Pure Michigan Fall Color Update – September 23, 2016
The last days of summer are slowly slipping away, and soon, Michigan’s abundant foliage will change into coats of breathtaking fall color. The annual color show is improving, but lags behind last year’s display. This week, Michigan’s fall color display continues to make a slow, but graceful, advance across the Upper Peninsula, where peak conditions are still two to three weeks away. Hiking at Tahquamenon Falls State Park or Canada Lakes Pathway, or a walking along the shoreline of Lake Superior at Crisp Point Lighthouse or Whitefish Point will provide some the area’s most brilliant color in the coming weeks.
It’s beginning to look like autumn in Marquette County! Maples are the first to show their colors with some bright reds and gold appearing along with some deep purples. However, there’s still a lot of green as we wait for cooler nights to turn the colors. This weekend, you’ll want to check out the party at the finish line of the Marji Gesick 100, an all uphill bike and run race–on September 24–at Cognition Brewing Company in downtown Ishpeming. Enjoy great dining and craft beer throughout Marquette County any day of the week. Be sure to check out the antique shops of Ishpeming and Negaunee and boutique shopping in Downtown Marquette. You’ll also want to stop by the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market for a fresh selection of produce meat, eggs, maple syrup, honey and jam. For a roundup of thing to see and do throughout the entire fall color season, check out Travel Marquette’s fall events page.
The Keweenaw Peninsula is reporting peak conditions to be as much as three weeks away.For the weeks ahead, Brockway Mountain Drive is a definite must see. The Western Upper Peninsula is reporting some color change among area maples, where visitors will find crimson, red and yellows popping up across the region.
For Newberry and surrounding communities, locals are reporting a dusting of pale cream and yellow among the area’s Aspens and Beech species. A leisurely drive up County Road 407 by Oswald’s Bear Ranch, up to Muskallonge Lake State Park, which is on the Lake Superior shoreline, will provide some impressive coastal views. From there, head east toward Crisp Point and over to Whitefish Point. These areas will soon be full of color, enhancing the natural beauty of the area.
Travelers to Michigan’s Mackinac Island will find mostly summer foliage with very sparse tints of yellow. Although the season offers a lot to experience, the best fall foliage display is three to four weeks away. For the most current local forecast visit the Upper Peninsula fall color reports.
Traverse City and the Grand Traverse Region is reporting only spot color for the coming weekend. The blue waters of Lake Michigan make a stunning backdrop as fall erupts in a gorgeous display of color. This is a particularly lovely time to visit the farm markets and wineries of the Leelanau Peninsula, which has the largest and oldest wine trail in Michigan Throughout the season, treat yourself to an amazing dinner and enjoy wine tasting or a visit to area craft breweries. Visitors to the area this fall can save on lodging, dining, shopping, spa and entertainment with the Traverse City Fab Fall special.
Benzie County, located along the beautiful Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, is home to one of the most scenic fall drives anywhere—picturesque M-22. Popular fall drives include landscape along the hilly terrain leading through Benzie County’s main roads – M-22, M-115 and US-31.
Around Charlevoix, the foliage has yet to begin its fall transformation. HOwever, visitors to the area can experience fun fall activities, corn mazes and fresh farm markets like Friske Farm Market and King Orchards. Take a trip around Lake Charlevoix and enjoy the natural beauty of Northern Michigan or explore the unusual architecture of Earl Young’s unique mushroom houses. Stop downtown Charlevoix and explore the unique shops and restaurants. Ludington has slight color among Maple and Oak against a backdrop of primarily green foliage. Peak conditions are still at least four weeks away.
Trails along the national scenic by-ways of the Sunrise Coast are beginning show early signs of color. For the Houghton Lake area, there is the slightest tinge of color on the leaves, but the weather is still warm and the principal foliage color is predominately green. Roscommon County is awaiting the cold snap that brings on color. The trees along Old US-27 near the Gazebo are tinging and Old M-76 near ghost town Geels along the tracks is showing a bit of color. Other communities in Northeast Michigan are reporting less than 25 percent color change at this time with peak conditions estimated to be about two more week away.
For the coming weekend, trees throughout the Muskegon area are still basically green, with species– mainly sumacs and small maples–changing to reds and bronzes. Color seekers will find peak conditions to be one to two weeks away. Mount Pleasant area is reporting reds and yellows among area Beech and Maples, with peak color still one to two weeks away. Bay, Midland and Saginaw counties are reporting less than 25 percent color development with peak color to be about two weeks away.
Lansing is three to four weeks away from peak conditions. The coming weekend,outdoor adventure seekers can see various forms of color at the American Heritage Festival at Woldumar Nature Center. This annual fall event is a celebration of Mid-Michigan’s rich history. The beautiful grounds of the nature center make the perfect spot to host traditional craft demonstrators, local artisans, living history actors, live musicians and a variety of family-friendly activities.
Even though the leaves are still green in Southwest Michigan, it is a beautiful time of year to enjoy nature’s bounty of locally-grown fruits, vegetables and wine. Blue Star Highway (A2) between South Haven and Saugatuck is an absolutely gorgeous area which is expected to offer some of the area’s best fall foliage as the season progresses.
Fall in Lenawee County is the perfect time to stop by Kapnick Orchards in Tecumseh for apples, donuts and cider. Grab the kids and head to Carpenter Farms in Adrian to find your way through their amazing corn maze. Adrian’s Kiwanis Trail provides a great backdrop for a bike ride or a stroll. For a scenic drive, head into the Irish Hills around the lakes, and stop into Hidden Lake Gardens for the breathtaking views
A few early bloomers are popping up in the Ann Arbor area with initial red and orange leaves–but we’re still in the midst of a gorgeous late summer. Street-side dining is still in full swing here in the downtown area, and hikers and bikers still have plenty of days left with lots of sunshine, warm temperatures and summer scenery. Green is the dominant color for the remaining Southeast Michigan communities. Peak color is not expected in most of these areas for three to four weeks.