Michigan’s gorgeous fall scenery gives everyone an excuse to hit the road and head north for a weekend getaway. But you want to be sure to plan your fall color tour at the right time in the right region to experience peak colors. So we’ve partnered with Tom O’Hare, chief meteorologist at 9&10 News, to bring you the latest Northern Michigan fall color map, updated every Thursday afternoon, to show you exactly where the best fall foliage is throughout the entire season.
While you’re on the road, be sure to check out these 10 vistas offering breathtaking views and these roadside attractions. And what’s a road trip without good eats? Tim Tebeau, the food editor here at MyNorth & Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine, suggests these cafes and restaurants.
Now, hit the road!
Northern Michigan Fall Color Update
The eastern U.P. is changing but remains behind schedule with most areas near 50%. Northern lower and central lower Michigan’s colors are changing but with a very large variation between species. The maples have really popped across the higher elevations with great color around Gaylord and Cadillac. Most other areas have pockets of good color but with plenty of green mixed in. Don’t be surprised if areas go from mostly green to 50% within a week. There may even be an extended period of peak conditions due to the odd weather impacting the different trees. The western U.P.’s interior locations have the most change with some areas peaking. If you really want to see lots of color, that’s the place to go this weekend. —Tom O’Hare
The eastern U.P. still has more green leaves than color making it behind schedule. So far all of Northern Michigan’s color change has been very muted. Color is around but certainly not vibrant for most areas. Some trees are just changing 30–50% then dropping their leaves. This is not a good sign, but we still have weeks to see how the rest change. There are areas of near peak conditions around the Lower Peninsula but not a lot. Most of the region is still around 30%. If you really want to see color, head to the far western U.P. where leaves are expected to be near peak to peak this weekend. —Tom O’Hare
Fall color change is back in gear as normal fall temps have returned. Most of the higher elevations of the eastern U.P. and Lower Peninsula are around 30% changed with isolated pockets of up to 50%. If you are looking for a lot of color, head to the western U.P. where color is around 50% to near peak at interior locations. Most lakeside spots around Michigan are still green with peak color still weeks away. —Tom O’Hare
Most of the region is about 10–25% changed, this goes for the Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula, with pockets of good color where frost developed a few weeks ago. That’s one thing that has brought some strong color for the higher elevations. Pockets of 50% change are around, but not a lot. As long as the warmth and sunshine continue, the trees already changing will reach peak in the next week or two. The rest of the region is on a more normal schedule with peak color arriving in early to mid-October. —Tom O’Hare