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Experience Michigan’s Fall Color Season



Maple Path, Lansing, Michigan

Maple Path, Lansing, Michigan. Photo by Aunt Owwee

Michigan’s 19.3 mil­lion acres of forests burst into a daz­zling dis­play of fall color each year, with the deep greens of conifers com­ple­ment­ing the reds, oranges and yel­lows of maple, birch, aspen and oak trees. Lining two-lane high­ways or fram­ing rush­ing water­falls, aqua lake waters or mean­der­ing streams, the color sweeps across the state start­ing in the Upper Peninsula about mid-September, and reach­ing the south­ern Lower Peninsula around the end of October.

The tim­ing of the chang­ing leaves and inten­sity of the hues varies from year to year, depend­ing on sum­mer and fall tem­per­a­tures, pre­cip­i­ta­tion lev­els, the amount of cloud cover, and lake effect warm­ing. To help track the color cal­en­dar Travel Michigan offers a free weekly Fall Color e-Newsletter and posts reg­u­lar updates at michigan.org. The Web site also sug­gests fall color dri­ving routes, lodg­ing, din­ing and shop­ping infor­ma­tion and a cal­en­dar of autumn activ­i­ties from hayrides and cider mills to u-pick farms and festivals.

Leaf peep­ers can enjoy the views on a time-tested self-driving auto tour, take in the autumn splen­dor from a bicy­cle at one of the five lin­ear state parks, and enjoy spec­tac­u­lar color com­bi­na­tions dur­ing a hike along Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Or try some­thing a bit more adven­tur­ous. Take in the color from Copper Peak, the only ski fly­ing hill in the Western Hemisphere. Drift silently over a patch­work of reds, oranges, yel­lows and bronze at sun­rise, or sun­set, in a hot air bal­loon. Climb aboard a his­toric steam locomotive-powered train or take in the color from a bird’s eye view dur­ing an air­plane tour.

Bufka Farmstead, Michigan. Photo by Andrew McFarlane

Bufka Farmstead, Michigan. Photo by Andrew McFarlane

Every week­end offers a fall fes­ti­val or sea­sonal event such as a hayride, trip to pick a pump­kin or apples, or vis­its to haunted houses, cider mills and winer­ies. Corn mazes are a grow­ing trend in fall fam­ily fun. Most Michigan mazes range in size from four to 20 acres and boast elab­o­rate designs, with clues planted through­out the maze to help with navigation.

When the air is as crisp as a bite into a deli­cious Michigan apple, it’s time for a visit to a U-Pick farm or a cider mill. Picturesque and his­toric, some mills have been in oper­a­tion since the mid 1800s. The haul from an apple-picking out­ing can yield home­made pie, fresh apple­sauce or hot spiced cider to fill a home with autumn aro­mas that are Pure Michigan.

While enjoy­ing the beau­ti­ful fall weather, Travel Michigan wants to know where vis­i­tors are see­ing fall color. Visitors are invited to post their Pure Michigan fall expe­ri­ence, includ­ing video and images, on the Pure Michigan Facebook wall, or via Twitter using the tag #MISpy.




Related posts:

  1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park Celebrates 75 Years Ablaze in Autumn Color
  2. Discover Lighthouses as You Travel the Lake Michigan Circle Tour
  3. Plan your 2009/2010 West Michigan Getaway
  4. Mission Point Resort Offers Mackinac Island’s Most Affordable Fall Packages
  5. 2010 Michigan Travel Ideas Magazine Now Available

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