Peak Color for September 25 - October 1, 2020
Fall…breathtaking color, rich culture and outdoor adventures. It's when autumn arrives in Michigan. And there's no better place to see the dynamic colors of a trillion trees than along our highways, country roads and coastlines. Tap a location on the fall color map to learn more.
Explore nature’s amazing color transformation alone pet-friendly trails, parks and colorful shorelines. Grab a paddle and traverse our lakes and streams against jewel-toned scenery. Set up camp in the forest under the canopy of pristine leaves, or at one of the many campgrounds & RV parks. Taste a perfect pour of Michigan flavor. Fall won’t last long, so find your perfect getaway soon. Because right now, we could all use a little Pure Michigan.
Now is a great time to visit the Keweenaw! The vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow have popped, with color becoming more spectacular every day. Enjoy panoramic views of the Keweenaw atop Brockway Mountain Drive or flow through tree-bough “tunnels” corridors during summer for a secluded drive. Brockway Mountain Drive is consistently ranked as one of the top scenic drives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and is a must-see fall drive. Other picturesque drives that you don't want to miss are the Covered Drive, M-26, Sand Dune Drive, Covered Road, and South Shore.
The Keweenaw’s hundreds of miles of outdoor recreation trails are a great way to experience fall colors—so, gear up to hit the trails by foot, bike, ATV, or paddle. Explore a myriad of alluring sites and hiking trails bursting with fall color throughout the Keweenaw. Take in a Lake Superior sunset and stay long enough for stargazing. Waterfalls are rejuvenated in the fall months thanks to the extra precipitation in September and October. The rushing waters are framed by the beautiful fall colors--minus those pesky mosquitos that are a nuisance in the spring. Some waterfalls can be seen from your car. Fall colors last for weeks, because not every area will reach peak at the same time. So, come anytime now the area is beautiful! For more detailed info visit: www.keweenaw.info/recreation/fall-colors.
Trees in and around Iron Mountain, Kingsford and Norway in the southern part of Dickinson County are starting to pop with deep crimson and a mix of gold and bronze against a backdrop of fading green foliage. Peak conditions are expected to arrive in two to three weeks.
Bright reds and yellows dot the hills of the Marquette County’s Michigamme Highlands. Walk or bike the Iron Ore Heritage Trail through vibrant forests in the historic towns of Ishpeming and Negaunee. Stop for lunch at the delightful Midtown Bakery & Cafe in Negaunee. Then take a drive south along scenic M-35 to Gwinn, and stop at Towners Pastry & Chocolate Shoppe, a hidden gem with French pastries and chocolate made from scratch. Colors are more intense towards the interior and less, closer to Lake Superior.
Baraga County and most of the Western Upper Peninsula will peak color in two to three more weeks.
Trees are turning even quicker than expected in the Eastern Upper Peninsula. A road trip to Tahquamenon Falls produces spectacular colors right now, where you're likely to see good color consisting of bronze and red. Closer to the falls, you’ll find mostly green and yellow leaves, but peak is close, where the area’s most vibrant colors will explode.
The H-58 highway from Munising to Grand Marais is a great drive. Situated on the Lake Superior shoreline, the area is one of the last in the Upper Peninsula to reach full peak. From now until mid-October, color seekers can board the Pictured Rocks Cruises for epic views of the shoreline. This area, as well as Mackinac Island and the Straights of Michigan, will not see peak for another two to three weeks.
Fall color is starting to pop up in Northern Michigan! While the area is still enjoying a beautiful green backdrop, the trees are now punctuated with splashes of red, gold, and orange. Fall is a perfect time to check out wineries along the Traverse Wine Coast and enjoy a glass on an outdoor patio--or to take a stroll along the beach and look for Petoskey stones and other beach gems! (The brave can even still jump in for a refreshing dip.) Plenty of outdoor dining options are still available too—so, visitors to the area can enjoy the great tastes Traverse City is known for and make the most of these glorious fall days. Northern Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay Region is about two weeks away from the arrival of peak color.
Bellaire’s Shanty Creek Resort is pleased to announce the return of a unique, and socially distanced, way to experience the color change…from above the tree line. Visitors will enjoy the fresh, crisp fall air and spectacular 360-degree views of the kaleidoscope of color from Shanty Creek’s blue chairlift high atop Schuss Mountain. Scenic Chairlift Rides are available the first three Saturdays of October (October 3, 10, and 17) from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets, available online, are $25, and include the entire chair--up to four guests--for the scenic ride. Chairlift rides will take place rain or shine, and will only be canceled in the event of severe weather. For additional information on Shanty Creek Resort, scenic chairlift rides and fall family fun, visit www.ShantyCreek.com.
Fall color is bursting in the Cadillac Area, with most trees changing daily. This week’s warmer days and evenings will slow down the color change to allow for travelers to make plans to experience the full array of yellow, gold, purple, red and oranges that cascade across the Huron-Manistee National Forest. The rolling hills along Route 2 of Cadillac’s self-guided color tours around Caberfae Peaks along M-55, you’ll find ribbons of color wrapping area trees. Continuing into Harrietta by the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center, you’ll find more vibrant color quickly taking over the landscape. Small bursts can be seen along area fairways like Lakewood on the Green Golf Course. Viewers will also find good color around the west end of Lake Cadillac (feeder marsh) by Burke’s Waterfront Restaurant, as well as a multitude of contrast colors from an array of tree species along M-115. Peak conditions are one to two weeks away. For more fall color tips and suggested itineraries visit, the Cadillac Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The Charlevoix area and most of Michigan’s Northwest region will experience peek color in two to three weeks.
Manistee County is starting to see signs of fall across all four of the county’s scenic self-guided fall color routes, with bursts of color on those early turning trees. No matter which route you traverse this upcoming weekend, you are going to see some isolated pockets of beautiful turning leaves; however, most of the area foliage is still late-summer green. With overnight temperatures starting to dip (especially this past week) the area is expecting peak color sometime in early October.
Now that the colors are starting to turn around the Cheboygan Area, it’s a great time to explore the area’s hundreds of miles of trails or take a late-season boating excursion. The days are still warm, and the nights are mostly clear. Have you ever done a color tour on the Inland Waterway? Cheboygan is your gateway to the Inland Waterway, which will showcase some of the area’s best fall color in the coming weeks. Peak conditions are expected to arrive in one to two weeks.
Spikes of red, warm bronze and yellow are starting to showamong the tree in the Houghton Lake Area. This coming week, leaf peepers will find the best color in and around Roscommon. Travel along I-75 or US-127 is also expected to have good color throughout the season. Stop at the fruit markets in Houghton Lake, like Bart’s in the east or R & Js Best Choice Market on the west, for pumpkins, squash, apples, and other produce. You will also find cider and baked goods!
Country roads, farm markets, wetlands, shoreline drives, lighthouse tours, area parks and trails in and around Alpena and Presque Isle County will provide the best color in the coming weeks. If you’re in the area, be sure to plan plenty of time to stop by Knaebe's Mmmunchy Krunchy Apple Farm. The charming farm and cider mill are nestled in the hills just west of Rogers City, where you’ll discover 13 acres and over 50 varieties of dwarf and semi-dwarf apple trees. The popular area attraction also has fresh-pressed unpasteurized cider and the best bakery goodies! You’ll also find lots of fun items to purchase from tasty jams and pickles to hilarious signs and socks. While in the area, a visit to the Rorkport State Recreation Area will also be well-worth the effort. Peak conditions are expected to arrive in one to two weeks.
The Silver Lake Sand Dunes area, White Lake, Holland, South Haven, Muskegon and Mount Pleasant are reporting to be three to four weeks from peak conditions. Grayling, Gaylord and Oscoda anticipate the arrival of peak conditions in two to three weeks. Visitors to the Flint and Genesee County area will find peak conditions to be three to four weeks away, when area golf courses, country roads, parks and orchards are expected to have great viewing opportunities.
The communities of Bay City, Birch Run, Chesaning, Frankenmuth, Midland and Saginaw still have mostly green foliage, but offer an abundance of outdoor adventure. Visit GoGreat.com to plan your next trip. Peak conditions are at least two to three weeks away.
Peak conditions for Michigan’s Southwest region are three to four weeks away. In the meantime, this coming weekend is an ideal time to visit the area’s Makers Trail, where you can sample local wine, beer, spirits and ciders. Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Jackson, Livingston County and Ypsilanti are reporting mostly summer-like foliage as peak conditions are still at least three to four weeks away. In the weeks ahead, Souheast Michigan communities will be ablaze at golf courses, parks, river walks and along country roads. You can also experience the color of local flavor, breweries and wineries now and anytime.
Experience the season in a whole new light with a fall getaway to Pure Michigan. From tranquil waterfall hikes to scenic color drives and every cider mill and wine tasting in between, see why when fall makes its return, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Tap a location on the fall color map to learn more.
Experience the Splendor of Fall in Pure Michigan
Now thru October 2, 2020
Harvest Wine Dinner
September 30, 2020
Michigan Vintage VW Club
October 1, 2020
Full Moon Watch
October 1, 2020
Young State Park - Harvest Festival Weekend
October 2-4, 2020
October 2-3, 2019
Coast to Coast Gravel Grinder Bike Race
October 3, 2020
Michigan Adventure Race: ArtPrize Edition
October 3, 2020
Fall Day Trip
October 2, 2020
Charlevoix Leif Eriksson Day Row and Run
October 3, 2020
Check out these Great Fall RessourcesGETAWAY PACKAGES…Be sure to check out this month’s Featured Deals & Packages. Or, visit our complete list of statewide vacation packages.
SHOP… Check out our selection of Pure Michigan themed merchandise.
FALL/WINTER SNAPSHOT…Get a sneak preview of the 2020 fall/winter travel guide.
CONNECT WITH US…From small town charm, to urban sprawl and from historic attractions to championship golf, you’ll find the perfect fall getaway in Michigan. Share your fall shots on Instagram or Twitter with #FallFilter.
Whether your travel plans include a day at the lake, a local craft beverage or a hike through the woods, health is a top priority — and we want people to know that the tourism industry is taking safety seriously. So, while traveling across the state this fall, we encourage you to look for the Pure Michigan Pledge, a promise to uphold local safety protocols and CDC travel guidelines to travel safely.