Photo by Todd & Brad Reed Photography

Fall Color in West Michigan

Though we love our summers here in West Michigan, autumn comes in a close second. What’s not to love about the thousands of trees that proudly display their vivid yellows, oranges, and reds. The crispness in the air feels so refreshing, and beckons you outside to enjoy a walk through the woods or a leisurely stroll along the lakeshore.

Temperatures greatly affect fall color. When days are sunny and warm in autumn, the colors turn a vibrant red and orange. Cloudier days will produce leaves with more yellows and browns.

Orchard Market
The Market

Here’s a brief timetable for fall color throughout Michigan:

Late September, Early October

You can begin to see color sprouting on various maples and oaks, with many of the trees maintaining their green color. The Upper Peninsula will start to see color change.

Ludington Pier House

Mid October

Fall colors inland in the Lower Peninsula peak around this time, but the trees along the Lake Michigan shoreline will not be as colorful.

Late October

The last of the trees in the Lower Peninsula along the lakeshore will be peaking in the last two weeks of October.

Fall also brings its own unique events– from Harvest Festivals and hayrides to corn mazes and barn dances. This is the season to visit a pumpkin patch, enjoy the goodness of fresh apple cider, or book a charter for some terrific salmon fishing. Residents head to the local football fields for that exciting Friday night showdown. Grab a warm cup of coffee or a bowl of soup at one of the area restaurants, where the friendly staff always makes you feel welcome.

Clark's Castle Point Resort
Jamesport Brewing Company

Fall Color Tours in West Michigan

In this part of Michigan, along the Lake Michigan shoreline, the colors are most vivid from mid-late October. Temperature, soil moisture, and sunlight play a major part in when the trees begin turning. Abundant sunlight means earlier color. Heavy winds and rain will drop leaves before they turn color. Perfect conditions are a growing season with ample moisture, a dry and cool autumn, followed by warm days and cool nights.

Mason County is especially beautiful in the fall. Plan on attending Ludington’s Octoberfest or Pentwater’s Oktoberfest, plus restaurants and shops are open and ready to greet you with great bargains and warm meals.