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    Michigan fall colors tours

    Usually fall colors begin in mid-September and run through the end of October, peaking at varying times throughout the state depending on frost conditions. Except for the far western quarter of the Michigan Upper Peninsula which peaks from mid-September to early October, all other areas in the U.P. peak from late-September to mid-October. The expected peak color for the Lower Peninsula is from late September to late October. Of course, this is an "expected" time-frame. The actual timing is up to Mother Nature! We'll open this page for posting around the 2nd week of September each year. Enjoy the show!

    Michigan Fall Color
    Conditions Report
    for 2004.

    FINAL - DONE for 2004
    We are leaving all of this information up for you so you can plan for next year.
    2005 reporting will begin the 1st week of September.
    The current reports are here.
    Visit our Activities Pages for other Michigan information.


    Also see Michigan Fall Color Tours and Michigan Events - Your source for Autumn hiking and driving tours covering all of the state from Detroit to Lansing, Kalamazoo to Traverse City, and North to Mackinac and the Upper Peninsula. We also have information on apple cider mills and festivals. Contribute and ask questions in our user forum.

    Reports for 2005 will begin the 1st week of September.

    NOTE: We are getting reports that indicate 2005 may have an early start to the color season, especially in West Michigan. A few isolated maple trees in Hoffmaster State Park just South of Muskegon are reported to have already started turning red. Most of the area is still predominantly green though. Please return the 1st week in September for the start of our reporting and user submissions.

    Last Color Report - Oct 29 , 2004

    Upper Peninsula - DONE.

    Well past peaked. There is still color around in some areas. So if you are headed up North, you will still see color in many areas although not as brilliant and with darker reds and red-browns. If this is your only chance to take a trip, all will not be lost, especially on the ride up. Leave a little earlier in the season next year. See current viewer reports below. Please add your personal report for your area.

    Northern Lower Peninsula - PEAKED.
    The best viewing in the Northern Lower Peninsula includes the Gaylord and Cadillac areas West to Traverse, Cadillac, Frankfort, Manistee and Gaylord. Top spots in the northeast are around Rogers City, Mackinaw City, East Tawas, Harrison and Onaway. Colors peaked last week, but as with the UP report above, there are still some areas with color. This will be the last weekend for viewing before you see only red-brown and bare limbs. See current viewer reports below. Please add your personal report for your area.

    Southern Lower Peninsula - PEAKED.

    Colors peaked this week. If you need a color fix, go to Holland, Hastings and Kalamazoo and the southeast quadrant near places like Jackson, Holly and Kensington Metro Park, where things are way on down-side because of the rain, but there are still small patches of bright gold and red-brown. Significant leaf loss preceeded color change in many areas. So you'll see golden colors mixed with darke reds and red-browns with about 70% bare trees. See current viewer reports below. Please add your personal report for your area.

    See Viewer Reports below. Reports from observers (including YOU) may be added any time below. Please contribute. It's as easy as looking out your window or making observations on your next road trip. We would all like to know what's going on in YOUR neck of the woods.

    ------------- VIEWER REPORTS -------------
    Dates shown were viewing dates.

    From: "bwellington" - Oct 28: Colors along I96 to Brighton from Southfield are patchy but what is there is quite bright in the sunlight.

    From: "jackp" - Oct 27: Drove from Metro on 94 up 275 to M59 this afternoon. There is still plenty of bright gold and reddish brown but lots of bare branches also.

    From: "jackp" - Oct 22: If you haven't been out to see the colors, you can still drive down M-14 West to 23North and loop back on 696 E for an hour or so of color. It's about 80-90% color for what is still leafed (did I just make up a word?). Just did the route this afternoon. Bright oranges and reds. The show in the UP musta been great. Sorry I missed it.

    From: "dvnpr" - Oct 16: South west of Traverse city is beautiful. Drove from Detroit to traverse city via i75 and m72. colors are good on m72 near traverse city. Went to cadillac via 37 and 115 from traverse city. us-37 is wonderful. peak and awesome fall colors.

    From: "gbplinda" - Oct 16: We closed our cabin in Negaunee, MI and the colors were definitely peak and gorgeous. This was off Hwy 41 and Cnty Rd 510 in the township.

    From: "oas" - Oct 14: Best color just north of Standish exit on I-75; then between Wolverine and Petoskey. Wonderful! Wonderful!

    From: "lakelouise2002" - Oct 12: I-94 north to 131 north to Rapid city east on M 20 to MT Pleasant Beautiful color. Lots of reds and oranges. I say 60 to 75%. 127 from Mt. Pleasant to I-69 to north of Kalamazoo on I-94, weak on color.

    From: "cpepper" - Oct 11: Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Ontario: Absolutely breathtaking from the wilderness train; East Jordan/Bellaire/Gaylord areas approaching full color. South from bridge area near 1-75: Numerous pockets of full-blown color mixed with greens, interspersed down Hwy. 127 through Mt. Pleasant.

    From: "kjlid" - Oct 11: The maple trees mixed with oak and pine are very beautiful in Livingston County, Michigan especially along Mason Rd.heading west to Ingham County and Oak Grove Rd, north to Cohoctah and also in Washtenaw County along Territoral Rd. especially the secenic route from Stofer Rd. to M-52. I would say in Livingston County it is about 80% color.

    From: "trixster" - Oct 9: Went to the UP for 4 days and found the best color was on route 117. Every curve we went around was Absolutely Beautiful with the trees lining both sides of the street. Definitely peak around there. It was even cloudy and still amazing!!!! The red's were really showing off...

    From: "denim1019" - Oct 9: Made a trip from home in SW Oakland County to the Huron river parks in southern Wayne today. Overall colors are at 20 to 25 percent, however it is that low because of all of the oaks and other trees that have not turned. Like last year at this time, the maples have exploded with color with red and yellow to orange. In addition, the sassafras trees are in all glory with the blood red to yellow orange colors. Enjoy these trees before they drop and the oaks do their show at the end of the month.

    From: "Wirgau456" - Oct 9: Along I-75 North, the color becomes very rich... about 50-60% color just north of West Branch... and the colors begin to radiate through the AuSable State and Pere Marquette State Forests (65-75%). The fall color scene from Cross Village south to Petoskey (along route 119) was beautiful, and the color was 60-70%... slightly higher in some areas. Another day or two and the "Tunnel of Trees" will be perfect!

    From: "mtjanumm" - Oct 8: From Grand Rapids north up US 131 to M-115. Over to M-22 north to Leelanau. Then south to TC up to Old Mission Pt. Took M-37 back to GR. Best veiwing was on M-115 between Cadillac & Mesick. Then once again on M-22 between Empire to Leelanau. A week or 2 away yet on M-37.

    From: "jackp" - Oct 8: Did the route from Novi to Ann Arbor again today. I-275 to M14 to I-94 and back. Lots more color. Maybe 40% - 50% but that 50% of the existing leaves. The dry weather has emptied the trees before the leaves can change color. So it's colorful but not overwhelming since many trees are absolutely bare.

    From: "jodsherk" - Oct 8: Colors are starting to appear in Brighton-Howell area at 20%. With some light yellows and bright reds on smaller trees...we should be at 50% by next weekend...i hope...just in time for my wedding October 16!

    From: "david.roossien" - Oct 6: I drove from Munising to Paradise and then through Petoskey, Boyne City, Cadillac and down to Grand Rapids. The colors in Munising were about 25%. The colors from Munising to Paradise were spectacular--probably 75%. The colors just north of Petoskey were also spectacular--probably 75%. The colors from Petoskey to Cadillac were about 50-75%. Colors South of Cadillac on 131 are not as impressive.

    From: "tchess981" - Oct 6: Drove from I75 to Ironwood along M28 from 10/6 to 10/8. Color was spectacular. The oranges, yellows and reds were almost hard to look at.

    From: "wilshire" - Oct 6: Drove from Southfield down to Metro airport this morning using I-275 and it is still quite green along the way. Some yellows showing up and maples that are already going from red to brown. I'd say color along that route is barely at 20% all totaled.

    From: "jackp" - Oct 5: Color in Oakland county is finally picking up. It's been rather green here so far. But thanks to the lower night temps things are changing. Still a lot of green with only 30% or so color. Geese are flocking and making their Vs so the colder weather is on the way.

    From: "samsun" - Oct 1: From I96 and 275 (Novi) South to M14 to South US23 to Ann Arbor, colors are changing more. There are reds in the maples and bushes, but the other colors are still very muted yellows, lots of burn dark orange/brown and a lot of bare branches. There continues to be more leaf loss than color. Plenty of green yet. Looks like colors in the Southwest Detroit area are still a week or two away if the leaves can stay on the trees!

    From: "Alwestman" - Sept 29: Colors in Keweenaw peninsula just coming to peak; hillsides still green. Only about 25% or less color change from Houghton to Marquette. Little color change toward Newberry and on east. With colder weather, colors should come out more rapidly; peak may be around Oct 7-10.

    From: "Coveyjs""- Sep 26: Actually the viewing dates were between 9/25 through 9/28. On US 2 between Crystal Falls and Iron River much color on the maples were shown then earlier reported. Bright yellows and reds, splashes of oranges and lime green mixed between decorated the route. With the cool temperatures approaching by week's end, estimate peak will probably begin late over the weekend thru end of next week. Also, trees on the hillsides were changing as well. Colors are definitely more prominent this year during the exact same time from years past. Main contributor, High pressure weather with warm temperatures and lack of rain.

    From: "lefty48197"- Sep 26: Drove from Ann Arbor to Gaylord and Harbor Springs for this past weekend (9/24 to 9/26). Started seeing color around Birch Run, but only about 5%. Some small patches were fully red. Mostly green though. Not much color near Gaylord or the tunnel of trees in Emmet Co. yet. Ground plants were yellow.

    From: "Wintercamper" - Sep 26: Along M28 near Lake Michigamme brilliant reds showing on maples, nice oranges and yellows, should be great by weekend.

    From: "lakelouise2002" - Sept 25: Traveled from I-94 to north 27 to MT. Pleasant very weak color very few spots with any color.

    From: "yooperjac" - Sept 25: Traveling from Rapid River to Marquette, MI on U.S. 41 today we saw more color in Delta County than we did in Marquette, but overall maybe 10%. The Big Healthy maples had minimal changing occuring. I was hoping to hear how the BH maples in L'Anse or Copper Harbor area were doing. Wondering for my color tour.

    From: "dwhike" - Sept 24: Heading west along 41/28 from Marquette; Patchy color down near the lake with more as you move west to Negaunee/Ishpeming where the leaves are around 25% turned. Further west past Champion where there have been a couple frosts there is quite a bit of color and looks like peak will be in the next week or two with more cool weather.

    From: "samsun" - Sept 23: From I96 and 275 (Novi) South to M14 to South US23 to Ann Arbor, colors are just starting to change. There are some reds from maples and some very muted yellow, lots of burn dark orange/brown and a lot of bare branches. Looks like more leaf loss than color. Plenty of green. Looks like colors in the Southwest Detroit area are a long way off yet.

    From: "Jason78P" - Sept 15: On M5 between Novi and Pontiac, colors are barely starting.

    From: "JollyJim" - Sept 13: On US 2 between Crystal Falls and Iron River some trees are bright red in a field of green. Others are just starting to turn.

    From: "dayhikerus" - Sept. 8: Along I-69 from Charlotte to Indiana there were many signs of early color.

    From "Farkel78" - Sept 6: Hiked for several miles in Pontiac State Park today and the ground cover colors in areas are getting vivid with fields of bright yellows, purples and blues. A lot of fall color is in the wild flowers and hiking is a great way to see it. The trees are not changing much yet at all. Just starting with some muted yellows and burnt oranges. If you do hike, watch out for the crazy mountain bikers that ride with their heads down.

    From "dreamweaver" - Sept 6: South Haven - Glenn area showing signs of change - color coming out in maples and other species beginning to show yellowing in isolated areas - hoping for two more weeks to begin getting pretty.

    From "maryholalar" - Sept 1: Detroit south along 75 to 275 to 75 to Toledo is starting to change a little. It's not very colorful yet. There are patches of yellow and red on maybe 2% of the leaves. Lots of brownish muted color.

    From "jscrapmama" - Aug 29: I was in the thumb area over the weekend. The color is starting to come out. There is red in many maple trees. Other tree's are yellowing.

    From user "Jake45" - Aug 26: From Clarkston North to Zilwaukee along I-75 there is a lot of muted coloring already starting and there are small patches of bright red from maple trees. Some yellowing already starting. I'd say maybe 1 or 2% color has already started but it has a way to go yet. I just don't recall colors starting in mid-August like this.

    Submit your report below.
    Viewer Reporting System

    Share your color viewing experience and report on local color progress. Let everyone know what the colors are like where you are or where you've been. Reports are edited and posted manually. They will not automatically appear (give us at least a day). We will not give your email address to any third parties and we will not display it here.

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    Use the MichiganRING! Message Boards to ask others for information and to discuss Fall Colors with other interested parties. Post your update reports using the Web form above.



    Usually fall colors begin in mid-September and run through the end of October, peaking at varying times throughout the state depending on frost conditions. Except for the far western quarter of the Michigan Upper Peninsula which peaks from mid-September to early October, all other areas in the U.P. peak from late-September to mid-October. The expected peak color for the Lower Peninsula is from late September to late October. Of course, this is an "expected" time-frame. The actual timing is up to Mother Nature!


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