Upper Peninsula of Michigan Suggested Fall Color Tours

Color is usually best the last two weeks of September and the first week or two of October.

All of the Upper Peninsula is stunning during the fall color season. Any road winding through the U.P. will show you trees ranging from a subtle yellow to brilliant red. The flaming maples, oaks and other hardwoods make a perfect backdrop for the calm waters of the inland lakes. Fall is our tranquil period when the sounds of the forest echo around you as humans and wildlife alike prepare for winter. The peace and quiet of this period are unmatched at any other time of the year. The leaves are touched with frost, the skies are the bluest, the evergreens the greenest, and the lakes are the calmest as they prepare to don their covering of white.

Western Upper Peninsula and the Keweenaw Peninsula

For an outstanding fall tour in the Keweenaw Peninsula, start at Twin Lakes on M-26, 23 miles south of Houghton. Stop and see beautiful Lake Roland. Then take 41 north from Houghton through Calumet, Laurium and Mohawk to Phoenix. Take Highway 26 north from Phoenix through Eagle River and Eagle Harbor to Copper Harbor. Be sure to drive to the top of Brockway Mountain for a fabulous view of Lake Superior and the nearby colorful hills. Return from Copper Harbor on Highway 41 to Delaware, then turn on the county road to Bete Grise and Lac La Belle. Follow this road to Lake Linden where you will meet Highway 26. Go south to Hubbell, Dollar Bay and on to Houghton. Note the steep roofs on the houses. This allows the snow to slide off the roof rather than cause the roof to cave in. Approx. 125 miles

 

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From Baraga, take 41 North to Chassel, then west to Painesdale. At Painesdale you will see the Champion #4 Shaft-Rockhouse, the oldest mineshaft-rockhouse standing in the Keweenaw. Built in 1902, this shaft house operated for nearly 65 years until mining operations ceased altogether in 1967. From Painesdale, take 26 north to the intersection with 38. Go west on 38 to Ontonagon. Take 64 west to Silver City and the Porcupine Mountains State Park which contains Michigan's only range of mountains accessible to the public. Porcupine Mountains State Park is Michigan's largest (92 square Miles) area of undeveloped wilderness. Return to Baraga on Highway 38. Approx. 170 miles

From Crystal Falls, go west on Highway 2 to Ironwood, the heart of the Big Snow Country. Return on Highway 28 to Covington, then south on 141 to Crystal Falls. Approx. 220 miles.

Central Upper Peninsula

From Grand Marais, take H 58 west to Munising (or the reverse). This trip takes about 2 hours and goes through the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Stop and see the Pictured Rocks, the Devils Logslide, the AuSable Lighthouse, and many other scenic places. Approx 50 miles plus the short miles driven into the scenic sights and overlooks.

From Grand Marais, go South on 77 to Seney National Wildlife Refuge, east on 28 to Newberry, (special fall color trips in the Newberry area) then north out of Newberry on 123 to Paradise, the gateway to the Whitefish Point Lighthouse, Whitefish Point Bird Observatory and Tahquamenon Falls. 88 miles. H 58 from Grand Marais east toward Paradise and Whitefish Point is a rough rural road.

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Eastern Upper Peninsula

From Newberry, be sure to take the wilderness forest ride on the Toonerville Trolley. Enjoy a 1 3/4 hour train ride through the wilderness. This is an excellent opportunity to see the brilliant fall colors as you ride through the forest and a wonderful opportunity to spot wildlife. On the weekends, you can take the train and then the riverboat to the Tahquamenon Falls. The Boat and Trolley are enclosed after Labor Day.

From Paradise, take the Curly Lewis Scenic Highway #221 to Point Iroquoise Lighthouse, Bay Mills, Brimley and Sault St. Marie. Approx. 55 miles

South of Sault St. Marie, take 48 to DeTour Village, then go west on 134 and south on 75 to St. Ignace. Approx. 100 miles. When you come to DeTour, consider going on the ferry accross to Drummond Island. Drummond Island is a short ten minute car ferry ride from DeTour Village and has beautiful fall colors, and is a very unique stop in itself. From DeTour, the ferry runs every hour, forty minutes after the hour. From Drummond Island, the ferry runs every hour, ten minutes after the hour. The exceptions are as follows: 3:30 p.m. from DeTour; 8:00 a.m. from Drummond (for the school children). There is no ferry crossing at 2:10 a.m., 2:40 a.m., 4:10 a.m. or 4:40 a.m.
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One of the best is highway 13 from Nahma Junction to Wetmore (Lake Michigan to Lake Superior). Approx. 50 miles

If you drive the scenic roads of Marquette County, look for moose. Moose were airlifted here from Canada in an attempt to establish a moose herd in the center of the Upper Peninsula. The effort was successful.

Map of the Upper Peninsula
Upper Peninsula Towns and Cities Visitor Information

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