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NEW Michigan Fall Color Peak Prediction Map: 2023 Forecast + TIMELINE

Michigan Peak fall color map
Updated Michigan Park Fall Color Predictions 9/28/23

by Jill Halpin

UPDATED 2023 Michigan Peak Fall Colors Map: Predictions and Timeline

We’ve got some great news for Michigan fall leaf-peepers, and you can see it on the new 2023 Michigan Fall Color Map!

Weather predictions for Michigan call for a warm autumn season from September and into the first weeks of October. The fall color forecast is in, and the potential for brighter and more vibrant hues during the autumn foliage color change in Michigan is excellent in 2023.

That means even MORE time for you to get out and see some of the spectacular, vibrant colors as the leaves continue to turn from green to brilliant reds, yellows, and golds… and find them in peak viewing conditions. This looks like a year when you’re going to want to have your cameras and phones ready: you should be able to capture some amazing photos this fall season.

Remember, though, as says, “While no tool can be 100% accurate, this tool is meant to help travelers better time their trips to have the best opportunity of catching peak color each year.”

Of all the the fall Michigan events, I find the near peak or peak color change in Michigan simply awesome. The fall color season is the highlight of the year. Be sure to USE this Peak Fall Foliage Map to experience the amazing color season in Michigan in fall!

Hand holding a red leaf - Michigan Fall Color Map

2023 Michigan Fall Predictions: Warm Temps Ahead

Here’s the good news: while predicting is not an exact science, weather experts can often predict temperatures three months out. The temperatures, which play a factor in the foliage color change, are predicted to be above normal in most parts of Michigan through October, which is very rare.

We’ve spent years scouring the state in the late summer and early autumn months. We’ve discovered first-hand that warm fall weather and color change is a spectacular mix in northern Michigan.

If you’re looking for the best times to plan a Michigan color tour or an autumn getaway to see the amazing fall foliage show happening this season in Michigan, read on to discover the best times for you to travel MI.

Want to see some pure Michigan fall colors at their best as you explore our awesome mitten state? We’re also sharing some of our favorite places to stay, play, and eat on your Michigan fall getaway.

Keep reading for our UPDATED 2023 Michigan Fall Color Map, and scroll to the bottom of the page for all of the places you’ll want to visit on your Michigan travels.

Michigan fall hiking trail with bright levaes on the ground
You never know what you’ll find a on Michigan fall hike

Michigan in the fall is full of fun events, too, all season long. Be sure to check out our list of Michigan October events, which includes and handy map if you’re looking for a fun trip idea or things to do close to home.

Find Weekly Predicted Dates for Peak Fall Colors in Michigan

It’s clear that Michigan’s fall colors have become something of a legend with leaf peepers. Based on the high volume of folks we saw traveling Michigan last autumn, the word on the beautiful color show has definitely gotten out.

The last few years, we’ve taken an epic fall color road trip through Michigan based on weather predictions, and it did not disappoint. We plan to do it again in 2023. Here’s where our fall Michigan road trip will take us:

If you’re looking for the some great Michigan fall color itineraries, here are some of our top fall travel guides to get you started:
Where to FIND Michigan’s BEST Fall Color with MAP
36 Michigan Fall Color Experiences for 2023 with MAP

fall in michigan on jacobs farm in traverse city
Jacobs FArm in Traverse City: Don’t miss the Corn Maze!

The time to see fall leaves change colors in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is always a little earlier in the season than in the Lower Peninsule, since it farther north.

The diverse terrain, ranging from the Porcupine Mountains and Iron Mountain in the western Upper Peninsula (home to the stunning Lake of the Clouds) to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore along Lake Superior and Tahquamenon Falls, makes a perfect prediction map almost impossible. The changing weather from Lake Superior adds to that, but it’s safe to say that color drives and fall road trips for leaf peeping in 2023 will be a bit extended this year.

PRO-TIP: There are a lot of haunted places in Michigan, and the Upper Peninsula is full of them. You might want to plan a trip around these…interesting…spots in the U.P. Hint: The Calumet Theater, up near Copper Harbor in the Keweenaw Peninsula, is one of them. You can also catch a ferry to Isle Royale throught October 31 here

Sleeping bear Dunes Overlook - Michigan fall color map
Lake Michigan Overlook in Sleeping Bear Dunes in Autumn

Northern Michigan’s Peak Fall Color Predicitons 2023:
September 30 – October 14

The changing colors in the northern lower peninsula’s fall foliage are taking their time this year, and we love it. The fall colors in northern Michigan are some of the best in the state

There’s nothing quite like hiking Leelanau County’s many trails, including those in the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Want to see peak colors from one of the most scenic byways in the country? Try Pierce Stocking Drive, a seven-mile drive in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore that will take you through some of the most picturesque spots, including the iconic Lake Michigan Overlook.

This unforgettable scenic drive is a mini road trip itself, through a tunnel of trees (quaking aspen, birch, maple and other hardwoods) that opens into breathtaking vistas of Lake Michigan and Glen Lake.

PRO-TIP: A little farther north, the Tunnel of Trees, which starts in Harbor Springs and winds along the Lake Michigan coast towards Mackinaw City, is a northern Michigan fall must. It’s one of the top Michigan fall color tours.

horse in frankenmuth mi in the fall

2023 Mid-Michigan and Thumb Area Fall Color Predictions Updated: October 7 – October 28

Places like Bay City, Midland and Frankenmuth really come love with color in the fall: these destinations are also where you’ll find fun fall festivals as well as cider mills and and pumpkin farms. Frankenmuth, home to the annual Oktoberfest celebration, a favorite spot to celebrate fall in Michigan. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride around town to see scarecrows, colorful mums and colorful trees lit up with changing leaves.

It’s the same for places like Bay City, Caseville, and Port Austin in Michigan’s Thumb region. If you head up that way for some fall fun, be sure and stop by Port Crescent State Park, home to some of the only sand dunes in southeast Michigan.

PRO-TIP: Fall color tours in Michigan are not complete without a stop at one of the many cider mills or Michigan pumpkin patches dotting the countryside.

autumn leaves in west michigan
Hiking Trail in West Michigan in Autumn

West Michigan Peak Fall Color Prediction 2023:
October 7 – October 28

You’ll see bits of brightly colored leaves peeping through here and there and larger patches of colors, too, right now. However, peak fall color in places like Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, and Holland will most likely hold off until October 28.

PRO-TIP: If you’re heading to west Michigan, do a Michigan Fall Color Train Tour along the Coopersville-Marne Railway. The Famous Pumpkin Train is fall family fun at its best, with live music, a “live” scarecrow and pumpkin to keep you bust as you gaze out at the bright Michigan fall foliage. These train rides are an autumn in Michigan must.

fall color change in southeast michigan

2023 Southeast Michigan Peak Fall Color Predictions: Late October

In southeast Michigan, Ann Arbor and the Huron River come alive with color. Take a ride along Edward Hines Drive, which runs from Dearborn (home of Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum) to the charming towns of Plymouth and Northville. You’ll find multiple places to pull over for a picnic or hike under colorful leafy tree canopies. Thanks to the warm temps, it looks like we may be enjoying those colors all the way into November.

2023 Southwest Michigan Peak Fall Color Predictions: Late October

Any season is the perfect season to visit charming St. Joseph, but in the fall the whole town is decorated for the fall harvest and Halloween and the effect is spectacular. South Haven is also a pretty spot to see the bright fall leaves against a backdrop of the sparkling blue Lake Michigan, while you wander the the downtown area, all decked out for fall.

Head farther south along the Lake Michigan coast to Harbor Country, where you’ll find eight small towns nestled in among the wooded dunes and along the shoreline. Spend some time hiking the dunes trails at Warren Dunes State Park, or kayaking the Galien River in New Buffalo before wandering the downtown shops and cafes. Then, head over to Three Oaks for some fall antiquing; you’ll find some amazing little shops and boutiques here.

How to Plan Your Leaf Peeping Trip With the 2023 Michigan Fall Color Map

Remember that the exact dates for peak fall color can change based on fluctuating weather conditions. Use this map as a general guide, and be sure to reach out to us if you have any questions. We will follow the weather carefully and make updates if the need arises.

10 top spots for a michigan fall road trip

Michigan Fall Color Map F.A.Q.’s

Michigan Autumn in Full Swing: What to Look For

You’ll know right away when it’s fall in Michigan. You’ll see apple orchards filled with visitors looking for some crisp apple cider and fresh cinnamon donuts, as well as sprawling pumpkin patches lined with bright orange pumpkins. You’ll also spot corn mazes carved into amazing shapes and farm stands bursting at the seams with bright mums, fresh produce and more.

In short, we saw autumn in Michigan in full swing, with all of the best things to do in the fall in Michigan underway. We’re sharing the best times to get out and explore Michigan fall foliage, according to our leaf peeping prediction map.

fall in michigan's upper peninsula
Fall in Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains

2023 Upper Peninsula Fall Color Updated Predictions:
September 29 – October 7

Q.What is the best time to see Michigan fall colors in 2023?

A. While the perfect leaf-peeping time for Michigan’s peak fall colors usually starts in early September in the Upper Peninsula, an unusually warm September and October have extended the window for peak fall color viewing in 2023. In 2023, the best time to see fall color in Michigan begins in mid September in the northern and western regions of the Upper Peninsula. The best time to see fall color in the northern portions of Michigan’ lower peninsula began around Setpember 25, 2023.

Q. Where are the peak colors in Michigan?

A. The peak colors in Michigan can found throughout the state depending on the week in the fall. In late September and easrly October 2023, the peak colors are in the Upper Peninsula.
In early to mid-October 2023, the peak fall colors in Michigan can be found in the northern lower peninsula in places like Leelanau County and the Traverse City area. In mid, southwest and southeast Michigan, the peak color begin in late October 2023.

Last Thoughts on Using the Michigan Peak Fall Color Prediction Map

Even if you take your fall color trip past peak times, you’re still in for a treat. Whether you visit southern Michigan, Central Michigan or plan to see the fall colors in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, you’ll be surrounded by natural beauty. Take the country roads for your very own scenic drive!

More to Explore in Michigan Travel

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Discover Lake Huron’s Amazing Lighthouses

Michigan Holiday Fun

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15 Best Scenic drives in Michigan

About the Author-

Journalist Jill Halpin is a lifelong Michigan resident who has spent a lifetime exploring the state from shore to shore. She enjoys sailing her racing dinghy, The Lady Celeste on Lake Huron, as well as swimming, hiking and skiing. She considers Michigan four-season recreation paradise.

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Lorraine Rice

Saturday 23rd of July 2022

Hello, is this part of the article referencing 2021 OR 2022? Thank you.

"Southwest Michigan and Southeast Michigan Fall Color Update Fall color prediction: October 29 through November 5

Any season is the perfect season to visit charming St. Joseph, but in the fall the whole town is decorated for the fall harvest and Halloween and the effect is spectacular.

In southeast Michigan, Ann Arbor and the Huron River come alive with color. Thanks to the warm temps, it looks like we may be enjoying those colors all the way into November."

My Michigan Beach Team

Tuesday 26th of July 2022

Hi Lorraine! Thanks so much for reaching out. You have perfect timing! We just posted our latest predictions for peak Michigan fall colors viewing and our updated 2022 Michigan Fall Color Map. While the forecasts call for a warm autumn, there may be an increase of precipitation. This might force the leaves from the trees earlier. We'll be watching this closely and making adjustments as necessary. Please reach back out if you have more question. Be sure to check out all of our other fall content for some amazing spots to catch Michigan beautiful fall color show, too!


Sunday 17th of July 2022

Where is the 2022 color map?

My Michigan Beach Team

Wednesday 20th of July 2022

Hi Bob! Thanks for reaching out. We're watching the weather predictions as we move into August for the most accurate information that we can provide on when the Michigan fall colors will be at their peak. We hope to have it up very soon. Please keep checking back!