Fall Colors

Fall Colors

Peak Colors | Planning Tips | Scenic Sites

For many travelers, autumn is their favorite time to visit the Keweenaw.  As the summer temperatures wane, the Keweenaw’s landscape experiences a vibrant change from a sea of green to waves of  orange, red and gold. The dramatic change happens a little earlier up here than in many parts of the country because of our cooler climate, so pack your best flannel(s) and come experience the Keweenaw in its full fall glory.

When do Fall Colors Peak in the Keweenaw?

Because of the micro-climate created by Lake Superior and the peninsula’s northern location, the Keweenaw’s fall colors usually peak between the last week of September and the first two weeks of October.  Specific Keweenaw locations may vary with Copper Harbor and Isle Royale peaking a bit later than areas farther south.

Tips for Your Keweenaw Fall Colors Tour

Take a Scenic Drive

The Keweenaw is filled with beautiful scenic sites, so this suggestion isn’t all that creative. But there are some scenic drives along our highways that will take your breath away.  You’ll be rewarded with soul-stirring views of Lake Superior and plenty of opportunities to hop out of the car and explore.

Be sure not to pass on Brockway Mountain Drive between Eagle Harbor and Copper Harbor. This little road off M-26 winds up 720 feet to the top of Brockway Mountain. On a clear day you can see for miles. The view is one of the best in the Upper Peninsula.

Car parked along scenic fall roadside

Hit the Trails

Whether its by foot, bike, ATV, or paddle, the Keweenaw’s hundred of miles of recreation trails are a great way to experience fall colors.  Choose your preferred form of transportation and grab a map to explore the area.

Chase Waterfalls

Waterfalls are rejuvenated in the fall months thanks to the extra precipitation in September and October. The rushing waters are framed by the beautiful fall colors minus those pesky mosquito that are a nuisance in the spring.

Bond Falls in the Fall

Bond Falls State Scenic Site

Take in a Lake Superior Sunset

Autumn offers all the amazing sunsets of summer, so a lot earlier!  While the cooler temperatures may prevent you from sticking your toes in Lake Superior, you can still enjoy a s’more or two along the beach as you watch the sun slip below the horizon.  You’ll be amazed as the blue sky changes to deep shades of orange, red, pinks and purples.  For the best views, head to the western side of the peninsula.

Go Star Gazing

With earlier sunsets come more stargazing opportunities.  Thanks to the Keweenaw’s incredibly low level of light pollution, the night’s sky is much clearer than in many other parts of the Midwest. Combine that with our northern location, you may be lucky enough to see the Northern Lights dance across the sky.

A jeep atop Brockway Mountain in Copper Harbor

Stargazing on Brockway Mountain Drive in Copper Harbor. Photo Credit: @koar.up on Instagram

Scenic Sites and Nature Areas to Explore

Explore a myriad of scenic sites and hiking trails bursting with fall color throughout the Keweenaw.

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Off of the Five Mile Point Road
Ahmeek, MI 49901 US

Phone: (906) 337-0782
Region: Calumet

Gratiot River County Park, owned by Keweenaw County, encompasses 222 acres and 8.489 feet of Lake Superior shoreline, plus 1/2 mile of the Gratiot River. The park is open daily with no fee.
More Info

Conservancy Road
Central, MI 49950 US

Region: Eagle Harbor
Website

The Gratiot Lake Preserve is a 307 acre wooded parcel that includes wetlands, the outlet of the lake at the Little Gratiot River, and over 10,000 feet of shoreline varying from sand to cobblestone ...
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Central, MI 49950 US

Phone: (517) 655-5655
Region: Eagle Harbor
Website

This 100-acre sanctuary offers a spectacular view of Gratiot Lake. The trail is moderately difficult with a 400 foot gradual rise in elevation. About 1.5 miles roundtrip. To get there fo ...
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