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Fall offers chance to see leaves in color

By: Eric Czarnik | C&G Newspapers | Published September 25, 2018

METRO DETROIT — Don’t leaf the occasion for fall tree viewing by car off your schedule until it’s too late.

According to AAA, 65 percent of Michiganders plan to take a trip locally, nationally or internationally sometime between September and November.

AAA Michigan Public Affairs Specialist Gary Bubar said the changing leaf colors and fall tourism season start in the Upper Peninsula and around the Mackinac Bridge in later September. 

A couple of weeks later, the leaves turn their peak colors deeper into the Lower Peninsula, Bubar said. Around mid-October is when peak leaf colors and tourism activity happen more locally, he added.

“Once the weather cools, that gets people thinking about it a little bit more too,” he said. “The first couple of weeks of October is the bigger time period.”

Bubar said the fall tourism tends to end when the cold weather and ice start coming. In the meantime, he said a fall road trip has plenty to offer.

“Most of those trips in Michigan are really because of the smaller crowds. They don’t have all the folks we had during summertime,” Bubar said. “Very often the prices are less too. The prices drop after Labor Day. We anticipate that gas prices will follow also.” 

Bubar recommended that any vehicle going on a road trip should first get a mechanic’s inspection to make sure it’s running OK and the tires are fine.

In an email, Michigan Economic Development Corporation public relations director and tourism expert Michelle Grinnell had a few road trip ideas for people who wanted to see nature’s colors at state parks. She suggested Up North sites such as Fort Wilkins Historic State Park, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, and Young State Park by Boyne City. 

On the state’s west side, the trails around Saugatuck Dunes State Park offer “gorgeous colors,” she said.

“For those looking for an option closer to metro Detroit, Holly State Recreation Area offers waterside hiking and diverse tree species (meaning lots of different colors),” she added.

Find out more about AAA Michigan by visiting