This fall season has been a great one for taking in the majestic fall colors with a brisk stroll, scenic drive or fall color tour. Our Pure Michigan fans on Facebook have been very busy this autumn capturing terrific shots of gorgeous fall color around the state. To celebrate this, the photo theme on our Pure Michigan Facebook page this week was fall color in Michigan. Since we received so many great submissions we wanted to share some of our favorites in the gallery below. For more Pure Michigan fan photos, check out our Pure Michigan Flickr.
Today, featured blogger Jesse Land describes seven scenic locations in the Upper Peninsula where visitors can take in the blazing autumn colors.
When the leaves are turning, as they are now, the Upper Peninsula is loaded with beautiful fall color. And one of the unique things about the Marquette area is the vast number of scenic vistas scattered around the county.
I wrote about Sugarloaf Mountain recently but it’s worth mentioning again here. The summit of this popular local landmark offers gorgeous views of the entire surrounding area. It’s only a fifteen or so minute walk to the top up a well marked trail and the view from the top of Sugarloaf is one of the best in Michigan.
Directions: Sugarloaf Mountain is 6-7 miles north of downtown Marquette on CR 550. Get there by taking Front to Washington, turn west and go to Fourth Ave. Turn north onto Fourth, which becomes Presque Isle Ave. At Hawley turn west. It turns into CR 550. Look for sign by parking lot.
The bedrock mountain towers several hundred feet over it’s surroundings and offers a number of vantage points. Accessible by car, bike, or hiking path, the top offers a spectacular view of the city of Marquette, Lake Superior, Hogsback, Sugarloaf, and other peaks in the Huron Mountain Range. Please note: The unpaved road to the top is moderately difficult on your vehicle.
Directions: From South Marquette, travel on US-41 about 1.5 miles south, up the big hill and partly down the other side to Cliff’s Power Road on the right. Go right,then down the hill and along the river for about a mile until you see a sign on the right indicating Mount Marquette. Take this dirt road and proceed on way up the winding hill to the summit.
Formerly “Gobbler’s Knob,” The Thomas Family has donated this favorite destination to Powell Township. There’s now a wheelchair-accessible trail winding around and up to the scenic lookout, which has a grand view of the Keweenaw Peninsula, Big Bay and Lake Independence. Interpretive signs identify plants along the trail. It takes about 20 minutes to walk around, up, and down. There are picnic tables and restrooms near the parking area.
Directions: From the intersection of Presque Isle Avenue and Hawley Street (CR 550), go approximately 23.5 miles to CR 510 (about 2.5 miles before Big Bay), turn left (south) onto CR 510, go approximately 1 mile on CR510 for parking on the right. Note: WIth the fall 2013 construction on CR 550 you may way to take CR 510 all the way to Thomas Rock.
The View from the new 510 Bridge
This historic bridge over the Dead River is near Marquette. And while the “old bridge” is no longer used for vehicle traffic, the new bridge offers a great view of the old one. There’s plenty of space to pull over and take photos and you can even walk across the old bridge if you like.
Directions: If you are in Marquette, take US-41 West, and turn right onto Midway Drive, and watch for the CR-510 sign. Turn onto CR-510 and you’ll see soon see the bridge off to your right.
View over Baby Lake
Tucked away behind a little brick church in Ishpeming, this view of Baby Lake is a great (and lesser known) spot to see fall color.
Directions: In Ishpeming, while traveling west on 41 from Marquette, turn right on N 2nd. Street (opposite the Ski Hall of Fame), N 2nd. street becomes Prairie Avenue, you will see a little brick church on the right hand side at the end of the road. Head toward the wooded area behind the church, you will then see some rocks that look like steps. Walk up the rocks and veer towards your right and take it to the rock outcrops.
Enjoy this great view above the city of Ishpeming while checking out the colorful Jasper-Hematite mineral formation. Called Jaspilite, the shiny iron ore outcrop is said to be the largest gemstone in Michigan. The ten minute hike is easy to moderate in difficulty.
Directions: In Ishpeming, heading west on US-41, take a left at the light near the Country Village onto Lakeshore Drive. Head south on Lakeshore, at the caution light (intersection) the road becomes Division Street. Proceed on Division for a few blocks, past the High School to Jasper Street on the right. Go right on Jasper up the hill and around the bend until you see a rock wall on the left. Park on the side of the road, near an opening in the rock wall. Take the steps and then follow the trail up to the top of the hill.
Have you visited any of these scenic vistas in Michigan? For more information on fall colors in Michigan, visit michigan.org/fall.
With the fall color season just around the corner, Pure Michigan has launched this year’s fall advertising campaign. We wanted to give you a sneak peek at some of the ads you’ll be seeing on billboards across the state (and beyond) starting as early as this week. The Pure Michigan-branded buses can be seen in Chicago throughout the season.
Take a look at the images below and let us know what you think! We also included links to the locations featured in the photography if you’re interested in learning more or making a first-hand visit.
Tunnel of Trees in Ludington:
Otter Creek in Honor:
Interested in learning more about fall in Michigan? Order your free copy of the Pure Michigan Fall Travel Guide online today at michigan.org.
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!
When fall in Michigan arrives, there’s no better place to be to see the dynamic colors of a trillion trees!
Today Jesse Land, founder of Things to do in the U.P., a website dedicated to helping people discover the best of the Upper Peninsula, fills us in on his recommendations for taking a fall color tour around one of the U.P.’s most cherished areas – the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Stay tuned for additional fall color tour ideas from Jesse throughout the season!
When I recently polled my Things to in the U.P. Facebook fans about their favorite place for an Upper Peninsula fall color tour, most of them referenced someplace in the Keweenaw Peninsula. I have to agree with them.
There’s just something magical about the Keweenaw and the crisp air and colorful leaves of autumn seem to kick the magic up a notch.
What follows is my personal recommendation for an awesome Keweenaw fall color tour day trip. I’ll actually be doing this exact trip myself in a few weeks!
I recommend starting your day in the town of Houghton where you can catch a glimpse into the rich history of the Keweenaw’s mining culture via a tour of the Quincy Mine.
From there, head north on U.S. 41 to Calumet and try to avoid having lunch at the Michigan House Café, not because it isn’t awesome (it is) but because today I’m sending you to my “secret” beachfront dining spot right smack on the shore of Lake Superior.
Take in the historic downtown buildings of Calumet like the Calumet Theater. If you’re into art, stop into one of Calumet’s many art galleries, and be sure to crab a coffee or ice cream at the very cool converted train depot 5th & Elm before continuing north on U.S. 41.
About thirteen miles north of Calumet, follow M-26 into Eagle River. Visit Eagle River Falls as you come into town and then make your way to your beachfront lunch spot. I’m sending you to Fitzgerald’s, easily one of the best restaurants in the Upper Peninsula, and very likely all of Michigan.
The food and service at Fitzgerald’s are consistently excellent, and the views of Lake Superior from every table are awesome.
After lunch, stretch your legs with a walk on the sandy beach right in front of Fitzgerald’s, then hop in your car and head north again on M-26. You’re only going to go a few miles, though, because no trip to the Keweenaw is complete without a stop at The Jampot! And since it’s only a few feet away, stop at Jacob’s Falls for a photo opp.
Okay, here’s where we kick the “color tour” into overdrive. The stretch of M-26 north of The Jampot is curvy and wooded, thick with vibrant colors to the east and views of Lake Superior to the west.
And though M-26 continues on all the way to Copper Harbor, be sure not to miss the turn to Brockway Mountain drive. This little road winds up 720 feet to the top of Brockway Mountain, where on a clear day you can see for miles! The view from the top of “Brockway” is one of the best in the U.P.
Now, with Brockway Mountain under your belt, continue down Brockway Mountain drive into the quaint but oh so cool village of Copper Harbor to peruse the shops and see the sights. If you’re a history buff, check out Fort Wilkins Historic State Park while you’re there. I’d also recommend popping into the Keweenaw Adventure Company. You may not have time for an adventurous excursion on this day trip, but make a note of it for next time because you can’t beat this place for a guided kayaking or mountain biking trip!
From Copper Harbor, follow a freshly paved and fun to drive section of U.S. 41 south through the “tunnel of trees” back down to the Mt. Bohemia ski area, where for $8/person you’ll be able to ride the ski lift up the hill and take in yet another spectacular view of the surrounding area.
Congratulations! You’ve now seen enough of the Keweenaw to know you need to plan another trip! Stop at the Keweenaw Convention Center and Visitor’s Bureau in Calumet as you head south to pick up some maps and brochures for next time!
Jesse Land is the founder of Things to do in the U.P., a website dedicated to helping people discover the best of the Upper Peninsula. For regular Upper Peninsula travel tips, follow Things to do in the U.P. on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/thingstodointheup.