As autumn approaches each year, you can’t help but feel excitement as you see the first leaves changing from their usual green state to varying shades of red, orange and gold. It’s those peek-a-boo moments through the lush greenery and the sudden crisp air filling your lungs that truly signal the beginning of fall.
Even though we love our blissful summers in Gaylord, Michigan, no one seems to mind when October rolls around and the landscape transforms into an intricate mosaic of colors. Northern Michigan is simply stunning this time of the year. There’s no way around it.
Gaylord is exquisite in autumn, and it doesn’t matter which direction you travel. Take a kayak along one of our glassy shorelines, hike or bike any trail of your choice or just turn down a dirt road and explore. You will not be disappointed.
But we all have favorite places, and we are happy to share our top five scenic fall vistas with you:
1.) The Pigeon River Valley and Sturgeon River Valley
Yes, these are two different locations. But our point is simple: Valleys make for stunning views. Visit Treetops Resort or Otsego Resort for two of the most breathtaking views in Otsego County. Or, treat yourself to an adventure and paddle the flowing waters of the Sturgeon River for a different angle.
2.) The Gaylord Golf Mecca
Technically, this encompasses 15 different locations, but who’s counting? This is a no-brainer for golfers, but if you’re not skilled at swinging a stick, take your camera and don’t worry about it if you can’t hit the ball. Fall rates are excellent, so it’s the perfect time to give Gaylord’s signature sport a shot while enjoying an impressive color tour.
This nature preserve east of Gaylord on more than 700 acres is set aside for you to explore by foot, bike or even horse. Convenient and frequent maps will guide you throughout your excursion. Expect resplendent colors in the thickly wooded forest leading to picturesque Johannesburg Lake.
4.) Aspen Park
This 100-acre park just minutes from downtown Gaylord may not have the sweeping views of a lush valley, but you’ll love being encompassed in colors from every angle. As an added bonus, Aspen Park shares a boundary with our City Elk Park, giving you the opportunity to see and hear majestic elk during one of their most active seasons.
The crown jewel of our area is undoubtedly Deadman’s Hill. This overlook is a stunner in every season, but autumn gets full bragging rights. An easy walk uphill will treat you to views of the Jordan River Valley you will remember for a lifetime. Hikers will delight in jumping on the 18-mile Jordan Valley Pathway here or simply spending a few hours on the 3-mile Deadman’s Hill Loop.
Gaylord is sure to be your favorite fall destination for outdoor recreation and scenic color tours. Find more information on our area and all it has to offer at gaylordmichigan.net or request your free visitors guide here.