Fall is a time of pumpkins, hot chocolate, warm sweaters, and, in Michigan, the Fall Color Tours. Fall is not just the end of the summer, but it’s the beginning of beautiful crimsons, oranges, and golds filling the skylines. Tours can be from 150 to 200 miles long, and there are a lot to choose from.
Grand Rapids Tour
The Grand Rapid’s tour has stood out year after year. Maples, oaks, birches, aspens, and sumacs, only to list some, color beautifully every fall, and have the added bonus of a background of lush green from the forest of evergreen trees that also decorate the city.
The tour starts at I-96 and East Beltline Ave. and loops back around to the same exit, but not before passing by a Cider Mill that offers made-fresh donuts, many covered bridges, and even goes past Frederik Meijer Nature Preserve. Antique shops also litter the city, hiding treasures you don’t want to miss, especially in Lowell.
Rogers City, Cheboygan, Indian River Tour
A longer tour that takes you along Lake Huron is the Rogers City, Cheboygan, Indian River Tour. On this 200 mile tour, you meander past sandy beaches, rivers full to the brim with wildlife, and waterfalls you can only see in the Lower Peninsula, along with the thousands of acres of trees. Fall hits this area during late September and mid-October
The tour takes you by Burt Lake State Park, a 400 acre park with hiking trails, a beach, shoreline fishing, a picnic area, an outlook, a boat launch, a skid pier, and more. If you’re religious, you can stop by the Cross in the Woods Shrine and Nun Doll Museum that you’ll pass. Or, if you’re brining the kids, there is the historic Mill Creek Discovery Park and Zipline to experience. The tour takes you to many more state parks and lighthouse museums than can be listed here, and is not a tour to miss.
New Buffalo, St. Joseph, Benton Harbor, Paw Paw Tour
For a more interactive tour, you can experience the New Buffalo, St. Joseph, Benton Harbor, Paw Paw Tour. Taking you through Southwestern Michigan, it not only gives you the chance to admire the amazing autumn leaves, but is known for its roadside markets, you-pick farms, cider mills, hiking trails, and even a few wineries.
170 miles long and best in mid to late October, it starts at the Round Barn Winery, and as you follow I-94 north, it takes you past the Warren Dunes State Park, Schu’s Grill and Bar, Karma Vista Vineyard, Jollay Orchards, Brush Creek Antiques and Collectibles, and Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve. This list is not all-inclusive, and all of these attractions are only additions to the wonder that the autumn season brings to the leaves along the journey.
These three Michigan City Color Tours are only a few of the ones available. Each comes with its own flare and potential for adventure. Take your pick from tours that have more outdoor exploration, more shopping stops, or more orchards. There’s no reason not to find the perfect one for you.