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Fall in Michigan

Updated on September 11, 2014

Are you looking for a great trip to view autumn's colors? Michigan is the place to go!

Michigan has beautiful fall colors in a wide range of yellows, reds and oranges. As you drive up the backroads of Michigan the colors seem to leap from the trees. It is truly a beautiful sight. When you add the distinctive landmarks to visit like lighthouses and a covered bridge and wineries, you just can't go wrong with a visit to Michigan.

In early October of 2008 we took a trip to Michigan and were greeted with a warmth of these delightful colors. Then in 2013 we returned to Michigan, this time we went to the Upper Peninsula in mid September. On this page I will share with you the photographs I took during these trips.

Enjoy the Journey! Happy Autumn!

all photographs on this page are my the author mbgphoto

Colorful Trees and Leaves

Trees in Shades of Red, Green, Yellow, and Orange - autumn foliage

The changing leaves can come at slightly different times each year depending on the weather, so when we planned our trip for early October we were hoping to hit peak color. We found that close to the lake the colors were still a bit green and just starting to change, but as we traveled a mile or two inland we started to see some gorgeous colors. We also found the farther north we traveled into Michigan the more color we began to see. By the end of our week everything was turning to beautiful shades of red, orange and gold.

I love the tree above that seems to have all the shades of color at one time.

Reflections on a Michigan Lake

Reflections on a Michigan Lake
Reflections on a Michigan Lake

Research your Travels - find fun places to visit and photograph

Before starting out on a trip I like to research some of the options available to me. There are so many great places to discover if we just know what roads to turn. These books will give you some choices to find just the perfect spots to discover you autumn colors.

Backroads & Byways of Michigan: Drives, Day Trips & Weekend Excursions (Backroads & Byways)
Backroads & Byways of Michigan: Drives, Day Trips & Weekend Excursions (Backroads & Byways)
Sometimes the backroads offer the best scenery. This book will help you discover the best places to trave.

Red Colors on a Branch over the Lake

Red Colors on a Branch over the Lake
Red Colors on a Branch over the Lake

Fall at the Market

Produce at a Farmer's Market - great fall photos

I love visiting local farmers markets when I am visiting small towns. In the fall it is a great place to take photographs, in addition to purchasing some great produce. At the market we stopped at in Michigan, there were beautiful red apples, bright orange pumpkins and also some varigated colored pumpkins that were new to me. Here are some of my photos.

Fall at Michigan Landmarks

Lighthouses in the Fall - framed by fall leaves

Michigan is a state that is full of lighthouses. In fact it has more lighthouses than any other state in the USA. We visited 8 lighthouses during our trip and since most did not have trees near them, I wasn't able to capture any fall colors. Two lighthouses,however, had fall leaves near the shore and I was able to frame the lighthouses in the turning foliage of the trees.

The photo above was taken in Muskegon, Michigan. There were only a few trees on the shore and they were just starting to change colors.

The photo below is one in Holland, Michigan. It is nicknamed Big Red and I thought it looked great taken from the sand dunes and framed by the yellow leaves.

Autumn at Tahquamenon Falls - beautiful orange colors

Autumn at Tahquamenon Falls
Autumn at Tahquamenon Falls

The upper peninsula of Michigan has many waterfalls. Everywhere you go you will find signs for waterfalls. I have stopped at many of these and they are always beautiful, but I have never seen anything quite as stunning as Tahquamenon Falls. These falls are located in the eastern Upper Peninsula. In September of 2013 we visited both the upper and the lower falls at Tahquamenon.

It was mid September and the colors were just starting to "pop" in the trees. I would guess we were probably a week or 10 days away from peak color, but the mix of the green leaves with bursts of red, yellow and orange was quite appealing.

Tahquamenon Falls has a brownish orange color to the water which is the result of tanic acid that leaches into the river from the cedar and hemlock swamps. When I arrived at the upper falls I noted a branch of bright orange color on a limb that hung over the falls. I positioned my camera to capture that limb with the falls in the background. Here is the resulting photo.

Fall at Michigan Covered Bridge

Fall at Michigan Covered Bridge
Fall at Michigan Covered Bridge

Traveling the Backroads of Michigan

We loved our fall trip to Michigan so much that we returned again in the summer of 2012 to explore some more of the backroads of Michigan. There are so many great adventures and wonderful things to see in Michigan.

Where we Stayed in Michigan - western coast of Michigan

The photos in this lens were taken along the coast of Lake Michigan in western Michigan. We stayed in Saugatuck, Michigan for a week and each day we would take a day trip to visit another area. Our main focus was lighthouses and we photographed lighthouses from St. Joseph on the south to Muskegon on the north.

Saugatuck, Michigan

get directions

Where is you favorite place to view fall colors? - stop by and leave a note

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    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      6 years ago from United States

      Back for a bit of fall inspiration! I know I can always depend on you for beautiful photos.

    • Pat Goltz profile image

      Pat Goltz 

      7 years ago

      In the mountains around here. It's the place to find them. We see some fall colors in the city, but not many. It has to freeze to produce the colors, and it rarely freezes in the low desert. Wonderful pictures! Thanks for sharing.

    • Ivylore profile image


      7 years ago

      I live in Michigan and that is one of the things I love the most about it- the seasonal changes! Thanks for sharing the BEAUTIFUL pictures and your experiences here.

    • Nanciajohnson profile image

      Nancy Johnson 

      7 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      Beautiful! I love this time of year and all the colors.

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 

      7 years ago from Redcar

      Wonderful images - thank you.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I've lived in Michigan all my live and I still can't believe how beautiful our fall is. Great lens.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      We live in New England, and driving through Massachussetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine is glorious during leaf peeping time. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous fall foliage photos!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The Keweenaw of course. We always kept our store in Copper Harbor open until Oct 15 for the business that we got from people taking the color tour. When I moved to Kansas I was so disappointed that the fall colors didn't include those bright reds.

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Country roads in Northern Ontario. Fall is my favorite season of all.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I always enjoy your photos, and I envy that wonderful eye you have for what makes a gorgeous photo. Contrary to my usual procedure when visiting a lens, I automatically like yours before I begin to read it, because I always know it's going to be good. This page makes me so homesick for my Indiana home.....

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I used to go to the Smoky Mountains and then up into the Shenandoah Valley to see the foliage. Many great memories from there. I do want to take in the Michigan leaves one day.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      8 years ago from Colorado

      My favorite places to view fall colors include Colorado, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Virginia, Michigan, and Minnesota. I decided today that the color was now peaking in my part of Colorado (south central). The aspen in my front yard is glorious. The cottonwoods are also spectacular right now. Very much enjoyed your fall photography.

    • JuneNash profile image

      June Nash 

      8 years ago

      I am from Michigan and I have to agree it is a beautiful state!

      I love your photos!

    • profile image

      Michey LM 

      8 years ago

      I love the autumn colors and your great pictures. I also love the old wood covered bridges... we have some in NE as well... Blessings!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Love this Fall in Michigan lens, it really caught my eye and held me captive. Your photos are absolutely awesome!

    • MJsConsignments profile image


      8 years ago from Central Ohio, USA

      Beautiful lens. I've spent parts of many summers in Michigan. I havn't been up there in 5-6 years and I never got up there for fall. I'm going to have to remedy that!

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      8 years ago from New Zealand

      I like any place that has the autumn colors, it's a nice feeling after a hot summer. Beautiful fall hots, thanks for sharing.

    • cgbroome profile image


      8 years ago

      Love your pictures! Fall colors are amazing! Now if only spring would follow fall - that would make it even more amazing!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Gorgeous photos! It's sad that summer is over, but autumn is so very beautiful it almost makes up for it!

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 

      8 years ago from Albany New York

      You really captured the colors and feeling of Fall....lovely. I am lucky to have wonderful fall colors in my own area in upstate New York.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      8 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      You always hear that New England is the best place to view fall colors, but Michigan is just as pretty in the Fall. Lovely photos!

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      8 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Love the fall color photos - truly a great place to visit, for sure!

      Mentor hint, minor one. You could easily add another Amazon or eBay module or two, scattered through the lens.

      SquidAngel blesses, as is, though! Keep up the good work! ;-)

    • Rosaquid profile image


      8 years ago

      I would love the view them here! Thank you for sharing these pretty views.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 

      8 years ago from Topeka, KS

      I love autumn/fall and your photos are very lovely! I enjoy fall in the Pacific NW as there aren't quite as many trees that change color where I live. The ones that do change color really pop and stand out against the evergreen background. :)

    • kerbev profile image

      Kerri Bee 

      8 years ago from Upstate, NY

      I love covered bridges surrounded will colorful trees.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Well there are some great colors in my yard and all around me - in Michigan.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love the colors right here in NJ, but the pictures here are beautiful. Michigan is probably ahead of us in colors. I am adding this to the link list on colorful fall foliage in nj...happy fall! It begins tomorrow morning:-)

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      8 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I'm afraid I don't get very far from home, but we also have a bit of fall color here -- just not as much as Michigan and the East Coast.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      8 years ago from United States

      Magnificent is the word that comes to mind anytime I look at your photos. As always, these photos are truly gorgeous and of some of my favorite things :)

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      8 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Such beautiful colors - makes me want to visit Michigan for fall! Actually, where I live in the Mid-Hudson Valley is pretty good for fall foliage, and I noticed the trees are just starting to show some colors today. Angel blessed


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