Fall Color Update

We’ll see you in the fall!  

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.  Take a kayak along one of our glassy shorelines, hike 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.  


The chairlift at Treetops Resort is filled with people enjoying the fall colors.


2.  The Gaylord Golf Mecca: Technically, this encompasses 15 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.  Groen Nature Preserve: This nature preserve east of Gaylord on over 700 acres is set aside for you to explore by foot, bike or even horse.  Convenient and frequent maps will guide you throughout your excursion.  Expect resplendent colors in the thickly wooded forest leading to picturesque Johannesburg Lake. 

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

Johannesburg Lake at the Groen Nature Preserve in the fall.


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. 


Colorful autumn trees against a sunset in Aspen Park.


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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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.  


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