There’s nothing quite as exciting as that annual trek north on I-75 in order to see the fall leaves in all of their colorful glory. However, while you are taking those back-country roads and seeing what the peak fall colors in Michigan look like under the Tunnel of Trees, you also may want to take time to visit some of the best pumpkin patches in Northern Michigan.
The pumpkin patches in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula offer the opportunity to explore quiet and peaceful patches amid the backdrop of crimson and gold leaves. In addition, many of these pumpkin patches have fun, family-friendly activities for everyone to enjoy.
Here are our picks for the Top 10 Northern Michigan pumpkin patches…
Places to Go Pumpkin Picking Near Traverse City
Traverse City is a hotbed of activity in the fall, as the peak colors drive tourists to the region in droves. Fortunately for both visitors and local residents, there are several places to pick a pumpkin in and around Traverse City.
Jacob’s Farm & Corn Maze
Jacob’s Farm was once known to everyone around the area as Jacob’s Corn Maze, but its owners want people to know that this venue is more than just an incredible corn maze. While the 10-acre, computer-designed corn maze is still a focal point of this attraction, the farm also has a pumpkin patch, you-pick orchards, and a kid’s play zone.
Its full bar and kitchen set it apart from other local pumpkin patches, allowing people of all ages to sit back, stay awhile and enjoy the view.
Clark’s Family Farm
For an authentic agricultural experience, you can head to Clark’s Family Farm in Long Lake Township near Traverse City. This centennial farm opens its doors to the public during the fall, allowing visitors to come pick a pumpkin and meander through its corn maze.
Open daily, this farm is a favorite among those searching for a peaceful pumpkin picking experience.
Gallagher’s Farm Market
Another place to get the perfect pumpkin for carving in Traverse City is Gallagher’s Farm Market. Gallagher’s is known for its wide variety of pumpkins, ensuring that the most creative carvers can find the pumpkin that will help them bring their vision to life.
After you have chosen a pumpkin from the patch, you can sip a glass of apple cider and snack on a pumpkin-flavored donut.
Perfect Petoskey Pumpkin Patches
Nestled on the northwest side of the state, Petoskey is ideally situated for growing pumpkins. As a result, the people who live here — and those who come to stay for a long weekend in the fall —are able to easily find a pleasing pumpkin.
Bill’s Farm Market
Bill’s Farm Market is an unexpected place to find a pumpkin because it’s less of a farm and more of a roadside produce stand. However, this locally-owned farm market is run by a welcoming farmer who loves to give visitors a hayride around his property to see the colors and learn more about the crops that he grows throughout the entire season.
While he doesn’t have a traditional pumpkin patch for you to roam, Bill does stack pumpkins near his farm market and sorts them by size, allowing you to easily find one to bring home and carve. Not to mention, his displays make the perfect backdrop for those fall photos you are going to want to take.
Coveyou Scenic Farm Market
Another Petoskey destination where you can find plump pumpkins is the Coveyou Scenic Farm Market. For more than 140 years, this farm market has been selling fresh, local produce to residents and visitors alike.
Today, it boasts a scenic view and an abundance of products for those who prefer sustainable and organic goods. In the fall, there are pumpkins available, and it’s one of the few places in the state where you can pick a pumpkin while enjoying a waterfront view.
Where to Find the Best Pumpkins Near Alpena
Situated on the northeast side of the state near Lake Huron, Alpena is no stranger to farming and the harvest season. There are many local farms and orchards in the area where people can find their seasonal decor and carving pumpkins, but one of the most unique pumpkin patch experiences can be enjoyed at Knaebe’s Apple Farm and Ciderworks.
Knaebe’s Apple Farm and Ciderworks
Knaebe’s Apple Farm and Ciderworks is located in Rogers City, which is north of Alpena. This farm has both you-pick apples and you-pick pumpkins, allowing visitors to get all of their fall produce stash in one quick visit.
While it’s a family-friendly destination that is designed for people of all ages to enjoy, there are a few extra benefits for adults who visit.
Later in the evening, the farm serves up hard cider pressed from its apples as well as wood-fired pizzas. After a day of pumpkin picking, you can treat yourself to an evening dining experience on the farm.
Pumpkin Patches with Plenty of Possibility Near Gaylord
Nestled in the heart of northern Michigan is the quaint community of Gaylord, which is a quiet and unassuming place during the fall season — as many of the summer residents who spend their time Up North have gone home for the winter.
While the full-time residents get back into the swing of daily life, the leaves begin to light up the area with color and there are plenty of festive activities to enjoy in the region.
One of the best places to go for fall fun in Gaylord is Fleming Farm. This farm, which is a staple in the community and is a major provider of fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat throughout the year, becomes the place to be during the months of September and October.
Its massive pumpkin patch appears as a sea of orange from the hayride, and when you arrive, you are going to have a hard time choosing which pumpkins to bring home.
In addition to being the largest pumpkin patch in Gaylord, the farm also features a corn maze and a petting zoo, making it a favorite destination for a full day of family fun. For many in the Gaylord region, their fall season is not complete until they have made a step at Fleming Farm.
For those who are heading north to enjoy a fall color tour, it is the perfect place to stop along the way.
Harbor Springs Pumpkin Patches to Explore
Harbor Springs is yet another place in Michigan where you can fully enjoy the beautiful season of fall. If you are searching for a place to pick a pumpkin in this area, then the first farm on your list should be Pond Hill Farm.
Pond Hill Farm
This farm is open daily throughout the year and is a favorite among those who like to sit outside, enjoy nature and fresh food. In the fall, the farm has a pumpkin patch that has earned a reputation for producing some of the largest pumpkins in the area.
In addition, it hosts a Fall Festival every year, in which guests are able to play pumpkin skeeball and apple baseball all while enjoying unique activities, such as pumpkin smashing. If you are interested, it’s recommended that you purchase tickets in advance, because this popular event has a tendency to sell out.
While there is nothing better than selecting a ripe pumpkin from the vine, there are some people who would prefer to find a pumpkin that they can cherish forever. If you are looking for an alternative to a fresh pumpkin, then consider visiting Boyer Glassworks in downtown Harbor Springs.
This art gallery features works made from hand-blown glass, and in the fall, the artist in residence puts his glass pumpkins on display. These one-of-a-kind works of art can be displayed year after year in your home or office.
The Best Pumpkin Patches in Buckley
If you are searching for a non-commercialized version of fall in Michigan, then set your sights on Buckley. The Village of Buckley is a tiny village in northern Michigan with less than 1,000 residents. It is situated on the shores of Lake Gitchegumee, and the fall colors in this community are phenomenal.
Pahl’s Country Store
In addition to enjoying the lakefront views and the reflections of the bright orange and yellow leaves that pop up in this area, you can visit Pahl’s Country Store in order to grab your pumpkins for the year. The pumpkin patch opens up in late September and is open seven days per week until Halloween.
In addition to offering a you-pick pumpkin experience, this charming country store also has pony rides for the kids, hay mazes, and more. After you have visited the pumpkin patch and selected the one that will become your Jack-o-Lantern, you and your family can grab a gallon of homemade apple cider, donuts, and caramel apples before you head home.
In Buckley, you get to experience the best of what Michigan has to offer during the fall. There are pristine views, vibrant fall leaves, and a country store that feels as if it is a relic from an era gone by. You are sure to make memories that will last a lifetime.
More Fall Fun in Northern Michigan
Whether you’re picking pumpkins, taking a fall color drive in Northern Michigan, or just looking for the perfect fall getaway, there are so many great fall things to do in Northern Michigan and beyond!
Be sure to check out all our fall articles to learn more about the best places and when to see fall colors in Michigan, the best Michigan fall scenic drives, apple orchards near you in Michigan, and so much more.