Fall Color Scenic Drive - near Gurney, WI & Potato Falls
Wisconsin Lake Superior Fall Color Drives
US Highway 51 ends its northern journey through Wisconsin when it intersects with US Highway 2 outside of Hurley, WI. At this point the color tour traveler looking for scenic fall color drives has a choice. Do I go east into Michigan's Upper Peninsula or do I head west towards the Bayfield Peninsula?
Over the course of the last few years we managed to do both, from Duluth, Minnesota to Paradise, Michigan. A number of these scenic drives are profiled in our Fall Color Tour Directory
By the way, another favorite fall attraction is bird migration. Hawk's Ridge in Duluth is a popular spot for viewing raptor migration. Another popular spot for viewing the fall migration is Whitefish Point in the upper peninsula.
A Fall Color Tour Bonus - Water Falls
We had expected great color along the Black River Scenic Byway that runs down to Black River Harbor and Campground. It lies in a part of the Ottawa National Forest rich in old growth mixed northern hardwoods - hemlock, birch, and maple.
Our surprise was finding the colorful Black River waterfalls roaring in spectacular fashion. This discovery prompted us to add Potato River Falls (near Gurney, Wisconsin) to our itinerary - and we were richly rewarded in finding it displaying both color and dancing water.
A couple we met at Black River Harbor told us the waterfalls in their glory happens fairly often in the fall in this part of the UP. Apparently as the cold, below freezing evening temps kill off the marsh grass and vegetation, it is like removing a dam, thus releasing more water into the river systems. Add some fall rains (and snow) like we had in the fall of 2005 and you have waterfall conditions that rival springtime.
In another fall color trip traveling on US Highway 2 from Ashland Wisconsin, we found the same thing at Scenic Amnicon Falls about 15 miles east of Superior, WI. Double bonus. Fall color time and the river and falls were roaring.
In a later fall color scenic tour of the UP in the we were able to catch some nice fall color at the Porcupine Mountains. The views from the Lake of the Clouds Overlook and Summit Peak are kodak moments during the summer and when they are splashed with fall color they are outstanding.
More Lake Superior Fall Color Scenic Drives
On one fall color trip we toured scenic areas of the central and eastern Upper Peninsula, from Munising to Sault Saint Marie hoping to catch some nice fall color change. In some areas the color change was modest, but in other areas we caught some nice color.
Tahquamenon Falls in blazing color near Paradise, Michigan was terrific. Lots of water going over the falls from recent rains and some nice fall foliage change. Near ideal fall weather.
We reported on our Upper Peninsula Fall Color trip in ScenicPathways.com - here's some pages to check out:
During another fall color trip we covered Fall Color along the Minnesota North Shore Scenic Drive running along Lake Superior from Duluth, Minnesota to Thunder Bay, Ontario. In 2013 we were back in the Michigan Upper Peninsula catching Fall Colors in the Porcupine Mountains.
In future years we'd like to sample the color elsewhere around the lake. One attraction I've been wanting to catch is taking the Agawa Canyon train ride during Peak Color season. Based on the forest ecology, I'd expect to see some nice color from Sault Ste. Marie and up to Wawa Ontario.
SuperiorTrails.com - Reinhold Development - 2013
Lake Superior Camping
& Campground Directory
Lake Superior Circle Tour Route
Marquette UP 200
Sled Dog Race
Feb 13 - 17, 2014