Southwest Michigan Fall Color Report | Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council

Southwest Michigan Fall Color Report

Fall color along the St. Joseph River in Buchanan.

Fall Color Report: Oct. 26-Nov. 1

With more vibrant hues popping off the pages of Southwest Michigan, it’s fair to say we are right on the cusp of peak fall color! It will hit any day now. 

As you take in the autumn canvas around you, sip on some of our fall drinks on the Makers Trail. Nothing is better than the tastes of fall with a crisp breeze and crunchy leaves falling around you.

12 Corners Vineyard
Photo By: @12cornersvineyards

Fall beverages on the Makers Trail

Enjoy the cozy weather with a craft beverage from our local makers. Be sure to download the passport to earn prizes! Here’s what you’ll find on the trail:

Fall Color Report: Oct. 19-25

It’s here! That wondrous time of fall we’ve been waiting for! When more and more leaves flaunt their brightest and most boo-tiful colors, the wind howls, branches creak, waves crash and Halloween fun intensifies over the next two weeks. 

Leaf prognosticators hover their pointers on Oct. 23 for the start of peak color in Southwestern Michigan. Pull on your jacket and tour our countryside. If you dare — stop at our un-boolievable Halloween happenings this week through Oct. 31. 

Trick or Treating in downtown St. Joseph.

Add these 13 Halloween treats to your October caul-ander

No need to “Double double” your “toil and trouble” planning your Halloween fun. Join us at these Southwestern Michigan events:

Fall Color Report: Oct. 12-18

Mother Nature has spent the last few weeks splatter-painting our green forests with yellows, oranges, reds and rusty browns. This week and the next, expect her to start roller painting our landscape with broader swashes of brilliant jewel-toned hues. Southwest Michigan will be about 25% of peak color this weekend. In two weeks, our region should reach its peak.

We expect our temperatures to reach nearly 60 degrees over the next few days. It’s perfect fleece and sweater weather for hiking or biking our scenic trails or paddling on our tree-lined lakeshores and rivers. Plan to stay over — you can easily delight all five senses for days. 

Book your fall stay

Favorite fall color hikes 

Nature has begun its yearly transformation and the best way to get up close and personal with its beauty is by hiking one of the area’s many trails. Each has a unique landscape. Join us for the best color in the next week or two.

Best fall color hikes

Scenic bike rides

Whether you want a leisurely or white-knuckle ride through beautiful fall scenery, visit Southwest Michigan now! Mountain biking families especially enjoy Lakeview Trail’s flowy beginners’ or intermediate loops that wind through Whirlpool Corporation’s campus. If you prefer to mix your bike ride with shopping, craft beverage tasting and delicious fall foods, pedal the flower- and tree-lined streets of our top 10 towns to visit this fall

Follow these colorful routes

Fall Kayaking
Photo By: @goldberrywoods

Paddle below gorgeous leaves

Rise early for a misty morning paddle on Lake Michigan, our rivers or inland lakes. Launch your craft as the afternoon sun streams through gold and crimson canopies. Or cruise at sunset when wildlife gathers along the banks and shores. This will become your favorite time of year to kayak, SUP and canoe in Southwest Michigan.

Beautiful autumn paddles

Fall Color Report: Oct. 5-11

We are eagerly awaiting the burst of fall color hues, but so far, we are only seeing a sneak peek of the masterpiece in Southwest Michigan. Bursts of orange continue to speckle the treetops; and occasionally a gust of wind sends leaves dancing through the air but the real color will come once we get cooler temperatures. Luckily, they are expected to drop this weekend into early next week. That chill and the rain it comes with will help to turn our greenery into golden yellow, vibrant red and deep brown. Peak fall color could arrive by the end of next week! Until then, check out some of our riverfronts, they’re full of color upstream. 

Fall color at the Berrien Springs Courthouse

Embrace autumn events and harvest happenings playing Creative Connections

Just because you are waiting for fall color doesn’t mean the festivities haven’t begun! Check out our rich arts, culture and history scene by playing the Creative Connections game. The more destinations you visit, the more fun, artsy prizes you earn. And it’s FREE to play! Here are some of the upcoming happenings this fall at our locations:

  • JLN Studio Galvanized Metal Sunflower painting class, Oct. 12
  • Halloween Boo Bash at the Silver Beach Carousel, Oct. 12
  • Flick or Treat 2023, a series of 13 spooky, silent films at Krasl Art Center, Oct. 13
  • Silverbrook Cemetery Tour with Niles History Center, Oct. 14
  • Food, Wine & Art Experience at ARS Gallery, Oct. 14
  • The Boogie Woogie Kid at Box Factory for the Arts, Oct. 14
  • Rocky Horror Picture Show The Musical Oct. 20-22, 27-31 at The GhostLight Theatre
  • Twin City Players production of The Revolutionists by Lauren Gunderson, Oct. 20-Nov. 5
  • Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Oct. 22
  • Boo Ball at The Acorn, Oct. 28
  • Halloween at the Citadel, Oct. 31
  • Local artists work for sale at Chartreuse Gallery — look for fall paintings, stained glass creations and sculptures
  • Walk the trails at Fernwood Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve and visit their annual pumpkin house
  • Sip on wine while admiring art in the gallery at Golden Muse Winery
  • Cemetery tours, Dia de Los Muertos Community Offerendas and fireside tales hosted by History Center at Courthouse Square
  • See the most recent display of a local artist’s work at The Gallery at Harbor Shores
  • Pick up a unique, glass-blown pumpkin, ghost or cat made by local artists at Water Street Glassworks all month long
  • With the long weekend ahead, plan to stay an extra night and explore as many of our game locations as possible! This is just the start of all the fun events and activities they have to offer this fall. Stay tuned for next week’s update!

    Book your stay now!

    Fall Color Report: Sept. 28-Oct. 4

    Despite celebrating the first official day of fall last weekend, our colors aren’t quite reflecting that seasonal status change just yet. Several of our leaves are still sticking green, although you will see pops of color on treetops occasionally as you drive throughout Southwest Michigan. That being said, it’s predicted that our gorgeous, peak-colored hues will arrive within two to three weeks. Now is still a great time to grab local produce from our farm stands and U-pick farms as the harvest season is in full swing!

    Beer at Round Barn
    Photo By: @roundbarnestate

    Stop to celebrate Oktoberfest on our Makers Trail

    Prost! Several of our craft beverage Makers have special menus, drinks and festivals planned in the coming weeks to celebrate Oktoberfest in Southwest Michigan. Embrace the German culture by visiting some of these stops. Plus, when you download the Makers Trail Passport app and scan a location code, you’re that much closer to earning Makers Trail merch! Then, you can keep coming back to visit more locations until May 31, 2024. Here’s where to celebrate this year: 

    Book your stay now!

    Fall Color Report: Sept. 20-27, 2023

    Southwest Michigan’s leaves are still green as you drive from Lake Michigan to the vineyards along our region’s eastern border. But it’s fun to spy an occasional maple tree ablaze with bright red leaves along our fall color tour trails. This week, our weather predictors call for sunny to partly sunny days and temperatures in the mid-to-upper 70s. This is perfect weather to see our other source of amazing fall colors. Our autumn harvest hues are ready to fill stew pots, pies, casseroles and salads or decorate your home or porch. 

    Davis Girls Stovers Apples
    Photo: @kdavis_mi

    Feast your eyes on colorful fruits, vegetables, grains and flowers.

    Southwest Michigan is nationally renowned for its beautiful apple, pear, nectarine and plum orchards. But the magic of stopping at our orchards and farm stands is in the burst of fresh-picked flavor you get with each juicy bite. 

    From now to October, our farms offer hayrides to their u-pic orchards, corn mazes, outdoor games and harvest festivals. Their markets have row after row of plump orange and white pumpkins, purple and white cauliflower, eggplant, beets, cabbages, kale and beans. There are boxes of traditional and heirloom tomatoes, onions, peppers and cilantro to make salsa. Bring home rainbow carrots and brown, red and purple potatoes. Snack on fresh donuts and cold or hot cider. Find decorative gourds, bales, corn stalks, wreaths and a gorgeous array of mums.

    This is what’s available now and where to stop and get it.

    Book your fall stay

    Bellhop Icon: Book A Room