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Michigan Fall Colors (MAP): When to See Fall Color Change

Michigan peak fall colors

Michigan Fall Color Map: See Peak Fall Foliage

Autumn in Michigan: Use the Michigan Peak Fall Colors Map (UPDATED)

We’ve got some great news: The 2022 Michigan Peak Fall Color Season is extended this year…giving us all a bigger window for the Michigan leaf-peeping season for spectaular Michigan fall weather!

From the upper peninsula to the lower peninsula; from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron and Lake Superior to Lake Erie, the changing colors of the leaves throughout the state are truly magnificent.

Michigan comes alive in the fall, and the dramatic color change of the foliage lights up the state. It’s the perfect time for a fall color road trip or even a day trip.

Read on for your Michigan fall color update and start planning your fall color adventure now.

Michigan Fall Color Report

Our Fall Color Map is based on the predictions of the folks at TheSmokyMountains.com, the ultimate fall color guide in the United States.

Where and When to See Fall Color in Michigan: Fall Color Update

The Michigan Fall Color Report is in, and its clear that the fall foliage viewing is going to be spectacular this year.

For near peak and peak conditions, use our updated Michigan Fall Color Map to guide you as you travel Michigan in search of the red, yellow and oranges that make our autumns so beautiful.

We’re sharing some of our favorite spots to view Michigan fall colors with an interactive map to help you find the best spots for your autumn color tour.

michigan peak fall color map

How to Use the Michigan Fall Color Map

It’s important to remember that predicting the exact dates that Michigan’s fall colors will peak is not an exact science, and the dates are subject to change based on local weather patterns.

These dates are for fall color change predictions based on meteorological forecasts and subject to change

Where to See BEST Fall Color in MichiganBest Places to See Fall Color in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
Porcupine Mountains

More than 60,000 acres of pristine fall color is open to you here. A fall getaway at Porcupine Mountain means riding through vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows, watching the leaves transform from a chair lift.

Copper Harbor

Jutting out into wildly beautiful Lake Superior, this small town in the Keweenaw Peninsula packs a ton of beauty into this relatively small area. If you’re feeling really adventurous, look into a trip over to Isle Royale.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

When the leaves change and the air turns cool, Pictured Rocks becomes an entirely new world: towering limestone cliffs topped with bright fall leaves against as wild and wonderful Lake Superior.

Tahquamenon Falls

Tahquamenon’s title of “Root Beer Falls” works perfectly in the fall when shades of orange surround the cascades of water in an effortless display of Michigan beauty.

Marquette

Autumn is our favorite time to visit this vibrant, hip city on the shores of Lake Superior. It’s unique proximity and coexistence with the nature that surrounds it makes it the perfect spot to visit if your into outdoors activities like hiking and biking

michihgan fall colors in northern michigan

Best Places to See Fall Color in Northern Michigan

Tunnel of Trees

Michigan’s Tunnel of Trees is a perfect spot for Michigan fall color tour, and it’s worth exploring in the summer and winter months, too. Drive 22 miles under a leafy canopy of reds, yellows and golds alongside stunning views of Lake Michigan.

Charlevoix

Set between two lakes: Lake Michigan and Round Lake, charming Charlevoix the Beautiful comes alive in the autumn when the fall trees surrounding the lakes light up with color. Fall flower baskets filled with brightly-colored mums spill from planters, adding to the beauty of the downtown area.

Petoskey

You can’t help but fall in love with Petoskey, especially in the fall. Nestled comfortably on the picturesque shores of Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay, this pretty “city by the bay” lights up with fall color and charm in autumn.

Old Mission Peninsula

Just 18 miles long and about 3 miles wide, this gorgeous sliver of land is home to some of Michigan’s most stunningly picturesque land. Come autumn time, it’s the stuff that travel dreams are made of: pristine bay waters of varying blues and hilly terrain that rises and falls in just the right places.

Suttons Bay

Set directly on the west bay shoreline, Suttons Bay lights up with vibrant colors in autumn. The green leaves change to startling reds and golds, and even the bark on age-old birch trees seems whiter against a backdrop of brilliant blue sky.

Leland (Fishtown)

Set on a tiny bit of land between Lake Michigan and Lake Leelanau offering magnificent views, Leland is especially pretty in the fall when the trees lining to shoreline light up with color. It’s also fun to explore the boardwalk and duck into the cute shops in the cool weather.

Glen Arbor

You’ll find some of Michigan’s most spectacular scenery in Glen Arbor, and it’s not just the views from the gorgeous Lake Michigan beaches. Plan your leaf peeping trip to Glen Arbor carefully: there is so much spectacular scenery that you need to be sure and leave yourself time to savor each spot

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

While Sleeping Bear Dunes is a great summer destination, the natural beauty continues all year round, especially in autumn. The rolling terrain lights up in the fall when the leaves start to change color with a turquoise Lake Michigan in the background.

Ocqueoc Falls

This is one of the state’s best-kept fall secrets, quietly rushing waterfalls surrounded by a pristine hardwood forest. Not only is Ocqueoc Falls the largest waterfall in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, it also is the ONLY universally-accessible waterfall in the United States.

Presque Isle

Presque Isle is located in Michigan’s northeast corner, is a must-see destination for lighthouse-lovers. With two lighthouses within a mile of each other, it’s easy to visit these spots and enjoy the pretty views of Lake Huron: the shallow bays in the area give the water a pale turquoise look. Set against the strikingly bold fall foliage, the effect is just beautiful.

Alpena

Set on the shores of Lake Huron’s picturesque Thunder Bay, Alpena is a paradise for outdoor adventure lovers in the fall. Surrounded by pretty inland lakes, natural harbors, thickly forested natural preserves and the sparkling clear Lake Huron water, you can hike, bike, kayak, fish or just sit back and take in the spectacular scenery.

Oscoda

Every year, the fall foliage colors and fun autumn opportunities burst at the seams in north east Michigan’s Au Sable River near Oscoda, and the picturesque landscape of color change, reflects in the river’s surface.

Best Places for Fall Color in West Michigan

Ludington

This is a perfect stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline with wide open vistas of bright, blue Lake Michigan: a perfect backdrop for the brilliant fall foliage. With three scenic and picturesque lighthouses in the area, this is a must on your Michiugan fall bucket list.

Grand Haven

Gorgeous Grand Haven maintains its top Michigan beach town status even in the autumn months. There’s nothing quite like exploring the downtown shops and then heading over to Grand haven State park of the city beach to watch the wild whitecaps of Lake Michigan in the fall roll in. If you’re lucky, you might catch a kite surfer or two riding the waves .

Holland

The expansive beach at Holland State Park opens to sweeping views of the Lake Michigan bluffs to the north. Climb Mt. Pisgah, overlooking Holland’s Lake Macatawa, and take in the windswept bluffs swaying in the breeze off the lake.

michigan fall colors in northern michigan

Things to Do in Michigan in Fall

Fall in Michigan is simply stunning.

It’s one reason why travelers from across the country put Michigan right at the top of their MUST-See’s every autumn…for some, it just wouldn’t be fall without a Michigan Fall Color Tour during peak fall color time.

Michigan’s vibrant peak colors demand an audience, and our fall foliage map will help you plan your scenic drive, outdoor adventures and autumn weekend getaways for a pure Michigan fall of fun.

Cider mills, apple orchards, corn mazes and pumpkin patches all seem to spring up out of nowhere during autumn in Michigan and the colorful foliage seems even brighter against the backdrop of a clear, blue Michigan sky.

View Fall Foliage in Michigan: The Foliage Map

The sight of the bright reds and yellows against the brilliant blue of the sky and the lakes are a striking sight, whether you’re viewing them from southwest Michigan, northern lower Michigan or atop a cliff in Porcupine Mountain State Park in the western U.P.

Just catching a glimpse of this fantastic color explosion is an annual rite-of-passage for many state residents and travelers to Michigan.

It’s important to catch these fall colors when they are at their best, you don’t want to wait until they’re past peak viewing, so be sure to use the 2021 Foliage Map as your guide to fall in Michigan.

Best Time to See Fall Color in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Peninsula

Peak fall foliage color viewing for this area is roughly September 20 – October 4, 2021.

This area includes places like Marquette, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Tahquamenon Falls and Kitch-Iti-Kipi in the upper peninsula; and spots like Petoskey, Charlevoix and Mackinac Island in the lower peninsula.

Best Time to See Fall Color in Northern Lower Michigan

Peak fall color for northern lower Michigan, which is roughly Traverse City, the Leelanau Peninsula, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Frankfort, Manistee and Ludington on Lake Michigan and Cheboygan, Harrisville, Oscoda, Tawas, Caseville and Port Austin on Lake Huron, is estimated for October 15- October 29.

Best Time to See Fall Color in West Michigan and Mid-Michigan

October 22 – November 5 is predicted to view Michigan’s fall color show in places like Grand Haven and Holland on Lake Michigan; Midland and Frankenmuth in mid-Michigan; and Lexington and Port Huron on Michigan’s Thumb Coast.

Best Time to See Fall Color in Southwest and Southeast Michigan

October 29 – November 12 is estimated peak fall color in places like New Buffalo, St. Joseph, South Haven and Saugatuck on Lake Michigan and Ann Arbor, metro Detroit and Belle Isle in southeast Michigan.

[Image: Michigan fall color map]

Explore Beautiful Michigan in Autumn

Before we go on, let us tell you a little about WHY we think autumn in the BEST season in Michigan.

Maybe it’s the crisp air that feels so good on your skin; gone are the steamy, muggy and melting days of August and here are the cool, brisk mornings that slowly warm to sunny afternoons as the day wears on.

There’s a faint feeling of celebration, too, owing perhaps to the anticipation of fall harvest in throughout this farm-rich state.

Corn mazes and pumpkin patches spring up on local farms, cider mills and apple orchards fill the air with the scent of cinnamon. It’s pure Michigan fall fun in a red-yellow-gold explosion.

We think fall colors tours, whether a long, meandering trip or just short driving tours, are a great way to experience the beauty of Michigan in the fall.

michigan fall colors in sleeping bear dunes

Michigan in the Fall: Color Drives

There’s one word for the Michigan fall foliage viewing season in 2021, and the word is VIBRANT.

The entire state takes on a richer hue as the days become shorter and the waves on the Great Lakes become wilder: Michigan truly comes alive in the fall.

Fall color drives are a great way to take in nature’s show: throughout the state you’ll find spots that make you pull over to the side of the road for photos.

We’ve shared some our favorites spots here, in our post on Michigan Fall Colors: 21 Spots to See Michigan’s Changing Leaves at Peak Color .

In these posts, we share some of our favorite spots to catch pure Michigan’s gorgeous colors, spots like Harbor Springs and Petoskey on the shores of Little Traverse Bay, Belle Isle Park in southeast Michigan, Ocqueoc Falls just north of Alpena and many more.

oscoda in fall for peak fall color map

Experience Michigan Fall Color

The time for catching Michigan at 2021 Peak Fall Color is NOW.

Use our Michigan Peak Fall Color Map to plan your fall foliage viewing and view Michigan color at its best, and use the comment section below to let us know YOUR favorite spot for viewing Michigan fall color.

Michigan Peak Fall Color Questions and Answers

Q. Where Can I See Fall Color in Michigan?

A. You can see fall color just about anywhere you can find a tree in Michigan during the months of September and October. The color change in Michigan gradual, starting from the northern-most parts of the Michigan (the Upper Peninsula and norther Lower Peninsula) and working its way south as the weeks progress.

Q. What is the Best Time to See Fall Colors in Michigan?

A. The best time to see fall colors in Michigan depends on where you are in the state. If you are in (or traveling to) the northern parts of the state, you’ll see the fall foliage start to change earlier, in mid-to-late September. The southern parts of the state state will experience the fall color change a little later in the season, even extending into late October in some areas.

Q. Where are the Colors Peaking in Michigan Right Now?

A. It depends on WHEN you are reading this. You can use our Peak Fall Color Prediction Map to determine where the leaves and fall foliage in Michigan are at their peak color.

Q. Are the Leaves Changing in Michigan?

A. Yes, it’s the glorious autumn season and the leaves have started to change.

Q. Do the Leaves in Michigan Stay at Peak Fall Color For a Long Time?

A. The leaves generally stay at peak color for about two weeks. That provides a nice window for planning your fall color-peeping road trips. This year, the season is extending in late October, which provides us more time to plan your fall color tours and scenic drives.