Best Fall Colors in Michigan Tour: Best Places to See Peak Colors and Foliage | Michigan Fall Color Tour Map | By Sherry Trautman | Traveling Michigan
Are you looking for the best places to see fall colors in Michigan? Do you need a Michigan color tour map?
Keep reading, you've got you!
This is such a perfect Michigan color tour route as it involves several chances to get out of the car and go for short hikes to see colorful Michigan foliage and enjoy sweeping overlooks with views of the peak fall colors in Michigan.
Of course, I had to sneak in a little shopping and an incredible Michigan color tour along the way with curvy scenic roads. Our tour takes you along side roads in west Michigan and northern Michigan.
Are you ready?
Grab our Michigan fall color map to see the peak colors in Michigan and let's go!
This Michigan Color Tour will covers Northern Michigan (lower peninsula) and West Michigan.
This Michigan Color Tour map includes:
What is the best time to see fall colors in Michigan? Grab our fall color changing predictions here but it's generally the week of October 17-25ish time frame for Traverse City region.
Where can I see fall colors in Michigan? Michigan fall colors are incredible throughout the state, but resounding popular places to see fall color tends to be in northwest Michigan. Sleeping Bear Dunes, Traverse City and all across the mid to western regions of Michigan. See our guide below!
When fall colors will peak in Michigan in 2022? Grab our fall color changing predictions here!
How long does it take to drive through the tunnel of trees? It takes about 30 minutes one way if you don't stop, but I would plan about 2.5 hours if you take your time and stop in Harbor Springs, Good Hart and Cross Village.
Zoom in and out to see the desired stops and click this Michigan Fall Color Tour GOOGLE Map for live directions as you drive!
If you are wondering where are the best fall colors in Michigan right now, we've listed them below!
Address: Kingsley, MI 49649
Is 200 feet above the Manistee River Valley high enough for you? The High Rollaway Observation Deck offers an absolutely stunning view of the valley and lush trees below.
The High Rollaway Observation Deck is an incredible place to see fall colors in Michigan!
You can see the sparkling Manistee River snaking its way through the valley far below. It was fun to see several kayakers maneuver the tight river turns of the scenic Manistee River as they enjoyed the Michigan fall color.
Rugg Pond Dam is located on Valley Rd NW just south of Seven Bridges Natural Area.
Rugg Pond Dam is on our Michigan fall color tour because I thought it was such a cool unexpected discovery this year and I wanted to share it with you! Plus, Valley Rd NW offers incredible Michigan fall foliage.
I absolutely love watching the gushing dam spill into the absolutely beautiful Rapid River from Rugg Pond. The forest surrounding Rugg Pond is very scenic, especially during Michigan fall, and there are several benches along the way so you can sit and enjoy the view and wildlife!
There is also a trail into the woods that locals enjoy on a nice summer or fall day. So take the time to stop for a few minutes and enjoy Rugg Pond Dam! Parking is only a few feet from the Dam (it's right off Valley Rd NW) so if you are short on time you can see the dam in about 10 minutes.
Michigan Hidden Gem Alert!
Valley Road, Rapid City Michigan
Seven Bridges Natural area is a quiet place with boardwalks that meander through lovely cedar trees. It's our third stop on our Michigan color tour!
For me, the highlight of this Michigan hiking trail is the seven scenic boardwalk bridges that cross over the gurgling Rapid River.
The trail is very easy to manage. The terrain is flat and is a combination of boardwalks, dirt paths and grassy areas. It's a great place to get an up close and personal look at peak fall colors in Michigan!
Here is a trail map of the Seven Bridges Natural Area. It is about .8 miles round trip and very easy, flat and fun for the whole family.
Much of the trail follows the Rapid River, which is one of my favorite aspects! You will also pass through this lovely environment of tall grasses and beautiful trees.
There are no restrooms/porta-johns here.
Michigan Hidden Gem Alert!
Grass River Natural Area is located at 6500 Alden Highway, Bellaire, MI.
There are several miles of walking or hiking trails at Grass River Natural Area. I'm absolutely in love with this place!
It's one of my favorite places to visit in Michigan in the fall as the temperatures are cooler, the trees are magnificent and it's very quiet. Grass River Natural Area is a great place to see fall colors in Michigan!
I highly recommend taking the Sedge Meadow Boardwalk loop beginning at #16 and walking clockwise toward #18 and #15. It is incredibly scenic with boardwalks, bridges and scenic views of the the Grass River.
I also love to walk out to the dock as it feels like another world out there as you wander through the grasses. It's absolutely lovely.
Grass Lake Natural Area is free but donation boxes are available. There is also a nature center. Porta-johns are available in the parking area.
Time Allotment: Depending on how many trails you want to walk, you could spend 1.5 hours to all day. It's an incredible place. Pack snacks and drinks.
Isn't this view just lovely! It's only one of many along the Sedge Meadow Boardwalk Loop.
Deadman's Hill Scenic Overlook is a lovely overlook requiring a very short walk up a gradual hill. It's definitely worth it!
You need to head to Boyne Mountain to ride their ski lift this fall or harvest season!
It's one of my favorite fall getaways in Michigan! Where else can you get such a great birds eye view of peak fall colors in Michigan!?
So if you are wondering where to see fall colors in Michigan, this is it!
For a small fee, you can glide to the top of the ski hill for a magnificent view of the changing trees and the lovely Boyne Mountain Michigan resort.
You don't need to buy tickets ahead of time but you may stand in line for a few minutes. Plus, plan to stay for lunch or dinner as there is a cute restaurant right near the chair lift. You can see why it's one of the best places to visit in Michigan in the fall!
Our next stop to see fall colors in Michigan is lovely Boyne City. I love Boyne City Michigan as there are several fantastic restaurants right on the water. We recommend Cafe Sante for their wood fired pizzas. Freakin' awesome!
Take time to wander the downtown area shops, the marina and the docks. Heck, if it's a nice day, rent a boat from Boyne Watersports! They have kayaks, pontoons and jet skis.
You only live once, right?
Coveyou Scenic Farm Market Location: 4160 US-131, Petoskey Michigan.
Just south of Petoskey is Coveyou Scenic Farm Market, a lovely spot to pick our pumpkins, preserves, gifts and pretty much everything you need for the fall season!
Coveyou Scenic Farm Market in East Jordan also holds events throughout the season on their gorgeous new deck with incredible views of forests and Walloon Lake. You will love this stop along our Michigan color tour!
There are no restrooms at this stop.
We love visiting Petoskey in any season throughout the year!
You will love visiting Harbor Springs! This lovely lakeside town overlooks the Little Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan. Take time to wander the quaint downtown, grab some lunch and wander the marina.
Harbor Springs Chamber recommends visiting Ahrens Gallery and Studio located at 5200 West Lake Road Harbor Springs MI. This gallery is open year round with incredible artwork.
Walking along marinas and watching the boats is one of my favorite things to do in Michigan. Harbor Springs has a lovely marina, so be sure to take the time to enjoy it.
There are public restrooms at the marina.
Are you ready to see some of the best fall colors in Michigan? The famous tunnel of trees is a Michigan fall destination.
Michigan's Tunnel of Trees was voted one of the most scenic drives in America by USA Today's readers!
The Tunnel of Trees is a 20 mile route through beautiful trees with breathtaking views of Lake Michigan. It's not to be missed.
Visit the tunnel of trees this Michigan fall!
Good Hart Michigan consists of three shops: Primitive Images, A Studio and the General Store; all within steps of each other. It's a great spot to stretch your legs, do a little shopping and use the porta-johns located at the back of the General Store.
The stores have everything from Michigan gifts to snacks, home décor and tea tastings, so be sure to stop for about 45 minutes and enjoy the area.
Picnic tables are also available in Good Hart so you can enjoy your lunch along the Tunnel of Trees Heritage Route.
Cross Village is a small town worth exploring and one of our favorite places to visit in Michigan in the fall. It's highlight (in our opinion) is having dinner at Legs Inn, famous for their polish cuisine and eclectic interior.
Legs Inn was named “2nd most iconic restaurant” in the state of Michigan by Mlive.com. How cool, huh?
They don't accept reservations so we recommend getting there about an hour before you are starving to death!
TIP: Legs Inn generally closes at the end of the third week of October for the season, so be sure to check their website for hours and days they are open.
Leg's Inn has two shops to explore and their backyard overlooks sparkling Sturgeon Bay and Lake Michigan. Legs Inn takes great pride in their lovely gardens, so be sure to check them out.
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So guys, if you are staying in Traverse City, you must visit Sleeping Bear Dunes!
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Where can I watch fall colors in Michigan? Not rated yet
I'd like to see the leaves in Michigan this year but don't know where to go. I need your help, please and thank you. Answer Hi Bert, Michigan …
How long does it take to drive through the tunnel of trees? Not rated yet
We wondered how long the drive was as I have restless kids and I reallllllly want to see it! lol! Kelley Answer Hi Kelley, It takes about 30 …
Where should I go in Michigan in the fall? Not rated yet
Any ideas of some great places to visit with my family this fall? Best spots to see pretty leaves? Thank you! Answer Hi Abby, Ohhh, Michigan …