Just how many ways are there to view this splendor of autumn’s pallet? West Michigan travelers have an abundance of ways to enjoy the show, either by car, train, boat, bicycle, hot air balloon rides, at festivals, hiking, on golf courses and luxury resorts, or historic highways. Many of these “old roads” cut through great forests of hardwoods and pines and make perfect color tours, and some are state-designated scenic routes. From 40 miles to 140 miles, there’s a day trip perfect for everyone. View a listing of 26 scenic driving routes and print detailed directions for each.
Color Tour One
Color Tour Directions Starting from New Buffalo
Red Arrow Hwy north to Bridgman. I-94 north to Benton Harbor, M-63 north to Coloma Rd, east to Watervliet. I-94 east to Paw Paw (Exit 60), M-40 south to M-216 east in Marcellus, US-131 south to Three Rivers. M-60 west to Cassopolis, M-62 north to Dowagiac. West on M-62, south on M-140 to Niles, M-60BR to US-12, west to New Buffalo.
Color Tour Two
Color Tour Directions Starting from Centreville
Klinger Lake Rd north (becomes Covered Bridge Rd) across Langley Covered Bridge. Covered Bridge Rd then becomes Silver St. North to M-60. East on M-60 through Mendon (becomes M-60/M-66) to Clarendon. South on 22 Mile Rd (becomes Clarendon Rd in Branch Co). Right on Jonesville Rd 1/2 mile, south on Quincy Ray Rd to California, then west on Southern Rd to Angola Rd. Turn left, then right to return to Southern. West through East Gilead to River Son Rd, right on Southern, right on Orland, then left to Southern. Left on Dutch School Rd, right at Round Lake Rd past Round Lake (becomes Fawn River Rd in St. Joseph Co). Left at second intersection to continue on Fawn River Rd. North on Klinger Lk Rd to return to Centreville.
Color Tour Three
Color Tour Directions Starting from Jackson
South on M-50, west on Meridian, south on Stonewall. South on Horton Rd, south on Jackson Rd to Liberty. West on Hanover Rd, north on Pulaski Rd to M-60 heading northeast. West on Michigan Ave, north on Parma, north on Country Farm Rd, north on Rogers Rd, east on Benn Rd. North on Stepladder Rd, north on Springport Rd through Minard Mill where it becomes Minard Rd. South on M-50, south on US-127, east on I-94. North on Route 106 to Munith. South on Coon Hill Rd, east on Waterloo Munith Rd through Waterloo Recreational Area in the State Park. South on Clear Lake Rd (turns into Francisco Rd south of I-94). West on Michigan Ave back to Jackson.
Color Tour Four
Color Tour Directions Starting from Lansing
M-43 west through Grand Ledge, then south to M-89. East to Gull Lake Rd, north to C Ave. East to 40th St (becomes Kellogg Ave in Barry Co), north to Hickory Corners. East on CR-400 (Hickory Rd) to M-37, south to M-89 (W Michigan St), east to Raymond, north to Verona, east to McCallaster, north to ÒNÓ Dr to 16 Mile Rd (becomes 16-1/2 Mile Rd). South on Old US-27 to Marshall, east on Michigan Ave to Albion. North on M-99 through Springport (becomes M-50/M-99) to Lansing.
Color Tour Five
Color Tour Directions Starting from South Haven
Phoenix Rd (CR-388) east to 46th St. Turn south, then east to return to CR-388 in Bloomingdale. CR-655 south to CR-380 east, 38th St north, then CR-388 east through Kendall. North to 12th Ave (CR-388, becomes D Ave in Kalamazoo Co). D Ave east to US-131, south to M-43, west to South Haven.
Color Tour Six
Color Tour Directions Starting from Allegan
M-40/89 north to Monroe Rd (118th St), west to Allegan Dam Rd north (circles back east around Lake Allegan). Cross M-40/89 to head north on 36th St, east on Dumont Rd, then north on 122nd Ave. East on 127th Ave, east on 128th Ave through Hopkins to 12th St north. East across US-131 on 129th Ave (becomes CR-430 in Barry Co) around Gun Lake through Yankee Springs Recreation Area, then south on CR-611 to CR-428. West to CR-623, south to CR-426, west at Orangeville. South on Dennison Rd to 116th Ave (M-22), east across US-131 to Allegan.
Color Tour Seven
Color Tour Directions Starting from Holland
BR-31 south to US-31. Take first exit (Saugatuck), then south on Blue Star Hwy (A-2) to 118th Ave. East to 62nd St, north to 122nd Ave. Wind east, then north to M-89 (124th Ave), east through Fennville to Old Allegan Rd north (parts are unpaved but maintained), east to 60th St north. East on 140th Ave, north on 66th St, west on Ottagan St to S Shore Dr, east to downtown Holland/US-31.
Color Tour Eight
Color Tour Directions Starting from Grand Haven
Robbins Rd east to Mercury Dr past Grand River bayous to Riverside Park (becomes Green St, then North Cedar Dr). South on 104th Ave, east on Osborn St (becomes Warner). South on 68th St, east on M-45. South onto 48th St, east on Fillmore (becomes Cottonwood Dr). In Jenison, left on Baldwin, left on Chicago Dr. In Grandville, left on Wilson to M-11/28th St, left onto M-11 northbound. Left on Fennesey St (becomes Luce St, then Linden Dr). Left on Leonard St through Spring Lake to Grand Haven.
Color Tour Nine
Color Tour Directions Starting from Grand Rapids
North on East Beltline (M-44), turns into Northland Dr through Rockford to Cedar Springs. West on M-46, south on CR-B35 (Ravenna Rd) through Ravenna to Coopersville. Left on Randall Rd, right on 48th Ave. I-96 east back to Grand Rapids.
Color Tour Ten
Color Tour Directions Starting from Ada
M-21 east, south on Ada Dr, east on Bronson to view Ada Covered Bridge. Left on Thornapple River Dr, right on Ada Dr to M-21 east. North on Hudson (becomes Lincoln Lake Ave). East on Fallasburg County Park Rd, follow signs to cross Fallasburg Covered Bridge. Right on McPherson (becomes Potters Rd), north on Whites Bridge Rd (becomes gravel) across Whites Covered Bridge. East on Belding Rd (also M-44), north on M-91, east on M-46. South on M-66 to Ionia, west on M-21 to Ada.
Color Tour Eleven
Color Tour Directions Starting from Big Rapids
Northland Dr north through Paris to Reed City. East on M-10BR to M-10 east to Evart. South on Main (becomes 85th Ave then curves to become 80th Ave) to Hill Corner. East on 20 Mile Rd, south on M-66, east on Taft Rd (becomes Airline Rd in Isabella Co). South on Coldwater Rd, east on Weidman, south on old US-27 (Mission Rd) to Mt. Pleasant. West on M-20 (High St then Remus Rd). South on Winn Rd, west on Blanchard Rd (becomes Jackson Rd in Mecosta Co). North on M-66 to Remus, west on M-20 (9 Mile Rd), south on 90th Ave, west on Buchanan Rd through Canadian Lakes. South on 130th Ave, west on 5 Mile Rd (CR-548). North on Northland Drive through Stanwood and back to Big Rapids.
Color Tour Twelve
Color Tour Directions Starting from Fremont
M-82 west to M-120 north through Hesperia, east on M-20 to Dickinson Ave. North to 11 Mile Rd, east to Woodland Park, north on Bingham Ave to Bitely. West on Cleveland (13 Mile Rd), north on Osborn Ave, east on Coolidge Dr, north on Star Lake Tower Rd, west on Star Lake Dr (becomes Evergreen) around Big Star Lake. East on Carrs Rd (56th St) to Baldwin. South on M-37 (Woodbridge Dr) to White Cloud. East on Base Line Rd, south on Elm Ave. East on 36th St past the Hardy Dam, west on Hardy Croton Dr (becomes Croton Dr) to Newaygo. Left on Mason Dr (M-37), east on M-82. South on Cypress Ave to Ensley Center. West on 120th St to Ashland Center. North on Wisner Ave, west on 112th St to Bridgeton (becomes Warner Ave, then M-82) to Fremont
Color Tour Thirteen
Color Tour Directions Starting from Muskegon
US-31 north to westbound Whitehall-Colby St exit (US-31BR). Left on Mears, left on Main, right on Benston, right on Durham, right on Lakewood Rd. Left on Weber, right on Michillinda. Left on Nestrom, right on Duck Lake Rd, then left on Scenic Dr along Lake Michigan to Muskegon State Park. Left on Memorial Dr to Whitehall Rd/US-31BR (Seaway Dr). South to Laketon Ave (becomes Lakeshore Dr after curve) to Pere Marquette Park. Follow shoreline. Right on Beach St, left on Sherman Blvd, right on Lincoln, right on McCracken, left on Seminole. Right on Lake Harbor Rd (becomes Pontaluna Rd) to US-31 north to Muskegon.
Color Tour Fourteen
Color Tour Directions Starting from Montague
North on US-31BR, north on Whitehall Rd through Rothbury. East on Cleveland Rd, north on 90th Ave, west on Arthur Rd, north on Oceana Dr through New Era, Shelby and Hart. West on Monroe Rd (becomes US-31BR) to Long Bridge Rd along Pentwater Lake. South on Ridge Ave (becomes Hazel Rd, then Silver Lake Rd at Silver Lake). South on 18th Ave, west on Buchanan, south on 16th Ave (becomes Scenic Dr, then Webster Rd). South on 48th Ave (becomes Lehman Rd in Muskegon County), east on Meinert Park Rd, south on Chase Rd, west on Hancock Rd and south on Old Channel Trail. East on Prospect Rd and follow the shoreline back to Montague.
Color Tour Fifteen
Color Tour Directions Starting from Ludington
US-10 west, north on Lakeshore Drive to Hamlin Lake. East on Dewey Rd, north on Jebavy then right immediately on Angling Rd. East on Fountain Rd to Fountain. South on Reek Rd, east on Sugar Grove Rd, south on Benson Rd to Walhalla. East on M-10, then first right south onto Wallhalla Rd. West on Hawley Rd, south on Scottville Rd, west on Marrison Rd, south on Stiles to Bucks Corner. West on Washington Rd to West Oceana Dr, north on Lakeshore Dr past Bass Lake to Buttersville Park and Pere Marquette Memorial. Go back south on Lakeshore Dr, east on Iris Rd to US-31 north. Exit west on M-10 back to Ludington.
Color Tour Sixteen
Color Tour Directions Starting from Clare
US-10BR northwest through Farwell. Northwest on M-115, east on M-61 to Harrison, south on Old US-27BR to Clare.
Color Tour Seventeen
Color Tour Directions Starting from Cadillac
M-55 east to M-66 north through Lake City. West on M-42 through Manton to US-131 south. West on Boon Rd to Harrietta, south on 11-1/4 Rd. West on M-55, south on 7-1/2 Rd (becomes 48th Rd). South on 11-1/4 Rd to State Rd into Lake Co. East on Five Mile Rd, north on Skookum, east to Eight Mile (becomes 20 Mile Rd in Osceola Co), east to US-131, north to Cadillac.
Color Tour Eighteen
Color Tour Directions Starting from Manistee
US-31 north to M-110 (Lakeshore Rd) to Portage Lake. East on Crescent Beach Rd, north on M-22 through Onekama. West on Potter Rd through Pierport, west on 13 Mile Rd to Lake Michigan. Backtrack 200 feet east. North on Lakeview Rd, east on Shaef Rd, north on M-22 through Arcadia. (Scenic Hwy), east on Grace Rd. South on M-31, south on M-115 past Thompsonville. South on Yates Rd, west on Nine Mile Rd, south on Highbridge Rd. West on M-55 (Caberfae Hwy), south on US-31 back to Manistee.
Color Tour Nineteen
Color Tour Directions Starting from Frankfort
East on M-115 to Benzonia, northeast on US-31 through Interlochen. North on M-37/US-31 to Traverse City. To tour Old Mission Point, follow M-37 north. Backtrack to Traverse CIty via US-31 west. M-22 north through Suttons Bay to Northport. South on M-22 through Leland to Glen Arbor. South on M-109 through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. South on M-22 to Empire and back to Frankfort.
Color Tour Twenty
Color Tour Directions Starting from Grayling
I-75 north to M-93 (exit 259) north past Hartwick Pines State Park. East on CR-612 to Lovells, south on CR-F97, south on M-18 through Roscommon. West on M-55 to Houghton Lake. North on Old US-27 back to Grayling.
Color Tour Twenty-One
Color Tour Directions Starting from Kalkaska
North on US-131/M-66 to Mancelona. South on CR-571 (Tillie Rd in Antrim Co, Darragh Rd in Kalkaska Co) to Darragh. East on CR-612 (Manistee Lk Rd) around Manistee Lake to Frederick. South on Old US-27 to Grayling. West on M-72, north on US-131 back to Kalkaska.
Color Tour Twenty-Two
Color Tour Directions Starting from Elk Rapids
North on US-31 to Eastport. East on M-88 toward Central Lake. North on CR-65, east on Mohrmann Bridge Rd, south on Rushton Rd (becomes Intermediate Lake Rd), south on Derenzy Rd to CR-620 through Bellaire. South on East Torch Lk Dr (CR-593) through Alden (becomes Crystal Beach Rd) and north to Kewadin (becomes Cherry Ave) then south again (becomes Cairn Hwy) back to Elk Rapids.
Color Tour Twenty-Three
Color Tour Directions Starting from Gaylord
West on M-32 to East Jordan. West on Ellsworth Rd (CR-626) to Ellsworth. West on Atwood Rd (CR-48) to Atwood. North on US-31 through Charlevoix, Bay Harbor & Petoskey on to Alanson. East on M-68 to Indian River. South on I-75 back to Gaylord.
Color Tour Twenty-Four
Color Tour Directions Starting from Petoskey
US-31 north to M-119, north through Harbor Springs to Cross Village. Left on Lake Shore Dr to Lakeview Rd (becomes Gill Rd at Sturgeon Bay). Left on Cecil Bay Rd, right on Wilderness Park Dr north to Mackinaw City. Pass under I-75 at the base of Mackinac Bridge. South on US-23 (Cheboygan Co. Scenic Route) through Cheboygan. South on M-27 through Indian River. East on M-68 to US-31 south to Petoskey.
Color Tour Twenty-Five
Color Tour Directions Starting from Mackinac Island Ferry Docks
Left on Market St to Cadotte Ave, right to Huron Rd behind Ft. Mackinac to Arch Rock. Left on Rifle Range Rd, right on Sugar Loaf Rd, back to Rifle Range. Right to Garrison Rd past Skull Cave, left on Annex Rd to Cadotte, right to Market, left to docks.
Color Tour Twenty-Six
Color Tour Directions Starting from Beaver Island Ferry Docks
Starting at the ferry dock in "downtown" St. James, turn right at the Ace Hardware. Turn left at the top of the hill onto The Kings Highway heading south out of "town". Turn left on McCauley's Road. Turn right on East Side Drive. At the south end of the island it becomes West Side. Don't forget to stop and visit the Lighthouse just before Iron Ore Bay. Cross the 4-way intersection onto Paid Een Ogs Road. Turn left onto The Kings Hwy back to “town.”