Know When to Go: Peak Times for Fall Color Tours Across Michigan

While every season in Michigan has something to appreciate, the multi-colored beauty of fall is truly magical.

If you’re planning a fall color tour, you’ll want to know when your destination will hit its peak color. Although the timing of the most vibrant fall colors varies from year to year, this chart provides typical peak color times in the state:

Western Upper Peninsula

Mid-September to early October

Mid-Upper Peninsula and northern lower Michigan

Late September to  mid-October

Most of Mid- to southern Lower Peninsula

Early to mid-October

 Lower Peninsula’s West Coast and parts of the East Coast

Mid- to late-October

The U.S. Forest Service website tracks the progression of fall color across the country. The best fall color happens when days are clear and sunny and nights are cool.

The color develops as the trees break down the chlorophyll to prepare for winter. Pigments of the red, yellow, orange, and purple colors you see in the fall are always present in the leaves, but are overpowered by the green of the chlorophyll. As the green goes away with the chlorophyll, we’re left with beautifully vibrant landscapes before the leaves drop.

Pure Michigan has fall color tour routes to help you plan your trip. If you’re planning to check out the fall colors this year, tell us your favorite Michigan destinations in the comments.  

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Photo credit: Rachel Kramer

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