Michigan Fall Color Tour Resource Page

Michigan Fall Color Tour Resource Page

Still want to do a fall color tour in Michigan? Well, you are in luck my friends! The sunny and warm September and early October weather we are having has delayed the change! There is still time. You haven’t missed peak colors yet! Time to pack up and head up north! 


The cooler inland areas on both peninsulas will change faster than the lakeshore areas…just something to keep in mind.


These peak fall color predictions/info are all as current as I can find at date of publishing (10/10/21)

⇒Western U.P. is at peak now.

⇒Eastern U.P. is either at peak or will peak before the 15th.

⇒Lakeshore areas are behind (because they are closer to the warmer water temps), but they aren’t behind by much!

⇒Peak for the L.P. is next week & the following weekend (23rd-24th).

⇒The Tunnel of Trees will peak in about a week!



Fall Color Maps/Predictions/Updates:

You might want to bookmark this page/post as a resource for next year too!


Annual Fall Foliage Map: https://smokymountains.com/fall-foliage-map/


Estimates for Southeast Michiganhttps://www.clickondetroit.com/travel/2021/08/31/when-to-expect-peak-fall-colors-in-michigan-this-year/


>>> Northern Michigan Fall Color Map & Updates: https://mynorth.com/northern-michigan-fall-color-map/ (This is the most helpful resource I have seen yet!)

You can also look back at the 2019 and 2020 color maps to help you see the trends in peak color here too!


Pure Michigan Projected Fall Color Map: https://www.michigan.org/fallcolormap


Do Your Own Color Tour

I listed out some ideas for planning your own fall color tour below…of course (in Michigan) the options are endless though!


The Tunnel of Trees 

…is between Mackinaw City and Petosky along the coast of Lake Michigan.

The tunnel officially starts in Harbor Springs (on M-119) and ends in Cross Village.

The road is narrow and windy, so proceed with caution! Make sure to watch out for pedestrians, bikers, motorcycles, etc.

The tunnel is 20 miles along a spectacular bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. Watch for especially sharp twists at Devil’s Elbow (said to be haunted by an evil spirit after dark) and Horseshoe Curve. There are fun shops, must-try local restaurants, spectacular scenery, and fascinating historical stops along the way!

A great resource for the tunnel of trees: https://mynorth.com/2017/05/guide-to-michigans-iconic-tunnel-of-trees-on-m-119/


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Traverse City

Good wine, great food, excellent views

Because of the unique location of TC (which allows them to grow grapes so well), the colors here change a little bit later than in other areas in the north.

Check out my complete Traverse City Guide here along with my recommended place to stay!

There are many places around TC that are rumored to be haunted! You can do a haunted walking tour…fall colors + spooky season = WIN!


Port Austin/Thumb

If you take M-53 North (which is pretty much the only way you can take) you will pass by some extraordinary sunflower fields too! We stopped by the side of the road to take some pics. We did not trespass on the land or take anything. Please be courteous!


Turnip Rock is located in Port Austin in the thumb.

There are also several cool bars, restaurants, and shops to check out! (Pak’s Backyard and Bird Creek Farms were both highly recommended to me by a friend who has a cottage in the area!)



Lexington, MI

Make it a day trip (or a night away if you want)! Eat, drink, shop…

While you’re here, make sure you stop in at 3 North Vines (vineyard & winery) and 3 North Lexington (for drinks and food in an old firehouse)!


Kitch-iti-Kipi (Manistique, MI)

…is a gorgeous natural spring with clear turquois water. You ride in a clear bottomed pulley-raft 200ft across it.

There are these yurts that I found in St. Ignace (just across the bridge and about 1.5 hour drive to Kitch-iti-Kipi). I haven’t stayed here yet, but I want to!


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Mackinac Island

I have always wanted to see Mackinac in all her glory in the fall!

The island closes down at the end of the month. Take advantage of this beautiful weather and do a last minute trip! (And please take me with you!)


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…is a picturesque little fishing town kind of in between Traverse City and Sleeping Bear. I haven’t been yet, but I really want to go!

You can take a little ride along M22 for an alternate Tunnel of Trees here too!


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A post shared by Leland Chamber (@lelandmi)




Other Points of Interest:

The Ultimate Keweenaw Peninsula Scenic Drive: In the UP (Copper Country)

Mid-Michigan/Bay Area Things To Do

Twisted Vet Color Ride: Roscommon


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