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Color Getaway Fall 2018

We love the northwest portion of lower Michigan - especially during fall color season. We try to spend a few days every year up around Glen Arbor and the Sleeping Bear Dunes. This year, we stayed at Fisher's Lakeside Cottages on Lime Lake. It's owned and operated by Mark & Betsy Fisher.

Cabin #2 on Lime Lake

Lime Lake is almost 700 acres so it's pretty good size. We were hoping to bring our kayaks and do some kayaking on the lake but alas, the weather forecast in early October when we were there looked just a bit too cold. Each cabin comes with it's own dock and aluminum row boat for those so inclined. The color on the far side of the lake was really nice. The clouds just happened to open briefly this day to light up the scene bit.

Lime Lake Michigan

We love to explore the M-22 highway in that part of the state. There are so many wonderful places to hike and sightsee. We always seem to make it down Empire and walk the Empire Bluffs Trail.

Fall Color from Empire Bluffs hiking trail.

Nancy and I discussed/debated more than once whether the color right out at the lakeshore, as you can see in the photo above, was either just a touch pre-peek or a touch post-peek. We never did really decide. But you can see there was plenty of color up the coastline. You can see all the way up to the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Most of our days were overcast like this but fortunately dry.

Empire's Stairway to Heaven?

I love this stairway on the trail that leads out to the Lake Michigan Overlook. It's not a terribly strenuous walk. It's just under one mile from the parking lot out to the overlook with a few up and down climbs. It's well worth the hike. The wind was pretty strong this day so I didn't get any shots from the overlook itself. If you're interested, you can go to my Lake Michigan Gallery on my website and see a photo from last summer out there.

Another favorite place of ours is the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. This is part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. Inside this park on the scenic loop drive are several turnouts and places to stop and have a picnic. There is also a covered bridge.

Pierce Stocking Memorial Bridge

One of the other places we stopped had an overlook looking out over Lake Michigan and one of my favorite barns, the D.H. Day Barn.

Sleeping Bear Dunes Overlook

Just to the east of this view is hiking trail called Alligator Hill which we had never taken before. It turned out to be a 3 mile loop that seemed uphill for about 80% of it! <grin> At the top was a very nice look out over the bay.

Alligator Hill Overlook

While hiking this trail, I came across this contrast in fall color. I love the red/orange of the maple leaves contrasted with the white birch bark. Lovely!

A contrast in fall colors.

At the beginning of the trail, there were these concrete structures shown below.


Turns out they were kilns built in the 1950's by lumberman Pierce Stocking. The sawmill he set up near this spot produced considerable waste that was converted into charcoal in these kilns. The loose, dusty, random-sized material was packed in bags for shipment to stores in much of Michigan for sale to campers and picnickers.

Moving a little further north along M-22, we tried another hiking trail we had never done before either called Pyramid Point Overlook.

Pyramid Point Trail

Finally, and maybe most exciting for us, was finding around 30 - yes I said 30 - Petoskey stones! And as you can see, they weren't all small stones either! We were like kids in a candy store.

Petoskey Stones

All in all, it was a great trip even if the weather wasn't fantastic. We made the most of it and look forward to doing it again next year!

Pure Michigan!

Created By
Kent McPherson


Ada Highlander Photography  All rights reserved.

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