With October’s arrival, fall is starting to assert itself into Michigan with cooler temperatures. The lower temperatures typically mean less sun, which starts to turn the leaves into vibrant reds, oranges and yellows. Each region of Michigan has its own peak season for beautiful fall colors though. Read on to find out when the colors will start to appear throughout the state.
With a cooler stretch of weather in the Upper Peninsula, it would seem that foliage may be peaking a bit earlier than normal this year, by 2 weeks. Even with the leaves turning earlier, there is still time to get above the Mackinac Bridge and see the stunning colors. Explore sceinc areas like Brockway Mountain, Cut River Bridge, Whitefish Point and the Curley Lewis Highway until around October 7th for prime colors.
In the northern section of the Lower Peninsula, many trees are starting to change as well. This area, which we would define between the Straits of Mackinac to Clare and between Ludington to Oscoda, is not far behind the Upper Peninsula. We will likely see peak season the week of October 12th. Foliage hot spots include the Tunnel of Trees in Harbor Springs, the scenic hilly stretch of M-32 west of Gaylord, the Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsulas in Traverse City and the Pigeon River State Forest.
The Rest of Michigan
Sticking with the trend, the rest of the Lower Peninsula will likely peak early as well. We are looking at between October 14th and October 24th as the peak season, depending on wind and rain conditions. From South Haven to Bay City, and Mount Pleasant down to Hillsdale, there are many miles of flat country roads that you can take a drive and take in the colors. Take a drive to one of the many great apple orchards and pumpkin patches in Michigan and enjoy the spectacular leaves as you travel.
Fall is a great time to get out and enjoy Michigan while staying socially distant. However, peak season does not last too long. One strong wind or rainstorm can change leaves quickly and get them falling from trees. Hopefully you are able to get out and take in the fall color season before it’s too late.