For many travelers, autumn is their favorite time to visit the Keweenaw. As the summer temperatures wane, the Keweenaw’s landscape experiences a vibrant change from a sea of green to waves of orange, red and gold. The dramatic change happens a little earlier up here than in many parts of the country because of our cooler climate, so pack your best flannel(s) and come experience the Keweenaw in its full fall glory.
Because of the micro-climate created by Lake Superior and the peninsula’s northern location, the Keweenaw’s fall colors usually peak between the last week of September and the first two weeks of October. Specific Keweenaw locations may vary with Copper Harbor and Isle Royale peaking a bit later than areas farther south.
The Keweenaw is filled with beautiful scenic sites, so this suggestion isn’t all that creative. But there are some scenic drives along our highways that will take your breath away. You’ll be rewarded with soul-stirring views of Lake Superior and plenty of opportunities to hop out of the car and explore.
Be sure not to pass on Brockway Mountain Drive between Eagle Harbor and Copper Harbor. This little road off M-26 winds up 720 feet to the top of Brockway Mountain. On a clear day you can see for miles. The view is one of the best in the Upper Peninsula.
The Covered Drive is an 18-mile segment of US-41 where the colorful canopy creates a "tunnel of trees."
Whether its by foot, bike, ATV, or paddle, the Keweenaw’s hundred of miles of recreation trails are a great way to experience fall colors. Choose your preferred form of transportation and grab a map to explore the area.
Waterfalls are rejuvenated in the fall months thanks to the extra precipitation in September and October. The rushing waters are framed by the beautiful fall colors minus those pesky mosquito that are a nuisance in the spring.
Oak and maples surrounding Hungarian Falls make this a perfect fall hiking destination.
Autumn offers all the amazing sunsets of summer, so a lot earlier! While the cooler temperatures may prevent you from sticking your toes in Lake Superior, you can still enjoy a s’more or two along the beach as you watch the sun slip below the horizon. You’ll be amazed as the blue sky changes to deep shades of orange, red, pinks and purples. For the best views, head to the western side of the peninsula.
The world’s newest International Dark Sky Park is in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. With earlier sunsets, come more stargazing opportunities. Thanks to the Keweenaw’s incredibly low level of light pollution, the night’s sky is much clearer than in many other parts of the Midwest. Combine that with our northern location, you may be lucky enough to see the Northern Lights dance across the sky. Make sure to check out our top tips for experiencing the Keweenaw's dark skies.
Earlier sunsets mean longer nights and more stargazing opportunities in the Keweenaw.