Peak Color for October 4-10, 2019

Michigan is heating up. From fiery reds to blazing oranges, the color is working its way across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Magnificent colors are lighting up our forests, hills, parks, golf courses, shorelines and backyards. This weekend is full of color and filled with an abundance of family fun. But fall is not just for rich jeweled-toned leaves and breathtaking scenery; it’s also packed with festivals.
Tahquamenon Falls in the fall
Tahquamenon Falls | Photo Courtesy of Dave Burns 
The Western Upper Peninsula is displaying stunning yellows and oranges inland. Closer to Lake Superior, the change is running a bit behind with less intense tones. Visitors to the area can get a bird’s eye view of the splendid landscape with fall color chairlift rides at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and at Copper Peak Ski Jump and Adventure Ride.  

As nights dip down into the thirties, the colors around Sault Ste. Marie are coming on fast. The eastern end of the Upper Peninsula is at about 30-40% saturated in fall colors, but further inland the color is closer to 50%. The city’s Soo Locks Park is bursting with amazing trees that are filling with brilliant fall color, which makes the perfect backdrop for an afternoon stroll. 

Locals in and around St. Ignace are reporting fading summer foliage and pops of color on the trees—a sure sign peak color season is staging its annual debut. You’ll find good color at Tahquamenon Falls State ParkPictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Grand IslandThis weekend would be your perfect weekend to travel to the Eastern U.P.  

The fall color show on Mackinac Island is just starting to develop in pockets along back roads and hiking trails. For the most current UP forecast, visit the Upper Peninsula fall color reports.   

Bikers on fall trail in Traverse City area
Trail Riding in the Traverse City Area | Photo Courtesy of Traverse City Tourism
Some of the best fall color for the Grand Traverse Bay Region is on the interior of Leelanau Peninsula, further from the coastline. The winding highways and hills show off the density of foliage. M-72—which is the quick route through the Leelanau Peninsula to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore—is spotted with a mix of color. Make sure to stop at Empire for the Hops & Harvest Festival, taking place October 4-5.  Downtown Traverse City is also seeing some color change, but even more so, that classic fall smell. Go for a stroll down Washington Street and watch the sidewalk illuminate in gold as the sun shines on the Oaks above.
The drive around Lake Charlevoix is a popular Northern Michigan color route, which will take you through East Jordan and Boyne City. This weekend, color seekers can celebrate nature’s harvest at the annual Charlevoix Apple FestivalPark the car and enjoy panoramic, bird’s-eye views of fall color at Northwest’s Michigan’s Crystal Mountain in ThompsonvilleBoyne Mountain in Boyne Falls and Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs.

In Manistee County visitors will find Inland color is turning ahead of the coastal areas. Every Friday and Saturday in October, the S.S. City of Milwaukee, transforms into Ghost Ship, Manistee's most unique spooky experience.

Peak conditions are forecasted to reach all of the Northwest Lower Peninsula in one or two weeks.

Traveling from Frederic to Kalkaska on Old US-27, viewers will find a scenic hilly drive with good color.  The oak and maple trees along M-72 from Grayling to Traverse City are displaying a stunning array of fall color.

Roscommon County’s fall colors are most splendid off the main highway roads. M-18 is closed north of Prudenville, but the detours along CR-100 and CR-104 will take you on a scenic drive between Houghton and Higgins Lakes. Be sure to drive through Roscommon to get a glimpse of the ghosts and goblins adorning the roadsides.  

Grayling, Oscoda, Houghton Lake, and most other communities of North East Michigan are reporting to be one or two weeks away from peak viewing conditions.

Those traveling along US-31 between Muskegon and Ludington will see a bit of vibrant color on interior roads. Traveling east of the lakeshore in Muskegon County, color seekers will see only a very slight color change.
Area festivals, farms and cider mills offer great family fun throughout West Michigan. If you’re near Grand RapidsRobinette’s Apple Haus & Winery offers seasonal guests horse-drawn hayrides, u-pick apples, wine tastings and a corn maze.
Holland, Mount Pleasant, Grand Rapids and Battle Creek trees are still covered with primarily green foliage.  Peak conditions are estimated to be longer than four weeks.

Saginaw, Midland and Bay Counties, as well as most other West Central Michigan counties,  have mostly summer foliage. Overall leaf saturation for East Central Michigan is less than 25 percent; peak color is still two to three weeks away.

Trees throughout Kalamazoo, Van Buren and Berrien counties—including the lush vineyards of the Paw Paw wine country area—are still donning predominately summer foliage. Visitors to these areas will find the best color this coming weekend along the back roads. Colors for the Southwestern Michigan communities typically peaks from mid-October to early November.

For the Lansing area, most trees are just starting the transition. This weekend, enjoy an afternoon at Uncle John’s Cider Mill for Family Fun (now through October 6) with goodies and activities like wagon rides to the pumpkin patch and corn maze, train rides, and more. 
Fresh caramel apples with nuts on tray
Dexter Cider Mill | Photo Courtesy of Destination Ann Arbor
Fall colors are just beginning to appear in and around Ann Arbor. Take a scenic drive along Huron River Drive and see the edges of leaves just starting to change to gold and crimson. Celebrate that fall feeling and visit Dexter Apple Daze for a crisp treat and festive hayride.

Trees in Detroit and the remaining Southeastern Lower Peninsula counties are just at the beginning of the color transformation stage with bronze and gold hues among area Hickory, maples and oaks decorating a mostly green landscape. Overall leaf saturation for Southeast Michigan is still longer than four weeks away.   


#Fallfilter Fridays

Share your Pure Michigan autumn experiences with us on Instagram and Twitter.  Be sure to include #FallFilter to share your adventures with our Pure Michigan social community. Each Friday, we’ll select five of our favorite fall photos tagged with #FallFilter and feature them in a story on the @puremichigan Instagram account. We’ll also feature images tagged with #FallFilter in our Instagram gallery throughout the fall season.


Great Fall Activities

Fall is not just for jeweled tones leaves, breathtaking shore scenery or plash vineyard tours, it’s packed with festivals, hayrides and balloon rides, corn mazes, pub crawls and tasting tours. You’ll find the season perfect for foot races and rowing challenges, spookfests, food fests and murder mysteries. In Michigan, there's a festival for just amount everything. 
Fall Festival Weekends
Now thru October 27, 2019
Harbor Springs
2019 Empire Hops & Harvest Festival
October 4- 5, 2019

Fort Fright
October 4-5, 2019
Mackinaw City
12th Annual Harvest Festival
October 5-6, 2019

13th Annual Harvest Festivus
October 6, 2019
Traverse City

Charlevoix Apple Festival
October 11 - 13, 2019
Haunted Lighthouse Weekend
October 11-12, 2019
East Tawas
Fall Campground Harvest Festival and Trunk-or-Treating
October 12, 2019
Bay City
craft beers of Autumn.jpg

October 12, 2019
Battle Creek

 Be sure to visit for a complete list of great statewide events.


Deals & Packages near this Week's Peak Color

Need a last-minute weekend getaway? Looking for a cheap cottage vacation package? You're sure to find the perfect Michigan vacation package to save money for the day or to help extend your stay with Pure Michigan.  Let us help you with some suggestions for fall getaway packages that you can take advantage of this week. 
Check out this month’s Featured Deals & Packages.  Visit for a complete list of great statewide vacation package deals.