Can Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Repeat as Best Fall Foliage Winner?
In last year’s 10best.com Reader’s Choice poll for Best Fall Foliage in the country, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula took home top honors. While those of us lucky enough to live in this state and head north of the Mackinac Bridge in September and October already knew this, it was nice to see some national recognition. The Upper Peninsula beat out many well-known places like Door County (Wisconsin), the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Gatlinburg (Tennessee), and Stowe (Vermont). The 20 finalists for this year’s contest were recently announced and the Upper Peninsula will have a chance to defend its title against some familiar challengers and some newcomers.
The current contest runs through August 30th and you can vote once per day at https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-destination-for-fall-foliage-2021/upper-peninsula-michigan/. As of this writing the U.P. has the first place spot, trailed by the Pocono Mountains (Pennsylvania), Denali National Park (Alaska), Laurel Highlands (Pennsylvania), and Aspen (Colorado). As we did last year, we will highlight a few of our favorite places for fall color and why we know the Upper Peninsula deserves to be a back-to-back champion.
Whitefish Bay Scenic Byway is especially beautiful in the fall as you drive along the Lake Superior shoreline. The Mission Hill Overlook is one of our favorite spots.
Tahquamenon Falls State Park is extremely popular in the summer months, but you should make plans to return in the fall as well. The forested trails pop with color as you walk to the viewing platform to see our state’s largest waterfall.
The Copper Country Scenic Byway takes you through the U.P.’s own tunnel of trees as you approach Copper Harbor on M-26. The view from Brockway Mountain is breathtaking.
The Iron County Heritage Trail offers some great fall color destinations as well. Bewabic State Park, Fortune Pond, and the Apple Blossom Trail are some of this area’s best fall color destinations.
Top of the Lake Scenic Byway follows US-2 from St. Ignace to Manistique. The Cut River Bridge is one of the best spots to see fall color on this drive, but every roadside park along the way offers great autumn views.
The Black River Scenic Byway is home to five impressive waterfalls, and also leads to the Copper Peak Ski Jump. The views from the top here are some of the best in the entire Midwest!
The Marquette area offers many great backdrops for fall color photography. Some of our favorite stops are Sugarloaf Mountain, Thomas Rock Overlook, Presque Isle Park, and the Iron Ore Heritage Trail are great starting points for a fall foliage adventure.
Other Michigan attractions up for awards in other categories include the Twilight Tour at Grand Traverse Commons (Best Ghost Tour) and Erebus in Pontiac (Best Haunted Attraction). Get voting today and help remind everyone that the Upper Peninsula of Michigan has the Best Fall Foliage in the country!