Upper Peninsula and Northwest Lower Peninsula
In the Upper Peninsula and much of the Northern Lower Peninsula, the color is past peak, and fading fast as the cold and rainy weather encourages leaf drop.

Traverse City has been at peak foliage for the past week, and although winds have stripped leaves from the highest branches on trees along hilltops and ridges, there is plenty of brilliant color on the hillsides and valleys, and it’s especially lovely walking in the woods, where the sunlight is filtered through clouds of gold and scarlet.

The forested hills south of Traverse City are dotted with dozens of small lakes, rolling meadows and sturdy farm towns–as well as the broad valley of the Boardman River. This drive takes you through a broad variety of landscapes.

Western destinations
According to observers, the best viewing will be found this weekend, with typical orange and red hues dominating the landscape. State parks are reporting good color and continue to be prime viewing destinations as the season’s show winds to a close.

Southwest and Southeast
Fall color in Southwest and Southeast Michigan is reaching its peak, with variations ranging between 90-95 percent.

Fall Color Tour, Fenny Valley WineryThe Lexington area is reporting excellent color at Lakeport State Park, the Lexington area local Parks as well as drives along M25. Beard’s Hills is probably one of the best kept secrets in this area as far as Fall Color Peeping.

As you get into the more densely wooded areas between South Haven and Saugatuck, the vibrant color surrounds you. If you decide to head north, you can stop at Crane Orchards in Fennville to find your way through their corn maze or stick around after dark on Friday or Saturday for their haunted maze! From Crane’s, it’s only a short drive to Fenn Valley Vineyards and Wine Cellar where they offer free wine tastings, as well as tours of the cellar and vineyards. Blue Star Highway (A2) between South Haven and Saugatuck is an absolutely gorgeous drive with old farm houses and various artist studios along the way.

This will be our final Pure Michigan fall color report for the 2012 season.


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5 Responses to “Pure Michigan Fall Color Update – October 25 – October 31, 2012”

  1. Tony Bennett on September 28th, 2012 1:08 pm

    Hi there! I’ve been following along the last couple weeks trying to plan a short, two-day minication & fall color photo-op. First, I wanted to thank you for the great ideas and information provided. I’m pretty sure that we’re gonna spend the first night/morning around Tawas & Oscoda then head across the state around Traverse & Sleeping Bear Dunes. My only worry is waiting too long and missing the best parts of the show. Making my paranoia grow is the seemingly early shift here in Southeast Michigan… Even the larger trees are starting to show reds and yellows! Two Questions – 1) do you think it’s better to be a little early than time it perfectly? Seems that “peaks” are rather short lived. 2.) do you anticipate next week/weekend being a good time to visit both coasts and see a good amount of color?

    Thanks again!

  2. admin on September 28th, 2012 1:23 pm

    The color on the coasts is always later than the color in the interior.

    For the interior next weekend is probably a good weekend. – 10/6 and 7

    For color near the shore there is likely to be a good amount of green but some good early color.

    The weekend of 10/13 and 14 will likely be a little past peak in the interior. Probably right at peak along the shore.

    Leelanau – Oct. 13, 2010

    Traverse City – Oct. 7, 2011

    Hope that helps.

  3. Eric on October 2nd, 2012 2:09 pm

    Hello. Thank you very much for the wonderful information. I am trying to decide whether to go this weekend (10/6-7) or next weekend (10/13-14)

    From what I gather:
    Northern Lower Peninsula peaks this weekend and will be past-peak by next weekend.
    Upper peninsula is past-peak.

    Would the fall colors be all gone by next weekend in UP? (That’s what happened when I went last year around 10/15-16)

  4. admin on October 2nd, 2012 2:26 pm

    Eric… Colors seems to be a bit earlier this year from last. Leelanau County or any place near the shorelines in Northern Lower Michigan is going to have the best color for the weekend of 10/13-14. Color at the Tunnel of Trees north of Harbor Springs in also generally late, so that might be a good spot as well.

  5. Vish on October 4th, 2012 5:30 pm


    We will be in the Antrim County area next weekend (13th and 14th), and plan to visit the tunnel of trees.
    What are the other not-to-be-missed areas around here and on the way back to Detroit?

    Thanks for your help.

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