Michigan roads provide breathtaking foliage views - WNEM TV 5

Michigan roads provide breathtaking foliage views

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

An explosion of color is arriving under the spirited autumn sun.

Vibrant crimsons, ruby reds, oranges and golds all signal the most seasoned traveler to stop and take in the beauty and natural wonder of Michigan's changing season.

From coast to coast, top to bottom, Michigan's bounty and beauty magically transform thousands of miles of scenic roadway into a natural work of art.

Thousands from around the world travel to St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula to try three different scenic routes and see the contrast of the trees against the water.

"The straits area is just a popular area for tourism. You have Lake Michigan and Lake Huron that we're sitting on. We have the gorgeous Mackinaw Bridge," said Mindy Rutgers, executive director of St. Ignace Visitor's Bureau.

The area offers incredible fall colors with three vibrant tours. The first tour is the Violet Tour, which is 115 miles all the way to Paradise. The second tour is the Crimson Tour, which is 120 miles to Sault Ste. Marie. The third tour is the Gold Tour, which covers 150 miles to Tahquamenon Falls.

As the season progresses, the wave of color flows down across the Mighty Mac to a Michigan experience known around the world.

M-119 is known as the Tunnel of Trees. It is ranked as one of Michigan's most scenic roads and spans 20 miles from Harbor Springs to Cross Village. The road is lined with evergreens and hardwoods.

"If it's a sunny day you get one color. If it's a day like this it's a lot neater cause you get different shadows and colors," said Michael Majeske, of Higgins Lake.

M-119 is not a road for those in a hurry. The winding road is lined with dense foliage offering incredible pops of color with glimmers of Lake Michigan through the trees.

Around the bay you'll find yourself in the cherry capital of the world, Traverse City. There you'll find M-22, a scenic roadway that has sparked a way of life so popular it has become it's own brand.

"It's associating with being active, being outdoors, hiking, Sleeping Bear Dunes, taking scenic routes through M-22," said Nate Farran, director of operations of M-22.

M-22 is a 93-mile stretch that's been loved by many generations. There you will visit small charming towns like Sutton's Bay and Northport, with unique shops and dining experience. You'll be treated to shoreline nearly the entire drive.

When the sun sets on the west side treasure, it rises the next day on some of the most spectacular sites along the majestic Lake Huron.

"I tell ya, when we woke up this morning and we looked out the window and we are here at a campground by the water, that sun came in and hit those trees and I had to have my husband come to the window to look out because it was just so brilliant," said Carolyn Willinger, visiting East Tawas.

On the sunrise side of the state you'll find more than 200 miles of scenic views along Lake Huron as part of the US-23 heritage route.

In Oscoda, along the Au Sable River, you'll find breathtaking colors through the Huron National Forest.

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