Summer was here in the blink of an eye. But, with cooler weather, the fall colors come along with it! We’re expecting peak colors near the end of September, and the Sault Ste. Marie area makes for the perfect place to catch a glimpse at those beautiful red, orange and yellow trees. Even USA Today thinks so. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula was named best destination for fall foliage in 2020! Don’t believe us? Check out these five places to experience fall foliage near Sault Ste. Marie, MI!

1. Tahquamenon Falls

One of the staples of autumn travel is Tahquamenon Falls. If there is one place to go see, while the trees change colors, it has to be “The Falls.” As if the scenic drive into the park wasn’t enough, once you get to the waterfalls you will simply be in awe of the gorgeous fall-views. The bright-colored trees matched with the root beer-like color of the waters are something out of a magazine. If you’re feeling up for it, you can even put on your hiking boots and walk the almost six-mile hike from the Lower Falls to the Upper Falls and indulge get in all of the scenic views the adventure has to offer!

2. Mission Hill Overlook
Photo credit Lisa Brighton Photography

Another great place to enjoy the fall colors is Mission Hill/Spectacle Lake Overlook. It is about a 40-minute drive from the Soo to get to this beautiful overlook, and it is worth every minute of that drive, especially in fall. Your car climbing the hill is just part of the fun. Once you make it to the top and pull over the parking lot, you are in for a “spectacle.” Mission Hill looks over the small Spectacle Lake, which is surrounded by lots of trees. And just beyond that is a view of Lake Superior and Canada. It truly is a sight to be seen. There is also a hiking trail to explore while there as well.

3. Curly Lewis Memorial Highway

The Curley Lewis Memorial Highway belongs to the Tahquamenon Scenic Byway and by the sights to be seen, it’s no wonder why. During the early fall weeks, take a trip down this highway to explore the glorious colors that paint the trees from green to oranges, reds, and yellows. The 33-mile highway is the perfect route to indulge in the inviting scenic views that make up the Northern Upper Peninsula. But be sure to pay attention to the road – the highway takes you through some windy curves and slight hills. Be sure to keep an eye out fot the Point Iroquois Lighthouse, Whitefish Bay, and more that line the shores of Lake Superior!

4. Hiawatha National Forest 
Fall Road

Take a trip to the Hiawatha National Forest and you’ll find the perfect place to grab a bite to eat while you marvel at the fall color– the Big Pine Picnic area. The area is nestled among giant red and white pine trees and is equipped with tables, grills, and benches to view the sunset over Lake Superior. During your visit to the Hiawatha National Forest, you can also view fall color by taking a hike along the Monocle Lake Interpretive Trail. This 2-mile trail provides a perfect viewing platform for the wildlife and surrounding wilderness.

5. The Soo Locks Park

But you don’t have to travel outside of Sault Ste. Marie for those beautiful fall colors. Make your way to the downtown Sault Ste. Marie and take a walk around the Soo Locks Park. You can get a great view of the pretty trees and maybe even see a freighter passing by. The fall colors in Sault Ste. Marie bring the sight-seeing adventures to a whole new level. You can also find different spots around town to see the tree’s colors.

If you plan on seeing the fall colors in Sault Ste. Marie, book your trip now! Colors are estimated to peak at the end of September/beginning of October. Share with us your favorite place to explore the fall colors over on our social media! Use #ilovethesoo when you share your Sault Ste. Marie fall fun. For more Sault Ste. Marie adventures, follow us on FacebookInstagramPinterest and Twitter.

This blog was contributed by guest writer Hope Anderson