View from Summit Peak, Porcupine Mountains
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness Park
-- Scroll Down for Sept 28th Fall Color Update - -
Western Upper Peninsula Fall Color Scenic Drives along Lake Superior
Maps Scenic Drives Fall Foliage Color Tours
Wisconsin Fall Color Scenic Drives along Lake Superior
North Shore Fall Color Scenic Drives; Fall Color Duluth, Minnesota
Fall color is arriving in many places around Lake Superior.
The Hurley-Ironwood area is reporting about 85% color change. Now is the time to go for decent color from Ashland to Hurley. Look for about 75% color change from Ashland to Aminicon Falls State Park along Highway 2. Going towards Bayfield and along the lakeshore on Hwy 13 there hints of color showing. Look for peak around Bayfield near Mid-October.
Fall Color Ironwood's Curry Park Campground - Sept 29, 2021
Fall Color is getting near Peak in the Western Upper Peninsula. Time to go is Now!
Some nice fall color is showing in the Central UP; look for the Peak in a week or two. Target mid-October for the Eastern UP.
The earliest fall color along the North Shore occurs from Judge Magney State Park to Grand Portage. At present, the Birches are starting to turn, with reds and oranges on shrubs and undergrowth.
Further South the view from Look Out at the top of Lookout Mountain is producing a nice display with the red and orange of maples on the far side of the valley. Ditto for the maples near Tettegouche State Park.
Further South to Duluth color change is 25 - 50% of peak, Birches turning golden and Reds showing up on Maples.
Leaves are turning faster than last year; Peak Color along the North Shore could show up in early October.
View from Oberg Mountain Trail, late September
Below is our Overview of what to expect for the 2023 Fall Color Season in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan Upper Peninsula drives along Lake Superior.
* See our regional tourism and weather report links midway down the page.
Some of the earliest Fall Color in September around Lake Superior can be found away from the lake south of Ashland, WI (around Copper Falls) and in the western Upper Peninsula North and East of Ironwood Michigan.
One early season color trip we've enjoyed in the past (and would be a great one most years) is a scenic waterfalls color tour in Northern Wisconsin and the western Upper Peninsula. This route takes in Copper Falls State Park, Potato River Falls, the falls along the Black River Harbor Scenic Byway, and the water falls along the Presque Isle River in the western park of Porcupine Mountains State Park.
In the Upper Peninsula, the earliest fall color in the Porkies can be found in the woods and trails that are away from the lake. Don't miss the view from the top of Summit Peak and from the Lake of the Clouds Overlook. Later in the season the best color is nearer the lake and in lower elevations along some of the hiking trails.
In the Keweenaw Peninsula, peak color generally arrives late September, early October.
In the central UP a scenic fall drive I'd recommend is the H58 county road between Munising and Grand Marais, Michigan. Also you'll find good fall color along the road to Miners Castle in Pictured Rocks National Park. If you take a Pictured Rocks Boat Tour, in addition to the amazing painted rocks you'll get to see some nice leaf color as a backdrop. East of Pictured Rocks, between Newberry and Paradise is Tahquamenon Falls, beautiful any time of the year but especially with fall color as a backdrop.
In Minnesota Peak Color arrives in late September away from the lake and into the first week in October near 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. Some years along the North Shore you get a second season of fall color in October as the birches, aspen, and tamarack turn (always later than Maples, Oaks, and Hickories).
In Wisconsin, from Superior near Amnicon Falls to Ashland peak color usually arrives the last week in September and first two weeks in October. Sometimes peak color arrives at the same time as the annual Bayfield Apple Festival (the first weekend in October); other years it is a little later.
For indicators of fall color change possibilities, see the summary of last year's reports below and check our Fall Color Change Report Updates Archives. For example, in 2014, several areas were showing good color by September 23rd; but in 2015 color change was more modest at this time of year. In 2016 & 17 color changed slower than recent years and lasted further into October. In 2019 color changed quicker, showing more in September than in recent years.
But watch out for waiting until Peak Color because some years the leaves start falling before they completely turn.
For useful historical comparisons of the Rate of Color Change, see our FALL COLORS REPORT Archives covering our reports from 2011 to 2021
See weather report links (BELOW) for selected areas around Lake Superior
Have a fall foilage or color report to pass along or a question - write me
Ross Reinhold - email@example.com
Regional Tourism & Peak Fall Color Report Links:
Michigan UP Travel
Keweenaw Visitors Bureau
Bayfield, WI Fall Colors
Superior-Dougles County Fall Color Updates
Minnesota: DNR NorthShore Parks
Ontario North Shore: NorthofSuperior.org
Ontario North East Shore: Saulttourism.com
Weather Channel Links:
Ironwood, Michigan UP
Houghton, Keweenaw Peninsula Michigan UP
Marquette, Michgan UP
Sault Saint Marie, Michigan UP
Ashland-Bayfield Peninsula, Wisconsin
Grand Marais, Minnesota
Wawa, Ontario Canada
Thunder 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.
SuperiorTrails.com - Reinhold Development - 2023
See our Directory of our favorite Upper Peninsula Scenic and Recreation areas.
Don't miss experiencing Duluth's Canal Park, Shopping and Entertainment District.
Duluth's Enger Park Tower provides a panaramic view of the city of Duluth.
See our reviews on Best Hiking and Camping Guides around Lake Superior.
Outstanding Fall Color Porcupine Mountains Lake of the Clouds scenic overlook.
Fall Color & Waterfalls along Black River Harbor Scenic Parkway
Tahquamenon Falls State Park offers some of the best fall color in the eastern Upper Peninsula.
Enjoying lake breezes and views at the Duluth Canal Park Brewery Beer Garden - Canal Park.
See the lighthouses on an Apostle Islands Cruise.