Enjoying Michigan’s spectacular fall color season is as easy as following any one of our fall color tours. Choose trails and byways in the Upper and Lower Peninsula from mid-September through late October. Pack up the car; jump on a bike, paddle rivers or hike through a majestic forest awe-inspiring views of Mother Nature bursting with harvest hues. Sign up today to receive weekly fall color updates September through October.
Experience a view of the season from up above by reserving a fall color balloon ride. For more than 40 years Capt. Phogg Balloon Rides have been lifting off in Fenton for sunrise and sunset flights. The Wicker Basket Balloon Center in Wixom is perfect for southeastern Michigan residents and visitors to go aloft through November, weather permitting. Serving the tri-city area of Saginaw, Bay City and Midland, Sky Dancer Balloon Rides is another choice to rise above it all and enjoy an autumn sunrise or sunset. Take a northern sky-high adventure with Grand Traverse Balloon, voted one of the top ten Traverse City adventures. You can’t take a flight but you can enjoy the fun at the RE/MAX of Midland Balloon Festival, celebrating its 21st anniversary September 16-18, 2011, at the Midland County Fairgrounds.
Sit back and relax after you board one of Michigan’s fall color trains. The Michigan Steam Railroading Institute’s Fall Color Train makes day trips between Ithaca and Cadillac October 1 and Owosso and Alma October 15. Ride the rails with the Southern Michigan Railroad in Tecumseh on select dates October 15-30, or choose a September or October date for the Pumpkin Train engineered by the Coopersville & Marne Railway in Coopersville, southwest of Muskegon. Head for the Upper Peninsula and make a reservation for the Tahquamenon Falls Wilderness Excursion that begins at Soo Junction just 15 miles east of Newberry. Journey by train for about six hours, or take the 2-hour Hiawatha Wildlife Riverboat Tour with a stop for a nature hike through a virgin forest and a private view the Upper Tahquamenon Falls. Tours are available through October 8.
Fall is a perfect time to visit any of the more than 80 Michigan wineries and vineyards. Stomp some grapes, taste some fruit of the vine and more at the annual Paw Paw Wine & Harvest Festival September 9-11. Uncork more fall and wine fun on weekends in September and October at the Round Barn Winery in Baroda, south of St. Joseph. The Leelanau Peninsula Vintner’s Association with its 18 winery members will host the annual Harvest Stompede Vineyard Run & Walk September 10-11.