Southwest Michigan Fall Color Tour
When the air grows crisp, the days grow shorter, and fiery temperatures get traded in for flame-colored leaves, it’s time to gear up for a Southwest Michigan fall color tour!
We’ve raked together a pile of the top leaf-peeping spots across the region where you can see fall in all its finery and be awed for miles by the breathtaking seasonal spectacle.
Fall colors in Southwest Michigan typically peak between mid-October and the first week of November. Here are some of the most popular fall color routes in Southwest Michigan to check out this fall:
Red Arrow Highway Tour
Starting in St. Joseph, take Main St. south to Lakeshore Dr. to Red Arrow Hwy. This coastal road takes you south through the charming resort communities of Stevensville, Bridgman, Sawyer, Harbert, Union Pier, and New Buffalo.
Pit Stops: Grand Mere State Park, Watermark Brewing Company, Warren Dunes State Park, Warren Woods, Whistle Stop Grocery
Blue Star Highway Tour
From St. Joseph, continue north along the serene, tree-lined M-63 to Blue Star Highway. This Lake Michigan shore tour takes you through Benton Harbor, Covert, and South Haven.
Pit Stops: Harbor Shores Trails, North Pier Brewing Company, Van Buren State Park, Kal-Haven Trail State Park, Jollay Orchards
St. Joseph River Tour
Go south on St. Joseph’s Main St./I-94 Business Loop West/M-63. Make a slight left onto Niles Ave/M-63. Continue to follow M-63 to Scottdale. Turn right on M-139, then right on Redbud Trail to Buchanan.
Pit Stops: Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve, Lehman’s Orchard and Farmhouse, Iron Shoe Distillery
South Berrien County Tour
Turn on I-94 Business Loop East (Ship St.) from Main St. in downtown St. Joseph. Go through Benton Harbor to I-94 West (Chicago). Take Exit 12 to Sawyer. Go east on Sawyer Rd. In Sawyer, turn left on Flynn Rd. Right on Browntown Rd. Left on Hills Rd. Left on Lemon Creek Rd., then left on Red Arrow Hwy. to Bridgman.
Pit Stops: Greenbush Brewing Company, Hickory Creek Winery, Tabor Hill Winery, Round Barn Estate, Weko Beach Park
North Berrien County Tour
In downtown St. Joseph, take Main St. to I-94 Business Loop East (Ship St.) to Benton Harbor. Turn left on Fair St. and right on Territorial Rd. Turn left on N. Benton Center Rd. and right on Red Arrow Hwy. to Coloma and Watervliet.
Pit Stops: 12 Corners Vineyards, Contessa Wine Cellars, Karma Vista Vineyards, The Chocolate Garden, Arclight Brewing
Bonus Route: Continue on I-94 to Exit 56, Decatur. Follow M-51 south to Decatur. Turn left on Decatur Rd., then left on Marcellus Hwy. to Fred Russ Forest Park. This 13-acre park located between Dowagiac and Marcellus, has four miles of hiking trails and is one of the top fall color destinations in Southwest Michigan. As gorgeous as it is to see Southwest Michigan’s vibrant autumn colors from your vehicle, nothing can compare to hearing the rustling fallen leaves beneath your feet and looking up at the sunbeams streaming down through the crimson and gold canopy overhead.