Plan to head out on a fall color tour? Try a local road instead of a freeway! Michigan road commissions- who know the back roads better than anyone- have recommended some of their hidden gems for enthusiasts over the next few weeks.
Managing directors from 11 Michigan road commissions have selected some of the prettiest color tour drives in their county, which the County Road Association (CRA) of Michigan has released as a “don’t miss” list for the fall.
“County roads provide a fantastic opportunity for Michigan residents to experience nature in action,” said Denise Donohue, executive director of the County Road Association of Michigan. “County road agencies invite motorists across the state to drive down their roads and enjoy the fall season.”
Michigan drivers are probably unfamiliar with many of these roads; particularly those “don’t miss” roads in other counties. Road commission staff know where the best fall drives are located because they have taken care of these roads and right-of-ways for years and years.
The following are recommendations from 11 counties across Michigan. Plug intersections into your vehicle’s navigation system and stop for a picnic or lunch outside; it’s sure to make a successful fall outing.
Drivers are invited to #LoveFallRoads with CRA on Facebook at Facebook.com/micountyroads or on Twitter at @MICountyRoads to let everyone know their favorite road site for Michigan’s fall colors. Be sure to indicate an intersection, the county, and the closest city/village.
The following regions are listed in order of expected leaf coloring dates starting from the Upper Peninsula.
Upper Peninsula (Optimal color dates: October 7-14)
Northern Lower Peninsula (October 14-21)
Mid-Michigan (October 21-28)
Southwest Michigan (October 23- 30)
The 83 members of the County Road Association represent the unified, credible and effective voice for a safe and efficient local road right-of-way system in Michigan, collectively managing more than 73 percent of all roads in the state. Michigan has more than 90,000 miles and 5,700 bridges— the fourth-largest county road system in the nation.