Driving tours are the most well-known way to take in the fall colors, and we have five tours mapped out for you in our Fall Color Guide, but there are many more ways to enjoy the splendor of the season. The colors will soon be peaking in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Boyne City, and Bay Harbor, so choose your favorite activities and make the most of fall. Don’t dawdle, though. Some of these end after this weekend.
- Scenic chairlift rides at Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands give you a bird’s eye view. Enjoy a peaceful ride up the mountain’s side and back down while taking in breathtaking panoramic vistas.
- Zipline your way right through the treetops for a view that goes by a little faster. Feel what it’s like to fly at speeds of 20-25 mph on lines up to 50 feet in the air. This is an adventurous way to partake of the scenery.
- Hike or bike and you’ll be right in the middle of the beauty. You can bike along the shoreline on the 26-mile Little Traverse Wheelway, or try a mountain biking trip through the forest.Perhaps nothing showcases the area’s wealth of outdoor beauty better than the preserves of the Little Traverse Conservancy. Hike or walk through hardwood forests, along creeks and streams, and overlooking beautiful lakes.
- Climb the steps to the top of Avalanche Preserve for a breathtaking view.
- A walking tour through Petoskey can be educational as well as picturesque. If you are a literature fan, you can walk the steps of Hemingway and see some of his favorite spots. If you are more paranormally inclined, try a ghost tour and learn about some of the area’s spookiest places.
- Take a ride on horseback along specially routed trails, just for the horses. You’ll be so close to the fantastic color, you can reach out and touch it.
- If you love golf, this is one of the most amazing times of the year. The crowds have subsided and the fall backdrop makes for an experience unlike any other. Golf in the Petoskey Area has always been a memorable event. The season makes it even more spectacular.
- Get out on the water and take in the view from a boat, kayak, or canoe. Little Traverse Bay sets the stage for some beautiful photography. The lakes and streams in the area also provide a gorgeous setting.
- The area’s local vineyards offer terrific views. Taste the freshness of the season with some locally produced wine, and enjoy the scenery while you are there.
- Many of the area’s farmers markets also offer hayrides as a way to enjoy the fall festivities. Be sure to include some cider and donuts at the conclusion of your tour. This is one of our favorite fall traditions.
Whichever way you decide to immerse yourself in autumn’s display, northern Michigan can’t be beaten. Find out more about all there is to see and do this time of year with a Fall Color Guide.
About the author
Diane Dakins is passionate about all of the communities that comprise the Petoskey Area of Michigan: Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor and Boyne City. As assistant director of the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau, she has “been there – seen that” when it comes to virtually every area attraction; and she’s particularly glad to pass along tips of how to enjoy the area’s famous fall color.
Updated: Aug 2022