As the Upper Peninsula’s largest city, Marquette Michigan is a great place to head if you’re looking for some of the best fall colors in Michigan early in the season. In fact, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to see fall colors in Marquette Michigan to help you plan your fall foliage viewing expedition!
Situated on the Upper Peninsula, its northerly location brings cooler temperatures year-round, so Yoopers are usually the first Michiganders to delight in the natural beauty of our great state’s autumnal change.
Where to Find the Best Fall Colors in Marquette Michigan
Marquette, Michigan is nestled between mountains and on the shore of the most superior of the Great Lakes, experiencing a brilliant show of autumn color each year.
Where are the best fall colors in Marquette Michigan?
- Hogsback Mountain
- Sugarloaf Mountain
- Dead River Falls
- Yellow Dog Falls
- Echo Lake
- Presque Isle Park
- Iron Ore Heritage Trail
- CR 510 Bridgeview
- Little Garlic
- Harlow Lake
- Thomas Rock Scenic Outlook
- Top of the World Lookout
- Mount Marquette Overlook
- Wetmore Landing
Hike Hogsback Mountain to Experience 360 Degrees of Scenic Fall Views
A challenging two-hour hike from base to peak and back, Hogsback Mountain is the highest point in Marquette. Once you reach the top of the 435-foot climb, you’ll see why the strenuous workout is worth it.
A southern peak in the Huron Mountain Range, Hogsback Mountain boasts a 360-degree view of Lake Superior, Little Presque Isle Point, and Little Presque Island, as well as westward views of the mountains as far as atmospheric conditions will allow.
Well known to locals and a favorite of more than a few students, Hogsback is located only 10 minutes from Marquette. As one of the area’s best-kept secrets, it is rarely overrun by tourists, so you can enjoy the stunning display in contemplative awe.
Summit Sugarloaf Mountain for a Family-Friendly Fall Hike with Colorful Views
Located almost directly across CR 550 from Sugarloaf Mountain is a family-friendly hike, complete with stairways over the more treacherous rocks, and a scenic lookout platform at the peak.
Don’t let this deter you from visiting if you’re in search of a more demanding outing: only steps away from the viewpoint are heart-pumping trails and low-grade rock climbing leading to even more stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Just one look at the forests of bright green pines, combined with the spectacular colors of turned oaks, maples, and birches will leave you in no doubt as to why fall color enthusiasts have been flocking to this favorite for years.
Dive into the Dead River Falls for Autumnal Awesomeness
Featuring a crystal clear, 42-mile river broken by waterfalls and rock faces over 30 feet high, the hike can be perilous at times, with narrow trails and jutting rocks. However, the views of bright foliage over rushing cataracts leave even the most exhausted trail-goers satisfied.
One of the first places I explored in the Marquette area, Dead River Falls has been a favorite of mine since autumns past, when I watched a friend cliff dive into the river, while red, orange, and yellow leaves floated upon the surface of the water.
More Places to Enjoy Fall Colors in Marquette Michigan
Here are some more of our favorite places to see fall colors in Marquette Michigan, including an interactive map to help you plan your fall foliage tour in Marquette County!
Yellow Dog Falls
The Yellow Dog Creek waterfall cascades down a steep hillside on its way to the shores of Echo Lake. The falls are named after an early settler who was killed during a skirmish between Native Americans and settlers near what would become Marquette.
This popular destination offers visitors breathtaking scenery and easy access to hiking trails that lead through some of the region’s most beautiful landscapes.
Situated just north of downtown Marquette, Echo Lake provides a picturesque backdrop for many outdoor fall activities including fishing, boating, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and picnicking.
Presque Isle Park
In addition to being home to several parks and recreation areas, Presque Isle State Park also features two state beaches along the shoreline of Lake Superior. These include North Beach and South Beach. Both offer great opportunities for viewing colorful trees and enjoying the crisp air.
Iron Ore Heritage Trail
A short drive west of Marquette lies Iron Ore Heritage Trail, which runs alongside the former iron ore mining site where Marquette sits today. This 1.5-mile paved path leads hikers through old quarries and abandoned buildings, providing a glimpse into the history of the city and boasts a beautiful fall backdrop.
CR 510 Bridgeview
If you want to see how the trees change throughout the fall season, then head out to the bridge overlooking the Dead River. Here, you’ll find yourself surrounded by vibrant hues of gold, copper, and rust-colored leaves. This is a great spot to see the fall color display in Marquette County.
Located about 20 miles south of Marquette, Little Garlic is another place worth visiting if you’re looking for fall color displays. With more than 100 acres of land, it’s perfect for families or groups seeking a scenic getaway from busy urban life.
Another option for those interested in exploring the beauty of fall colors in Marquette is Harlow Lake Nature Center. Located off Highway 28, this nature center boasts nearly 200 species of plants as well as animals such as deer, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, birds, turtles, frogs, snakes, butterflies, bees, dragonflies, and much more!
Thomas Rock Scenic Overlook
Just outside of Marquette, Thomas Rock is one of my personal favorites because it allows me to enjoy both the natural surroundings and the stunning view of the surrounding landscape.
Top of the World Lookout
For those wanting to explore the northern reaches of Marquette County, Top of the World Lookout will provide a spectacular view of the Upper Peninsula’s fall colors. From here, you can take in views of Little Presque Isle, Hogsback Mountain, and Sugarloaf Mountain.
Mount Marquette Overlook
One of the best places to see fall colors in Michigan is Mount Marquette Overlook located at the top of Marquette Mountain. It has been described as “one of the finest vistas in all of Michigan.” Visitors have said they feel like they could be anywhere when standing atop this lookout point with panoramic views of the entire area.
The last stop on our list of some of the most breathtaking spots for autumn foliage in Michigan is Wetmore Landing. Situated near the shores of Lake Superior, this park offers visitors an opportunity to experience the changing seasons firsthand.
Where to Stay in Marquette Michigan This Fall
Whether you’re looking for the best Marquette Michigan vacation rentals this fall, or you’d prefer to stay in one of the best hotels in Marquette Michigan, there are plenty of Marquette lodging options to fit every budget and preference.
Here are just a few of our favorite places to stay in Marquette Michigan:
FAQs & More Fall Things to Do Near Marquette County
No matter where you decide to explore, you won’t go wrong in Marquette. Peak fall colors in Marquette generally start in mid to late September and continue for a couple of weeks.
Be sure to explore our guide to the best Upper Peninsula fall things to do!
When Will Marquette Michigan Peak Fall Color Happen?
This year (2021), peak fall foliage in Marquette is predicted for the last two weeks of September.
What can I do in Marquette in the fall?
Exploring the many Upper Peninsula hiking trails is one of the best things to do in Marquette in the fall. The fall foliage makes any Marquette hike extra special during this color season!
article contributed by Claire Moore