Pure Michigan Fall Color Update – September 22, 2017
The Pure Michigan fall color show has begun. From fiery reds to blazing oranges and from brilliant yellows to the season’s purple, pink, magenta, blue and brown hues–color is working its way across our state quickly.
For Marquette Country, color is reported to be between 26-50 percent. This coming weekend, a drive to Gwinn’s Up North Lodge, Jackson Pit in Negaunee, Jasper Ridge Brewery in Ishpeming and Thunder Bay Inn in Big Bay is sure to provide some stunning scenery. While in the area, be sure to save enough time for lunch or dinner at one of Marquette’s many downtown eateries.
For the Western UP, color is transforming throughout the interior’s woods and parks. Most prevalent are the various shades of red, bronze and golden maples.
Brevort Lake Road, just west of downtown St. Ignace along US-2, is your best bet for good area color right now. Following US-2 and State Street through downtown will also give you a beautiful view of area aspen and maple. The large number of evergreen trees provide a good backdrop for the area’s deciduous trees. Heading east of town, you’ll encounter beautiful russet and bronze oak.
For St. Ignace, peak color is less than two weeks away. But, the local farmers market—held on Thursdays through September at the St. Ignace marina—is in full autumn mode with pumpkins, squash, apples, corn stalks, baked goods and all the accoutrement of fall.
Color throughout Chippewa County is less than 15%; but, there is still plenty to do in the area. Sault Ste. Marie attractions, including Museum Ship Valley Camp, the Soo Locks Boat Tours and the Soo Locks Park, offer visitors many colorful family activities this weekend and throughout the season.
If you’re planning to catch the Upper Peninsula at the season’s best, you’ll want to visit within the next two weeks as leaf conditions can change quickly. Peak is estimated to be one or two weeks away.
NORTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Grand Traverse Bay is reporting only minor leaf change for the coming weekend. For the most vibrant colors of the season, locals suggest a stroll through the downtown neighborhoods of Traverse City in mid-October. Washington Street—known for its historic trees bent by Native Americans as trail markers—becomes a glowing palette of red and yellow maples intermingled with crimson oaks. Wander down to the pier at Clinch Marina for a panoramic view of both Old Mission & Leelanau Peninsulas.
Head up M-22 for a winding adventure through one of the prettiest fall color tours you will ever experience. This 116- mile scenic highway zigzags through the countryside of Benzie, Manistee, and Leelanau Counties. Fishtown in Leland is especially nostalgic this time of year. Walk along the docks, amongst the weathered fishing shanties, smokehouses, racks of drying fishing nets and fish tugs on the Leland River. Be sure to pick up some of the smoked filets, jerky and sausage before heading home.
Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay is reporting less than 25 percent color saturation for the upcoming weekend. But, don’t let that keep you away. Bikers and hikers can find color and excitement viewing along the Mackinaw Trail and at the Petoskey State Park, as well as at area farm markets, wineries and breweries through this very scenic region.
Ludington—with its abundance of parks, inland lakes and rivers— offers excellent viewing opportunities as the season’s color continues to transform. Color seekers will want to plan a visit within the next two weeks for best viewing as the color show is heating up fast.
Michigan’s Northwest Lower Peninsula offers a rich blend of adventure, relaxation and breathtaking natural attractions. With more than 30 wineries, numerous farm markets, state and national parks and rolling forests, the area is a must for fall color touring. Saturation is reported to be less than 25 percent in most areas and peak is estimated to be in one or two weeks.
NORTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Circling Higgins Lake, Houghton Lake and Lake St. Helen, viewers will find dazzling color, especially as you drive the main thoroughfares like M-55, US-127, I-75 and Old M-76—which are picture-worthy. Fall fishing, canoeing and an ORV color tour through the woods of Roscommon County are just some of the things that await you in this corner of Michigan’s Northeast Lower Peninsula. Houghton Lake, Grayling, Gaylord estimate peak will arrive in one or two weeks.
WEST CENTRAL LOWER PENINSULA
With the recent warming trend, Oceana County’s fall color is a few weeks away. Therefore, there’s still time to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather at the beach and magnificent Silver Lake Sand Dunes— located along Lake Michigan’s sweeping shoreline between Muskegon and Ludington. As the grand transformation continues, viewers will find excellent conditions along the Hart-Montague Trail State Park. Also, the area’s lush apple and peach harvests are in progress.
Muskegon County’s beech and maples are beginning to turn yellow, bronze and red—especially along streets and highways; however, trees along the shoreline are still mostly displaying summer foliage. Be sure to visit the Muskegon State Park Winter Sports Complex on October 7 for the annual Oktoberfest. Colors in Muskegon County are expected to be at 50-60 percent by then. The annual fall color show is just beginning in and around the Holland and Mount Pleasant. Locals anticipate peak conditions for Michigan’s Northeast Lower Peninsula in three to four weeks.
EAST CENTRAL LOWER PENINSULA
Explore color and nature as you bike, hike and canoe among the 11,000 acres of woods, water and trails of the Genesee County Parks—Michigan’s largest county park system. Make the most of the vibrant changing colors with a fall color adventure on the waterways of the Great Lakes Bay Region. Midland, Saginaw, Bay and Genesee counties are three to four weeks from peak conditions.
SOUTHWEST LOWER PENINSULA
Beautiful green foliage lines the winding roads along Lake Michigan with blue skies and blue water as you meander the West Michigan Pike in Michigan’s Southwest. South Haven has a dusting of color among the tops of some trees turning. This area is displaying mostly reds and yellows on local maples at this point. Southwest Lower Peninsula will welcome peak in about two to three weeks.
SOUTHEAST LOWER PENINSULA
Leaves are just beginning to turn in Monroe County. There are many drives throughout our area. One of the best being up North Custer Road, which turns into Plank Road and runs into Milan along US-23. Peak conditions will blanket the region in about four weeks.