By itself, the spectacular color that greets you is reason enough to visit the Petoskey Area and its charming communities: Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Alanson, Bay Harbor, Boyne City, Walloon Lake and Boyne Falls.

Bright yellows, oranges and reds are a feast for the eyes. The multi-hued blues of Lake Michigan and numerous inland lakes add that unforgettable final touch.

To make it even easier for you to take in northern Michigan color at its very best, the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau has a brochure highlighting five beautiful routes. It includes the famous Tunnel of Trees Drive from Harbor Springs to Cross Village.  Download or order the brochure and hit the road.

Forecasters say the trees in this region will put on their best coat of many colors October 10 – 20, but there are the occasional pops of our famous color even now.

While being a leaf peeper, you won’t want to spend all of your time in the car. Get out, explore, and be surrounded by awesome color while enjoying these activities:

Visit a winery – You’ll find some lovely vistas at the wineries dotted through the Petoskey Area. Taste the flavors of locally grown grapes while savoring the colors surrounding the wineries.

Hop on a chairlift – Whether you’re a kid or kid at heart, nearly anyone can get on the seat and head for the hills on a chairlift ride at either Boyne Mountain or Boyne Highlands. The views are spectacular! 

Take a hike – There are a wide variety of trails in the Petoskey Area from flat and easy going to hilly and quite a challenge. Avalanche Mountain Preserve in Boyne City is a favorite; hike the hill or climb the 462 steps to reach the top where the vista is worth the ache in your legs.

Pedal a pathway – The area’s bike trails run adjacent to the roads in some places, but thread through the woods and along the lakeshore in others. The Little Traverse Wheelway (Charlevoix to Bay Harbor to Petoskey to Harbor Springs), the North Western State Trail (Petoskey to Alanson to Mackinaw City) and the Boyne City to Charlevoix Trail (Boyne City limits to Young State Park) are terrific places to pedal your way to a colorful day.

Turn upside down – or not.  A zipline adventure at Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, or Wildwood Rush can be as exciting or tame as you want it to be. Sit up tall or hang backwards – you’re in control as you going flying down the lines through the bright foliage.

Swing a club – Fall is a great time to hit the greens in the Petoskey Area. It’s easier to make a tee time and rates have fallen. Bring a friend, a foursome or a whole group and see why the courses here earn accolade after accolade.

Get fresh – vegetables, that is. Area farm markets are bursting with fresh produce, flowers and fabulous flavors. 

Reconnect – take your time while browsing the quaint shops and galleries in the area with someone you care about. Relax over fabulous foods prepared by someone other than you in our myriad of restaurants.

Fall for all the things that make the Petoskey Area a special place in this colorful season. For help planning your trip, please visit or call the Visitors Bureau at 800.845.2828. Enjoy!


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. She strives to create informative content that gives potential visitors the scoop on planning a northern Michigan vacation.