometown.

Manistee County’s gloriously hot and sunny summer has become a brilliant, colorful autumn.  The Great Lake Michigan is a deeper blue, the air is cool and crisp, and from the Manistee Pierhead light you can see north up the coast to Frankfort and south to the Point Sable Light.  The trees are topped with leaves in hues you find on an artist’s palette:  lemon yellow, gamboge, scarlet, vermilion, crimson, burnt sienna and more.  They line the shores of Lake Michigan, the banks of over 270 miles of county rivers, and highways and back roads that carry us past miles of charming towns, farmland and orchards on gently rolling hills.  Farm markets and Manistee’s Saturday Farmer’s Market offer bushel baskets overflowing with fall fruits and vegetables.  Colorful mums and bright orange pumpkins wait by the hundreds to come home with you and decorate your front porch for Halloween.  Come for an autumn drive, bike ride, canoe trip or to play golf or fish.  And there are lots of festivals and events during the rest of October, to round out your stay. 

Check out visitmanisteecounty.com with paper and pencil in hand, ready to mark on your calendar some of our special events.

  • West Michigan Juried Art Show at Hardy Hall in Manistee’s Ramsdell Theatre through Oct. 21.
  • “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” performed at the Ramsdell Theatre through Oct. 21
  • Josh White Jr. live at the Ramsdell Theatre Oct. 26
  • Metropolitan Opera’s performance live in HD of Verdi’s “Otello” Oct. 27 at the Ramsdell Theatre
  • Manistee’s Ghost Ship each weekend in October
  • Scarecrow conventions in Onekama and Arcadia all month
  • Twisted Trails Off Road Park Pumpkin Run and Team Kamikaze
  • Salmon running at the Little Manistee River Weir
  • Fishing continues (always!) in the rivers and lakes

Maralee Cook is a freelance writer living in Manistee, Michigan.

Have you visited Manistee County this year? Share with us in the comments section below!

Our 500th Blog Post: Let’s Take a Trip

Photo Credit - Chris AraceMichigan celebrated a big birthday in January, and this blog’s 500th post gives another great excuse for cake!  In honor of the milestone, we looked at roads less traveled and came up with a 500-mile (OK, 504 miles) “Top O’ The Mitten To Ya”  road trip that encompasses all the natural beauty and relaxation of Pure Michigan.

Start in Muskegon, home to Michigan’s Adventure Amusement and Waterpark.  If the season’s not right for the “Shivering Timbers” rollercoaster (or Muskegon’s 27 miles of beach), explore life as an old-timey lumber baron at the Hackley and Hume Historic Site.

Heading north will lead you to the beaches, trails, lighthouses and dunes of beautiful Ludington, where you (and your car) can cruise Lake Michigan aboard a real steamship.  While a honey badger might not care, the S.S. Badger does.

Next, head northeast to Manistee – home to quaint Victorian shops, the world-class Arcadia Bluffs golf course and Little River Casino.  Manistee County is also one of the best places in the world for rainbow trout and salmon fishing.

Again heading north, stop in at the Sleeping Bear Dunes Natural Lakeshore.  Encompassing 35 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, Sleeping Bear Lakeshore is also home to an 1871 lighthouse and an extensive rural historic farm district.

Now, head east, with a quick detour north to the wine country of Suttons Bay.  You won’t find a parking meter or stoplight, but you will find art, antiques and Ciccone Vineyard & Winery, owned by the family of a little-known entertainer by the name of Madonna.

Head south again for Traverse City.  Grand Traverse Bay is a four-season destination, featuring 180 miles of sugar sand shoreline and extensive snowmobile and ski trails.  Chances are good you’ll find cherry everything, among other delicious eats.

Continue northeast towards Charlevoix, where you can catch a ride on the Beaver Island Ferry and Petoskey, known for its fresh air, historic architecture and lending its name to Michigan’s state stone.

From Petoskey, head south towards the charming Alpine delights of Gaylord, and Grayling, for canoeing, kayaking, fishing on the AuSable and Manistee rivers, and snowboarding, sledding and ice skating in the winter.  Grayling is even a great place for downhill skiing.

Head southwest towards the Traverse City Forest, and on to Cadillac.  In the winter, Cadillac offers 200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails and 34 downhill ski runs with over 485 feet of vertical drop.  Year-round, Cadillac offers 90,000 acres of state and national forest.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and this trip winds down in Big Rapids.  One of Michigan’s better-kept secrets, Big Rapids offers swimming in the summer, gorgeous color in the fall, snowshoe trekking in the winter and lakefront picnic ground in the spring.

Slippery When Wet

With over 11,000 inland lakes, and 4 of the 5 Great Lakes at our disposal, it is no surprise that so many men and women enjoy fishing in Michigan. Today’s blog is a sweet story of a boy, a steelhead, and an uncle that gets his just desserts.

Flickr Photo Credit - David BorgmanI think I had just turned 6 years old. That’s when I caught my first steelhead. We were fishing on the Little Manistee River in mid-April…Easter weekend to be exact. I had caught my prized fish, dad had put it on a stringer for me, and I was busy showing my catch off to every fisherman we passed as we made our way downstream.

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