7 Must-See Fall Color Views

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.

Sugarloaf Mountain

Photo courtesy of Marquette County CVB

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.

Mount Marquette

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.

Thomas Rock

Photo courtesy of Marquette County CVB

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

Photo courtesy of Marquette County CVB

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.

Baby Lake

Photo courtesy of Marquette County CVB

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.

Japser Knob

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.

Photo courtesy of Marquette County CVB

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. 

This post was written by Jesse Land, publisher of the Upper Peninsula travel website Things to do in the U.P. on behalf of Travel Marquette Michigan.