By Pat Maurer
Although Michigan.org’s “Pure Michigan” says peak colors are three to four weeks away for this area, AAA’s weekly survey of state parks and regional visitor’s bureaus shows
“vibrant color in most areas of the U.P.”
Naturalists at F.J. McClain State Park in Calumet report that red, yellow and orange hues are 100 percent developed there. Ishpeming, Manistique, Cedar River, Newberry, St. Ignace and Copper Harbor also report color development at 100 percent.
In the Northwestern Lower Peninsula, color is filling in fast, AAA said. Prime viewing conditions are expected this weekend at Boyne City’s Young State Park, Otsego Lake State Park in Gaylord, Traverse City State Park, Frankfort, Cadillac and Manistee, with 90 percent color development reported.
In the Northeast, 90 percent color development is reported in Mackinaw
City, Cheboygan, Rogers City, Roscommon, Alpena, Gaylord and Grayling. This
weekend may be the best time to view prime fall color in these areas, AAA says.
In our area, the middle of the State, colors are just beginning to show with the peak color about two weeks off in most areas.
Although just beginning, there are some already some beautiful areas to see around Clare, Gladwin, Osceola, Midland and Isabella Counties.
The “Pure Michigan” recommended color tour for this area takes travelers in an approximate 165 mile trip: east on US10 through Midland, north on M30 to Beaverton, west to M18, north to M61, west through Harrison, south on Bringold Avenue to Lake George, south to M115, east to Farwell, south on Vandecar to Coleman Road, west to Barryton, south on M66 through Remus to Blanchard Road, east through Shepherd to Coleman Road, south to Pleasant Valley and then northeast back to M20, where color seekers can either head back west to Mt. Pleasant and north to Clare County, or east into Midland.
The loop takes travelers through some beautiful country and takes less than four hours.