Keep Paddling Michigan This Fall

Just because Labor Day has come and gone, it doesn’t mean the fun at Paddling Michigan is over — far from it. Some of the best days to see Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore are just around the corner.


Peak season for fall foliage colors in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula generally happens between the last week in September and the first two weeks in October. While it’s difficult to nail down the exact timing of the peak each year, if you book a Paddling Michigan trip during this time frame, not only will you see the beautiful colors of the Pictured Rocks, they will be framed by the breathtaking colors of the fall leaves.

Tree Species of Pictured Rocks

As you get out on the water, you’ll want to know which trees are creating the brilliant colors. Here’s a list of the most prevalent trees along the lakeshore and the colors they produce each fall:


  • Sugar Maple. The sugar maple is famous for its spring production of maple syrup. Its fall foliage can range from yellow to orange to red, sometimes occurring all at once on the same tree.


  • Red Maple. Not surprisingly, the red maple stays true to its name and produces the most intense of the red foliage.


  • Hemlock. The Hemlock tree is part of the pine family and will be the deepest green along the lakeshore.


  • Yellow Birch. Although the yellow birch is named for the color of its bark, it also yields yellow leaves in the fall. With both of these identifying factors, it should be easy to recognize.
  • American Beech. The American Beech tree produces a golden-bronze leaf in the fall. The leaves turn to tan and remain on the tree through the winter.


  • White Pine. Michigan’s state tree, the White Pine, stands majestically along the shores of Pictured Rocks, sometimes growing 80-100 ft in the wild. A conifer easily recognized by its long needles, its green color will remain all winter.

If you a looking for a refresher on how the colors of the Pictured Rocks themselves are produced, click here.


Enjoy Pictured Rocks This Fall


While you can experience the fall foliage of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with a hike through Pictured Rocks National Park, it’s nothing like viewing it from the water. When kayaking with Paddling Michigan, you get the best view of the trees, the sandstone cliffs, Lake Superior, and the Upper Peninsula sky  – all combined in one amazing view.


Paddling Michigan makes it easy for you to enjoy your fall U.P. vacation with a variety of lodging options. And there’s always a campfire nearby to take the chill off the northern night air while waiting for a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Book your fall Paddling Michigan trip now and c’mon U.P!