Fall Color Is Pure Michigan

With 19.3 million acres—more than half of its land—covered by forest, Michigan has what it takes to put on a dazzling display of fall color. Deep evergreens complement the reds, oranges and yellows of maple, birch, aspen and oak trees. The spectacle frames rushing waterfalls, borders open fields, and shelters urban parks. As early as mid-September the colors begin to creep across the Upper Peninsula, reflected in clear lakes and streams and covering winding roads. The show continues across the state for about six weeks, touching the tip of the northern Lower Peninsula by late September and reaching southern Michigan around the end of October.

Several factors affect the timing of the changing leaves and intensity of the hues, including summer and fall temperatures, precipitation levels, the amount of cloud cover, and lake effect warming. To help track the color calendar Travel Michigan offers a free Fall Color eNewsletter and posts regular updates at www.michigan.org.

Leaf peepers should also turn to the website for suggested fall color driving routes, lodging, dining and shopping information and a calendar of activities for the entire family. Every weekend offers a fall festival or seasonal event such as a hayride, trip to pick a pumpkin or apples, or visits to haunted houses, cider mills and wineries.

Corn mazes are a growing trend in fall family fun. Most Michigan mazes range in size from four to 20 acres and boast elaborate designs, with clues planted throughout the maze to help with navigation. Some farms also offer hayrides, snack bars and entertainment to round out the experience.

When the air is as crisp as a bite into a delicious Michigan’ apple, it’s time for a visit to a U-Pick farm or a cider mill. Picturesque and historic, some mills have been in operation since the mid 1800s. The haul from an apple-picking outing can yield homemade pie, fresh applesauce or hot spiced cider (recipe below) to fill a home with autumn aromas that are Pure Michigan.

For suggested fall color driving tours, information on Michigan fall color conditions, fall getaway packages and events, travelers may visit michigan.org or call 888-78-GREAT (784-7328). Fall color information is updated weekly by AAA Michigan at www.aaamich.com during the fall color season.

Travel Michigan, a division of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, is the State’s of Michigan’s official agency for the promotion of tourism. Travel Michigan markets the state’s tourism industry and provides valuable visitor information services.

Savor the goodness of Michigan apple cider enhanced with spices and served warm. For recipes from the Michigan Apple Committee visit: www.michiganapples.org

Hot Spiced Apple Cider

1/2 cup Michigan brown sugar
1 gallon Michigan apple cider
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon allspice

Place all spices in a small cheesecloth bag. Drop the bag into a pot containing all the other mixed ingredients. Heat, using a non-reactive pot, and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve in a big mug with a cinnamon stick to stir!

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