MARQUETTE - The peak of the fall color season is arriving in the Upper Peninsula and tourism officials said they have been receiving many inquiries about how developed the leaf color is and where are the best spots for viewing.
In general, the height of the color spectacular is expected this week or next.
As is typically the case, the extent of fall color varies depending on local weather conditions, the distance from the Great Lakes, elevation and other factors.
A past scene of fall color change backdrops Covington in Baraga County. The area is one of many in the Upper Peninsula where autumn leaf colors are beautiful to see. (John Pepin photo)
"The fall color, for whatever reason, seems to be a little late this year," said Pat Black, executive director of the Marquette County Convention and Visitors Bureau. "That being said, the hotels are certainly busy."
Black said those inquiring about fall color in Marquette County were being advised to plan to wait an extra week or so to see peak conditions. Typically, the peak for Marquette County is expected during the first week of October, Black said.
The convention and visitors bureau has received "quite a few" calls each day from local residents and people living downstate and elsewhere, asking about fall colors.
Meanwhile, the Upper Peninsula Travel and Recreation Association in Kingsford has a list of reported ranges of fall color percentages from all of the U.P.'s 15 counties.
Those reports indicate peak color has arrived and is expect to continue through this weekend into next week in Baraga, Gogebic and Ontonagon counties.
In Gogebic County, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park was offering fall color chair lift rides this weekend, including from noon until 7 p.m. today.
Peak color change was predicted last week in Luce and Dickinson counties. The color peak was scheduled for the first and second week of this month in Marquette, Alger, Schoolcraft, Houghton, Keweenaw, Iron, Menominee and Mackinac counties.
Leaves were expected to turn slower in Delta and Chippewa counties with the peak expected to arrive during the second week of the month in Chippewa County and the second or third week of the month in Delta County, according to the reports.
Travel officials have websites with leaf color change updates and touring routes available.
"We have a printable map right on our website," Black said. "It's a map of Marquette County."
The UPTRA website details 10 trips which range in length from 90 to 220 miles, covering various portions of the peninsula.
To find the fall color information, visit: www.uptravel.com/fallcolor or www.travelmarquettemichigan.com/recreation/autumn-colors/.
John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org