A Northern Michigan Guide | Tunnel of Trees

09 Oct A Northern Michigan Guide | Tunnel of Trees

If you have ties to the Midwest, you know for yourself that Fall is undoubtedly one of the most cherished of our four seasons. In Northern Michigan, this time of year is nature’s celebration that signifies the wind down of peak tourism season.

In the few short weeks before winter comes (yikes, not ready for that yet), NoMi shifts from bright fresh greens to vibrant reds, oranges and yellows. It’s not uncommon for local lodging to be booked up with guests visiting just to take in the colors and crisp air. Even the drive up north can feel like sightseeing and we may be biased but the hype is worth it. 

So, you’ve made the decision to come up north. You packed the car, bought your road trip snacks, blasted your favorite playlists and traveled to our nook of the woods. Now what? To make the most of your ultimate Northern Michigan Autumn weekend, we have a few suggestions. Here’s our loose itinerary highlighting our local NoMI faves for Fall. 

Our first word of advice- wake up and get started early. You are certainly not the only one who wants to indulge in the fall colors; plus if you’re like us, you need plenty of time (and space) to stop and get your IG photo angles just right. Not to mention, the route we suggest has some light construction this season that can cause QUITE the traffic backup.

You’re awake! You’re probably hungry or at least need some caffeine to kick start your mood, that’s okay – we get it. If you’re into a small snack for breakfast head over to Johan’s Pastry Shop and grab a pumpkin donut. If you’re thinking of a more full breakfast, Chandler’s in downtown Petoskey might have what you’re looking for. We’re also a big fan of the breakfast sandwich options from Julienne Tomatoes for curbside pick up only. If coffee or a breakfast smoothie is your thing, North Perk Coffee or Populace Coffee have the hook up. 

After you’ve got your morning fix, keep heading North to M-119 – that’s where the colors are! M119 is the road with the Tunnel of Trees. M-119 is also home to Pond Hill Farm one of our favorite quintessential Up North destinations. The convenience of Pond Hill’s location allows you to stop on your way to the Tunnel of Trees or on your way back into Petoskey. When to stop is up to you, as long as it’s part of your day! Don’t miss out on fall activities including pumpkin bowling, hiking along the farm’s many trails, and our favorite, wine tasting. Bonus fun: grab a pumpkin or two to bring home to carve or craft later! 

Other Tunnel of Trees highlights include the several bends and curves that boast multiple photo ops – don’t hesitate to pull over to snap a few pics, that’s why you’re here. Good Hart General Store is another great stop for photos and even lunch. The quaint Downtown Good Hart is the perfect midway stop. Finally, the end of M-119 will bring you to Cross Village. Legs Inn is a popular stop and that will not go unnoticed. The traditional Polish menu may certainly be worth the wait, but we understand that waiting long periods (especially in COVID-19 times) can be a major deciding factor. Whether you decide to wait in the line at Legs Inn before heading back to Harbor Springs or Petoskey to enjoy some window shopping downtown and have a relaxing evening, you made it. We hope you enjoyed every minute of it. 

Have you gone through the Tunnel of Trees before? What are your favorite Northern Michigan destinations during the Autumn season? If we missed your favorites, we can’t wait to add them to our must see list!