Michigan Fall Color Report


The fall color show in the state’s Upper Peninsula is reaching its peak, with many state parks in the region reporting significant color development.

Luce County locals suggest a fall drive to Crisp Point Lighthouse via CR-500 to CR-412 for excellent color this coming weekend. Other good fall road trips include the drive from Newberry to Whitefish Point via M-123 with a stop at the Upper and Lower Tahquamenon Falls. Colors along this stretch of highway can be strikingly impressive. About 10 miles north of Newberry on M-123, you’ll run into Skyline Drive, which is a very stunning stretch of road in the fall. Through the area, you’ll find beautiful maples and oaks dressed in breathtaking red hues.

In Escanaba and throughout Delta County, fall colors are slowly starting to show along the lake shore. The oaks further inland have begun to turn bright red, with some birch trees beginning to transform to a bright yellow.

Nearly all areas of the Upper Peninsula are reporting color change from 20-60% and many trees have turned vibrant shades of orange, red and yellow. Peak conditions are expected in two or less weeks.

Most color in the Traverse Bay region is among the climbing crimson-colored Virginia creeper vines and scarlet-colored low shrubs like the staghorn sumac. Red maples are beginning to show brilliant crimson color, especially at the edge of the forest, while sugar maples — the workhorses of the fall color season in Traverse City — are starting to glow with reds, oranges and gold. The cottonwood trees near the Sleeping Bear Dunes on the Leelanau Peninsula are turning a bright buttery yellow now and the honeylocusts are a warm gold. Prime viewing is only a week or two away in most parts of the Traverse Bay region. Peak conditions should arrive within the next two week.

For the rest of the Northwest Lower Peninsula region, expect peak conditions to occur in early October in the inland areas and mid-October near the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Alcona is reporting a tinge of red on the maples and the subtle yellow glow on the Aspens. Locals suggest a trip to the Ocqueoc Falls which is especially picturesque setting this time of year. Peak conditions are still one to two weeks away.

The Sunrise Coast is reporting yellow Aspens and red and gold maples. The drive up US-23 North toward the Presque Isle Lighthouses is reported to have stunning fall color that is expected to stay around for a few more weeks. Color saturation is at 26-50% and peak is expected to arrive in one or two more weeks.

Nearly 25% of the trees of the Mount Pleasant area have started to turn vibrant shades of orange, red, bronze and yellow. Peak color is one or two weeks away.

Trees in Midland County are just starting to show dazzling reds, oranges, yellows and gold. A few along country roads have more than 50% color change, but the majority of the trees in the area are still in the 25% to 50% range. Peak is expected in three or four weeks.

About 20-25% of trees in Saginaw County are starting to turn colors. Locals recommend a boat trip aboard the Bavarian Belle to see the trees changing along the Cass River, or aboard the Appledore Tall Ship or on the Princess Wenonah or the Islander to get a view of the beautiful colors along the Saginaw River. Driving along county roads and north on M-52 will also provide great photo options this coming week.

Viewers are likely to catch a glimpse of Holland’s gold aspens and bronze hickory on framing the road ways and dotting the countryside on the way to local farmer’s market—now brimming with the freshest produce and roundest pumpkins. A fall color tour through West Michigan beachtowns is a must-do and you’ll want to be sure to include a stop at wineries and breweries –especially the New Holland Brewing Co. for a glass of traditional pumpkin ale. Color saturation is estimated to be at 25% and peak is expected to be no more than two week away.

Virginia creepers are making a spectacular showing this week in Jackson County. Expect good color in roadside sumacs and along rural roads in the area. This coming week, visitors to the area will see a slight change among the maples and oaks; however, the real show is still expected to be least three to four weeks away.

Across the rest of the Lower Peninsula, color ranges between 30- 50%. Look for peak color development to arrive within the last two week of October.


Source: (c)  Michigan Economic Development Corporation

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