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Autumn’s Palette: Fall Color Emerges Throughout Northeastern Michigan

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Autum Palette

Autumn’s Palette: Fall Color Emerges Throughout Northeastern Michigan
Michigan Live | Pati LaLonde | October 6, 2008

NORTHERN MICHIGAN – Looking for the best place to catch the reds and oranges of autumn?

Then look to the greens – as in the many golf courses that dot the landscape of northern Michigan.

Area experts say golfers may have the best chance to catch the blazing fall color this year.

“Especially these courses,” says Lynne Sitko, front desk clerk at the golf resort Lakewood Shores Resort in Oscoda. “We’re surrounded by woods.”

And this might be the time to plan for this weekend’s color tour. According to AAA of Michigan’s weekly survey of state parks and regional visitor’s bureaus, the Upper Peninsula has 70-100 percent of the trees showing good color. In the northeastern Lower Peninsula, between 35 and 70 percent of the trees are in their autumn glory.

Mike Beemer, front desk clerk at the Super 8 Motel at Houghton Lake, says the area is nearing its peak.

“We’re still a little green, but the drive is very colorful,” he said.

Be forewarned: In spite of a drab economy and the end of the summer season, area hotels still fill up on the weekends and reservations are needed.

Teresa Charbonneau, desk clerk at Quality Inn and Forward’s Conference Center in West Branch, said the hotel was full last weekend and expects this weekend to be the same.

She says there are still plenty of places to see the splashes of fall color.

“It’s starting to look really pretty,” she said. “Come up M-76. My sister-in-law lives on M-33 and it’s beautiful too. Any of the back roads. It’s pretty on I-75 too, but we like the back roads.”

Peggy White, front office assistant at the Tawas Bay Beach Resort in East Tawas say a drive on River Road along the Au Sable River provides the perfect place to take in the changing colors. There are several scenic outlooks along the stretch to stop and enjoy.

Beemer advises taking a boat to the middle of Houghton lake to enjoy the show.

“There is lots to do on the lake,” he said. “People are still fishing.”

While the color may be the lure, these area residents say there is plenty to see and do once the tour is over.

“We have a lot of antique shops in the town of West Branch,” Charbonneau said. “A lot of good eateries.”

White, whose inn sits right across the street from downtown East Tawas, says there are plenty of things to do, all within walking distance.

Suggestions include the movie theater, bowling, checking out the “neat little stores” in the area.

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