superiortrails superiortrails - shovel point

Fall Foliage Tours, Fall Peak Color Report,
Scenic Color Drives Along Lake Superior Circle Route

porcupine mountains in fall color
View from Summit Peak, Porcupine Mountains
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness Park

Best Scenic Fall Color Drives Around/Along Lake Superior
Fall Color Pictures

Western Upper Peninsula Fall Color Scenic Drives along Lake Superior

Fall Color Black River Harbor
invisibleScenic Byway & Recreation Area

Presque Isle Scenic Recreation

Porcupine Mountains State Park

Keweenaw Copper Harbor

Old Victoria Restoration

Fall Color Tahquamenon Falls

Color Drives Central Upper Peninsula

Maps Scenic Drives Fall Foliage Color Tours

Wisconsin Fall Color Drive Map

Michigan UP Fall Color Drive Map


Wisconsin Fall Color Scenic Drives along Lake Superior

Potato River Falls County Park

Bayfield & Ashland, Wi Area

Bayfield Orchard Tour

Copper Falls, Mellen, Wi Area

Amnicon Falls, Superior, Wi Area

North Shore Fall Color Scenic Drives; Fall Color Duluth, Minnesota

Scenic Highway 61 Fall Color

Moose Mountain Fall Color

Skyline Drive & Seven Bridges Road

Scenic Railroad Fall Color Train

Peak Fall Color Reports - 2013

Fall Color Color Change
Around Lake Superior - 2013

Fall Color Report Overview - October 4th

Fall Color Bayfield to Ironwood Scenic Drives

Fall color Black River Harbor Scenic Byway
Along the Black River Harbor
Scenic Byway.
Photo by Tim Zheng

* See our regional tourism and weather report links midway down the page.

We just returned from the Porcupine Mountains and Black River Harbor. Peak color has arrived in North Central Wisconsin and the western Michigan Upper Peninsula. But as of Oct 3rd, close to the Lake Superior shoreline, it has not yet arrived so you can still see some excellent color in the coming week. Peak color is coming soon to the Keweenaw Peninsula. In the central UP a scenic fall drive I'd recommend is the H58 county road between Munising and Grand Marais, Michigan. Also consider a Pictured Rocks Boat Tour, in addition to the amazing painted rocks you'll get to see some nice leaf color as a backdrop.

In Minnesota Peak Color has arrived away from the lake. We've found the best fall color along Scenic Highway 61 on Minnesota's North Shore is generally from Silver Bay to Lutsen, with hikes or a gondola ride to tops of mountain peaks giving the best color or a drive inland away from the lake. But beginning this week, look for a second season of fall color all along the North Shore as the birches, aspen, and tamarack are turning.

In Northwest Wisconsin peak color might be a week away but away from the lake you will find some great color right now. One trip we've enjoyed is a scenic waterfalls color tour taking in Copper Falls State Park, Potato River Falls, the falls along the Black River Harbor Scenic Byway, and the falls along the Presque Isle River in the western park of Porcupine Mountains State Park.

Last year Bayfield had peak color for their annual Apple Festival (the first weekend in October). This year it is at about 35% but don't be surprised to see significant changes over the next few days.

See more details in our Fall Color Report Updates below. And below that are some links to regional tourism websites as well as weather reports from selected spots around Lake Superior.

Planning your Fall Color Tour Vacation. In addition to watching this space, also see our links to fall color reports from last year and earlier years to give you a better idea of when the color changes and when peak color arrives in the area of your interest.

ball Learn More about the best fall color drives around Lake Superior

triangle See weather report links for selected areas around Lake Superior


Fall Color Report Update -October 4, 2013
- - - Peak Color has arrived or will be soon

Wisconsin South Shore . Ashland is reporting 50% of color change and Hurley is reporting 85% peak color. If you are up in this area in the coming week we recommend taking in some waterfalls along the scenic drive from Ashland to Copper Falls State Park near Mellen (Hwy 13) and then take Highway 169 north to Potato Falls park (south of Gurney) and then return via Highway 2 west of Hurley. Another good fall scenic drive is the trip from Saxon Harbor, Wisconsin, then going east to the Upper Peninsula to Little Girls Point and then to the Black River Harbor Scenic byway in the nearby Upper Peninsula. Return to Ashland via Highway 2.

Color change west of Ashland to Superior ordinarily is a week or two behind east of Ashland. But due to recent cool weather, don't be surprised to see it advancing very quickly towards Peak along US Highway 2 and color change along Hwy 13, the new scenic byway, may not be far behind.

Michigan Upper Peninsula. Peak Color is showing in parts of the Porcupine Mountains and Black River Harbor Scenic byway. But areas close to the lake and around the waterfalls will continue to advance over the next week. The western UP traditionally shows the earliest color so this coming weekend should look good for fall leaf peepers from Ironwood through Houghton and up the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Marquette to Tahquamenon Falls is looking good now in places as the maples are nearing peak and the birch and aspen beginning to follow.

Minnesota North Shore. In general color change all along the North Shore ranges from 50% to 100%. Color away from the lake is passing peak but taking a drive away from the lake (for example Hwy 1 by Tettegouche State Park) may remain colorful for several more days. Stop at the visitor center at Tettegouche or Temperance River for maps on color drives. Color change close to the lake is improving rapidly as birch, aspen, and tamarack change. Expect excellent scenic color on the Lutsen Gondola ride to the top of Moose Mountain. Hiking to the top of the other peaks along the lake (like Oberg Mountain or Carlton Peak) will provide rewards, seeing the remaining color as you look inland and the advancing color as you look towards the lake. The folks at the Superior Hiking Trail office in Two Harbors can give you good tips on best fall hiking.

Ontario East Shore. Color is peaking between between Sault Ste. Marie and Wawa, Ontario. Based on past experience, the first two weeks of October should be a good time for a drive along the shoreline up to Lake Superior Provincial Park or take the picturesque Agawa Canyon Train Ride.

Ontario West Shore. Color on this stretch is provided by Aspen and Tamarack which are now starting to change.


triangle For useful historical comparisons, see More Fall Color Reports covering our reports from 2010 to 2012

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Have a color report to pass along or a question - write me

Ross Reinhold -


Fall Color & Tourism
Regional Tourism & Peak Fall Color Report Links:

Michigan UP: Copper Harbor
Keweenaw Visitors Bureau
Western UP Visitors Bureau
Bayfield, WI Color Report
Minnesota: DNR NorthShore Parks
Ontario North Shore:
Ontario North East Shore:

Regional Weather from the Weather ChannelWeather Channel Links:
Ironwood, Michigan UP
Houghton, Keweenaw Peninsula Michigan UP
Marquette, Michgan UP
Sault Saint Marie, Michigan UP
Ashland-Bayfield Peninsula, Wisconsin
Duluth, Minnesota
triangleGrand Marais, Minnesota
triangleWawa, Ontario Canada
triangleThunder Bay, Ontario Canada

Why Do Leaves Change Color?

"A growing season with ample moisture that is followed by a rather dry, cool, sunny autumn that is marked by warm days and cool but frostless nights provides the best weather conditions for development of the brightest fall colors," - - - Learn more from this article from the PBS News Hour's website. - Reinhold Development - 2013

Lake Superior Circle Tour Travel Planner

Camping and Campgrounds Around Lake Superior
Lake Superior Camping
& Campground Directory

Lake Superior Circle Tour Route

Apostle Islands
See the lighthouses on an Apostle Islands Cruise

About the Superior Hiking Trail
The Superior Hiking Trail offers some of the best fall color hikes in the midwest

Piorcupine Mountains Lake of the Clouds
Outstanding Fall Color Porcupine Mountains Lake of the Clouds scenic overlook.

rainbow falls - color tour
Fall Color & Waterfalls along Black River Harbor Scenic Parkway

Upper Tahquamenon Falls
Tahquamenon Falls State Park offers some of the best fall color in the eastern Upper Peninsula.

Travel Information

lake superior circle tour map
Lake Superior Circle Tour Road Map & Guide to Travel Attractions around Lake Superior

Lake Superior Agate?Identifying Lake Superior Agates and Beach Rocks.

Enger Park Tower
Duluth's Enger Park Tower provides a panaramic view of the city of Duluth.

Oberg Mountain Oberg Lake
Fall Color Hikes along Minnesota's North Shore Scenic Drive.

About the Superior Hiking Trail
The Superior Hiking Trail offers some of the best fall color and winter hikes in the midwest.

Golf Courses Around Lake Superior
See our
Reviews of golf courses around Lake Superior