Fall Color Update

10/15/2021 – It’s officially autumn and we’re excited to see colors popping out!  Our current color is at approximately 75%  depending on the area.  We’re having a strange color season and certain areas have peaked, while others are still pretty green.  Overall, this is a great time for fall color tours and you won’t be disappointed! Check back for updates – we’ll keep you posted. 

All Outdoors Autumn

Make it an awesome Autumn in Gaylord, Michigan!  Don’t miss these stops and activities that will brighten your day with crisp, colorful scenery and family fun for all ages.

Fleming Farms – Lose yourself in a 4-acre corn maze, take a hayride into the pumpkin patch to choose from 1,000’s of plump pumpkins, visit the friendly animals at the petting zoo and more!

Downtown Farmer’s Market – Autumn is harvest time at the Downtown Gaylord Farmer’s Market under the Pavilion!  Along with fresh cut flowers, homemade desserts and locally sourced honey, you’ll find an abundant selection of delectable in-season fruits and veggies.

Elk Viewing – Elk are most active during the fall, so whether you’re viewing them from the sidelines of the City Elk Park or touring backroads in the Pigeon River Country State Forest, our elk are on the move! Visit our elk viewing page for helpful hints and viewing areas.

Get All Outdoors – Glide along our glassy shores in a kayak or canoe. Lace up your hiking boots, throw on your favorite hoodie and trek out on a leaf-strewn pathway. Cast a line into the cooling waters of our lakes and streams.  Being All Outdoors takes on a whole new meaning during our most vibrant season!




Top 5 Scenic Fall Vistas

As autumn approaches each year, you can’t help but feel excitement as you see the first leaves melding from their usual green state to varying shades of red, orange and gold.  It’s those peek-a-boo moments through the lush greenery and the sudden crisp air filling your lungs that truly signal the beginning of fall.  Even though we love our blissful summers in Gaylord, Michigan, no one seems to mind when October rolls around and the landscape transforms into an intricate mosaic of colors.  Northern Michigan is simply stunning this time of the year…there’s no way around it.

Want to know the best lakes for paddling? Request our Lakes Brochure!


Gaylord is exquisite in autumn and it doesn’t matter which direction you travel.  Paddle our inland lakeshike or bike any trail of your choice or just turn down a dirt road and explore…you will not be disappointed.

But we all have favorite places and we are happy to share our top 5 scenic fall vistas with you:

1. The Pigeon River Valley and Sturgeon River Valley:  Yes, these are two different locations.  But our point is simple – VALLEYS MAKE FOR STUNNING VIEWS!  Visit Treetops Resort or Otsego Resort for two of the most breathtaking views in Otsego County.  Or, treat yourself to an adventure and paddle the flowing waters of the Sturgeon River for a different angle.  



2.  The Gaylord Golf Mecca: Technically, this encompasses 17 different locations, but who’s counting? This is a no-brainer for golfers, but if you’re not skilled at swinging a stick, take your camera and don’t worry about it if you can’t hit the ball.  Fall rates are excellent, so it’s the perfect time to give Gaylord’s signature sport a shot while enjoying an impressive color tour. 

Interested in golf?  Request your free copy of Northern Michigan Golfer Magazine!



3.  Inland lakes and rivers: While you may not want to take a swim during peak color season, our waterways are still filled with activity.  Paddle the glassy shoreline of our birch and maple-lined lakes or rent a raft and tour the rushing waters of the Sturgeon River. Outfitters are available for rentals and guided trips. 

Looking for four seasons of fun? Request or view our Visitor’s Guide!



4.  Aspen Park: This 100 acre park just minutes from downtown Gaylord may not have the sweeping views of a lush valley, but you’ll love being encompassed in colors from every angle.  As an added bonus, Aspen Park shares a boundary with our City Elk Park, giving you the opportunity to see and hear majestic elk during one of their most active seasons. 



5.  Deadman’s Hill Overlook: The crown jewel of our area is undoubtedly Deadman’s Hill.  This overlook is a stunner in every season, but autumn gets full bragging rights.  An easy walk uphill will treat you to views of the Jordan River Valley you will remember for a lifetime.  Hikers will delight in jumping on the 18-mile Jordan Valley Pathway here, or simply spending a few hours on the 3-mile Deadman’s Hill Loop.


The sun begins to set over the Jordan River Valley at Dead Man's Hill.

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Gaylord Area Driving Tours

You can’t take a wrong turn in Gaylord in the fall even if you try.  Every mile of highway, scenic country road and dirt two track has its own hidden gem for leafers to discover. We’ve come up with two diverse treks for you to explore the fantastic foliage during your stay!

Our northern tour leads you down a Natural Beauty Road to a designated overlook on Pickerel Lake Road, part of the Pigeon River Country State Forest.  Our northwestern tour features taking the “long way around” to Deadman’s Hill overlook by meandering along country roads bursting with color.

Find maps of both tours here: Fall Driving Tours in Gaylord


Northern Michigan Driving Tours

With Gaylord’s central location in the heart of northern Michigan, color tours can branch out into any direction!  Choose one of our color tours below or stop at the Gaylord Information Center for a free map of the area and plan your own. 

Tour #1 travels north and west of Gaylord, taking in the scenic drive south of Cross Village, continuing along the Lake Michigan shoreline and winding back along M-32.  This rolling and beautiful stretch meanders through hardwoods and forest-lined farmlands.  

Tour #2 travels north and east of Gaylord, passing through the pristine woodlands surrounding the Pigeon River State Forest and the shoreline drive along expansive Lake Huron. Wherever the road takes you, autumn colors branch out in every direction.  Feel free to lose yourself down a country road and take in the sights and scents of one of our loveliest seasons.  
Find maps of both northern Michigan tours here: N MI Driving Tours


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