Pure Michigan Fall Color Update – November 3, 2017
The curtain is falling on this year’s fall color show. As the fall colors are nearing their sunset or have peaked in many locations around Michigan, this will be the last Pure Michigan fall color update for the 2017 season.
Mother Nature’s fall color show is fading across much of the state. In the Upper Peninsula color is well past its peak in most areas. However, visitors to the region this weekend will still find vibrant color gracing the landscape of Mackinac Island.
Even though much of the Lower Peninsula is also past peak, a few areas are still enjoying substantial gold, yellow and red foliage. For Alpena, Chippewa Hills Pathway and Norway Ridge Pathway are alive with fall splendor as peak color has reached the area. Head north to Grand Lake and take in the New and Old Presque Isle Lighthouses for an extra special fall color treat. On your way back to Alpena, swing by Rogers City to pick up hard cider and fresh donuts at Knaebe’s Mmmunchy Krunchy Apple Farm.
For the Gaylord and Houghton Lake areas, peak color has already passed. However, traveling along M-55 near Houghton Lake, viewers will find beautiful golden tamaracks, russet oaks and a few gold maples near Higgins Lake. Locals recommend hiking around Lake St. Helen, Higgins Lake and Houghton Lake or along the trails around Marl Lake.
Forest foliage is at its peak in Manistee County. Cruising along US-31 between Onekama and Bear Lake, you’ll find a variety of sunset tones in area oak and maple trees. Take a slight detour (off US-31) onto 9 Mile Road east towards Kaleva and explore farmers markets. Or, relax with a glass of hard cider or wine at Northern Natural Cider House & Winery. Further north in Arcadia, take a detour off M-22 (just after the overlook) for tunnels of mid-peak beach trees, trailing to breathtaking views of Lake Michigan.
Most of Muskegon County is reporting past peak conditions this week. However, the area is still displaying stunning yellows, golds and russets. Silver Lake Sand Dunes area is reporting peak conditions now with brilliant colors along the Lake Michigan shoreline by the Little Sable Lighthouse as well as along B-15 and Lakeshore Drive. Color saturation for Whitehall is still running a little behind; however, the area is expected to see peak conditions this coming weekend.
For the West Central Lower Peninsula, good places to visit for color this weekend include Muskegon State Park, Blanchford Nature Center in Grand Rapids, Holland State Park, Yankee Springs Recreation Area near Hastings and Kalamazoo Nature Center.
Bay, Saginaw and Midland counties are estimating peaking conditions to overtake the region in less than one week. The best viewing this coming weekend include state and local parks, nature preserves, trails, orchards and forested backroads.
South Haven and other Van Buren County communities are experiencing peak conditions now. Traveling south toward Paw Paw Lake on M-140 near South Haven, you’ll find a beautiful show of fall color. Southwest Lower Peninsula locals recommend a drive along jewel-colored roads for a glimpse of Lake Michigan as you meander your way through St. Joseph, Benton Harbor, New Buffalo, Baroda, and Berrien Springs to view vibrant shades of yellow, orange and red. The area still has plenty of green—so, color should remain for another week or two.
Southeast Michigan communities are reporting peak to near peak conditions now. Experience nature’s architecture as you drive through tree tunnels with canopies of red and orange hues in Jackson County. Area parks and country roads, orchard and farms near Lansing, Livingston County, Tecumseh, Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County, as well as the metro parks of the Oakland and Wayne counties offer the season’s best color as the annual fall color show fades away for another year.