Five Ways to Fall in Love with Autumn in Michigan

Welcome to the first day of fall in Pure Michigan.  The autumn season brings many great experiences to enjoy – hiking or biking through brilliant tree tunnels, strolling on still warm beaches and crunching into that perfect orchard apple. If you aren’t quite sold on the harvest season, here are five things to love about fall in Michigan.  Share with us your favorite fall activity or memory by commenting below.

Finding the perfect pumpkin

As Halloween approaches, so does the search for that quintessential pumpkin that will make the perfect jack-o’-lantern or a steaming bowl of pumpkin soup.

Pumpkins are typically harvested in Michigan from September through October.  With many pumpkin patches and farms offering activities like corn mazes, wagon rides and fresh foods from farmers markets, you can make an afternoon out of it.

Photo courtesy of Visit Ypsi.

Photo courtesy of Visit Ypsi.

Jumping in a pile of leaves

Each fall, kids look forward to making the biggest pile of leaves that they can for the sole purpose of making the big jump.  You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy jumping in a pile of leaves or the crunching sound of them beneath your feet.

Trails become covered in freshly fallen leaves during the fall and you can enjoy the sounds of the crunching foliage on one of Michigan’s many hiking or biking trails.

Photo courtesy of Beth Price Photography.

Photo courtesy of Beth Price Photography.

Apple picking season

Michigan is known for its fresh apples during the autumn harvest season.  There are more than 9.2 million apple trees and 850 family-run farms in the state.  There is something special about biting into a juicy Michigan apple that you plucked from a tree branch yourself from a U-Pick farm, or trying out some new recipes with the various varieties of Michigan-grown apples.

Learn more about U-Pick farm, apple tour or cooking inspiration here.

Robinette's Apple Haus  Winery.

Photo courtesy of Robinette’s Apple Haus Winery.

Taking a scenic road trip

Pack up your car for a day or even a long weekend.  The open road is a perfect way to get an up close and personal tour of Michigan’s fall foliage.

Michigan’s well-known fall color routes include M22, Brockway Mountain Drive and Tunnel of Trees, but there are so many scenic routes around the state just waiting to be discovered.   For more information on color tours, visit

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @luc719

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @luc719

Football season

The fall season ushers in the kickoff of football at colleges and universities all around Michigan.  A crisp Saturday afternoon on campus brings students, alumni and fans together to cheer on their team. Consider taking a trip to Ann Arbor to catch a game at iconic Michigan Stadium, better known as The Big House, or the ever-loud and exciting Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. No matter your affiliation, fall football in Michigan is hard to beat.

Photo courtesy of Thomas Gennara Photography.

Photo courtesy of Thomas Gennara Photography.

For more ideas on how to enjoy the fall season in Michigan, visit, where you can download the Pure Michigan Fall Travel Guide.

Stocking Steelhead in the Red Cedar River

Get your fishing lines ready, Michigan anglers! On Monday, April 15th, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources will be stocking the Red Cedar River in East Lansing with 3,000 steelhead. Elyse Walter of the DNR fills us in on this new development.

This past December the Michigan State University Board of Trustees approved an ordinance change that would allow an activity to occur on campus that had been previously banned since the 1960s. The activity? Fishing from the shore of the Red Cedar River.

Banned more than 50 years ago, the river was previously off limits to shore fishing because the entire campus of MSU is considered a preserve and therefore, hunting, fishing and gathering were off limits. Additionally, there were safety concerns with fishing along the river bank and bridges due to the amount of pedestrian traffic.

But all that changed just a few months ago when the trustees approved an ordinance modification that permits hook-and-line fishing on campus grounds on the north bank of the river between the western edge of Brody Complex and the Sparty bridge.

To enhance future angling opportunities on campus – already plentiful with steelhead and suckers available in the spring, smallmouth bass available in the summer, salmon available in the fall, and a variety of other native species abundant – the DNR’s Southern Lake Michigan Management Unit worked on a management prescription to stock 3,000 steelhead in the river this spring.

On Monday, April 15 at approximately 11:30 a.m. the DNR will pay a visit to the Red Cedar River to do just that! The stocking will occur at the bridge located off the southeast corner of the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center’s parking ramp. A variety of DNR and MSU officials will be participating in the stocking, as well as representatives from numerous constituent groups. Sparty will even mark the occasion with his fishing rod in hand!

Following this ordinance change, fishing the Red Cedar River’s designated area will be allowed during a three-year test period. A fishing license is required to fish the Red Cedar River. If anglers plan to target trout and/or salmon they will need to purchase an All-Species license.  

Do you bleed green? Consider paying a visit to MSU’s Red Cedar River and partaking in a little fishing to show your Spartan pride!

Learn more about fishing opportunities around the state at

Elyse Walter is a communication specialist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. She specifically works with the DNR’s Fisheries Division to help educate and promote the state’s fishing opportunities and aquatic resources.