Fall Color Tour - West Side of Hiawatha

Area Status: Open

Upper Peninsula Fall Color Tours on the Hiawatha National Forest are spectacular as they blaze their way south. Use the following as a starting point:

Latitude: 45.926276
Longitude: -86.951992

 Hiawatha National Forest Fall Colors Album


When to See Fall Colors in the U.P. Michigan:

During late September, the 879,000 acres of the Hiawatha National Forest begin radiating the colors of crimson, yellow, green, and brown. This time of year, the woods, water, flora and fauna are richly picturesque. Fall is an incredible time to be in nature. Campgrounds are in their grandeur and not crowded (make reservations at Recreation.gov). Fishing for salmon and trout is excellent.

Trees on the Hiawatha National Forest:

The Hiawatha has over 30 varieties of trees which provide a rainbow of fall colors including reds, golds and yellow:

  • maple
  • oak
  • birch
  • beech
  • aspen

Greens and rustic browns:

  • pines
  • spruce
  • hemlock

Lakes provide different hues of blue along with the reflective colors of the trees and changing trees and the pinks, reds, purples and oranges of sunrises and sunsets.

Fall Recreation:

Hike the many trails or drive the network of roads throughout the Hiawatha National Forest. Use this guide for your fall color auto tour or pick up additional information on camping and hiking at our area district offices.

It is a good idea to also pick up a detailed map of the Hiawatha National Forest. The map shows towns, points of interest, and picnic and camping areas. Maps are also available for download and use offline.

Drive with Caution:

Please remember that the roads through a forest may be gravel or dirt and may be single or double lane. Please drive carefully.

Why Do Leaves Change Colors in the Fall?

Leaves change colors in the fall when the primary pigment of chlorophyll disappears. Chlorophyll is used by plants for food and makes the leaves green. Less and less chlorophyll is produced as the fall season approaches. As the chlorophyll disappears the other pigments in the leaves become visible. These other pigments may be red, brown, yellow or orange.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: For weekly updates on Fall Colors, visit the USDA Forest Services National Fall Color Report at https://www.fs.usda.gov/visit/fall-colors


Viewing Scenery

Breathtaking fall colors await you around every turn.

Scenic Driving

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities



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