ALL WAYS

EXPLORING FALL

Breath taking views can be seen from any path. Explore Cadillac form your car, bicycle, kayak, canoe, motorcycle, or by foot. Experience unforgettable views however you travel.

 

 

SPLENDOR OF FALL COLOR

Fall in Cadillac can be the most idyllic time of year for scenic walks along the lakeshore with autumn foliage in full color, self-guided tours through local roads with great views of the changing leaves on the trees, and even a color tours of the Cadillac countryside via antique train. Our local businesses, farms, fall festivals, are all decked out to bring you the festive spirit of the season.

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Find your perfect place to Stay in the Cadillac Area

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  • Plan your fall color tour
  • Join us for one of our great fall events
  • Explore ways to enjoy the great outdoors before the snow flies
  • Access regional hunting information

Cadillac Fall Color Tour

4 SELF-GUIDED FALL COLOR ROUTES Fall Color in Cadillac is second to none. Breath taking views can be seen from your car, bicycle, kayak, canoe, motorcycle, train and by foot. You name your mode of transportation, and you’ll experience unforgettable views....

Old Indian Trail – Cadillac to Traverse City

THE OLD INDIAN TRAILBY:Frank EttawagheshikFor several centuries, Odawa people have been on these shores and in the woods and hills of this land. We are living amid the places from which spring the stories of our world, ourselves, our families and our...

Motorcycle Ride Guide – Cadillac & Northwest Michigan

Motorcycle Ride Guide  It all begins in Cadillac! Create memories that last a lifetime as you ride our rolling hills, take a break along the countless lakes and rivers, and experience breathtaking views as you explore the area. Opportunities to stop, shop,...

Touring Old Cadillac

Touring Old CadillacStep back in time and explore the key historic buildings that were built during the thriving lumber era in Cadillac. Many of these buildings still stand proudly today. See the map below that corresponds to the numbered items underneath....

The Science of Fall Color

By Joy VanDrie Fall color – What trees offer what color & Why? The most common leaf colors of fall are red, yellow and orange and some trees can have several of these colors simultaneously as the season unfolds. Why do they turn color though? It’s an...

Late Autumn Fishing on the Big Manistee

By Maralee Cook While many fly fishermen are happy to be on the water at any time of year, D-Loop Outfitters owner Dave Barkman will tell you there are three great reasons to fish the Big Manistee River in autumn: “There are large opportunities for...

The Lakes Fall Color Route

THE LAKE/CADILLAC CITY FALL COLOR ROUTE – Visit page for .pdf download Cadillac City Fall Color Tour ORANGE ROUTE (see map at bottom of page) Starting downtown at the Cadillac City Park (GPS-190 Cass Street), head W toward Lake Cadillac on either Cass St or Harris...

South/Hoxeyville Fall Color Route

SOUTH/ HOXEYVILLE/LUTHER/BRISTOL FALL COLOR ROUTE – Visit page for .pdf download BLUE ROUTE (see map at bottom of page): From Downtown Mitchell Street, head south on BR-131 to Mackinaw Trail, approx. 1.5 miles. Turn R/W onto Mackinaw Trail at the traffic light. Follow...

Lake City/East Fall Color Route

LAKE CITY / WEST FALL COLOR ROUTE – Visit page for .pdf download PURPLE/PINK ROUTE (see map at bottom of page): Starting downtown at the Cadillac City Park parking lot, head E toward Mitchell Street (away from lake) on Cass Street. At Cass/Mitchell traffic light,...

West Fall Color Route

MESICK / WEST FALL COLOR ROUTE – Visit page for .pdf download YELLOW ROUTE (see map at bottom of page): Starting downtown at the Cadillac City Park parking lot, head W toward Lake Cadillac on either Cass St or Harris Street (the parking lot is in between). Then take a...

Cadillac Stories

Find the latest news and stories about the Cadillac region.  Our team of local writers dig deep into the region's culture and provide our travel community the latest about entertainment, art, culture, trails, seasons and so much more.

We welcome you to explore Cadillac.

Cadillac Fall Color Tour

We have four awesome area scenic routes available for you to take in the splendor of fall color. Each route is perfect for a day to trip to explore our region, bringing you right back to your home base in Cadillac. Download and print a brochure below for a full description of each route.  

Although these scenic routes are beautiful year round, you might just find fall to be the very best time to tour the area. Fall color can be somewhat unpredictable, however we generally begin to see color beginning late September thru end of October, due to the variation of trees and their fall color bloom schedule.

DAY TRIP ROUTES FROM CADILLAC

Learn. Explore. Get out and enjoy the fall color. Select one of the items below to learn more.

Red Ride
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GRAYLING/HARTWICK PINES

This route takes in a few of the things that make Northern Michigan truly unique. On this ride, you will follow the shoreline of the largest inland lake in Michigan and spend some time among ancient giants at Hartwick Pines State Park. This 9,600 acre park is home to some of the only remaining virgin pines in the state.  Along the way you will take in some absolutely unbelievable farms around Vogel Center and Prosper. You won’t want to miss the “Museum of Moses” in Vogel Center, this unique little museum has Harley’s dating back to 1937.

D:  Heading east out of Cadillac on M-55 you will quickly find yourself rolling through some of the most beautiful farmland the state has to offer. Turning south on M-66 will bring you into McBain. Just east of McBain you will leave M-66 and turn onto a county road leading into Vogel Center. Turning north in Vogel Center will bring you to Falmouth Rd. Turn right onto Prosper and continue to the end of the road.  Heading north will once again bring you back to M-55. Turning right will lead you into Houghton Lake. The roads winding around Houghton and Higgins Lakes will bring you into Grayling. Just north of Grayling is Hartwick Pines.  Headed south from the Hartwick Pines,  pickup M-72 west out of Grayling and take it to M-66 just outside Kalkaska. Head south on M-66 to Lake City. Head west on M-42 until you see the signs for Jennings. A ride along this tree covered and winding road will soon lead you back to M-55 and into Cadillac.

Blue Ride

HOXEYVILLE/MANISTEE CASINO

If a leisure ride and day at the casino is more to your liking, there are a couple of lazy little day-trips that will fit the bill.

D:  Head west out of Cadillac on M-55 just before Caberfae Ski area. Turn south onto 13 Road and follow the twisting county roads, right onto 48 Road, right onto S 11 ¼ Road into Hoxeyville. Continue west on Hoxeyville Rd as it crosses M-37 and leads you into Dublin, home of the famous Dublin Store and some great locally made jerky. Leaving Dublin, head north back to M-55 in Wellston. Turn to the west and follow M-55 into Manistee. M-22 north will quickly deliver you to the Little River Casino.

Orange Ride

LEELANAU PENINSULA

If winding roads with spectacular views of the lakes and bays are what you enjoy, this is one ride you won’t want to miss. With dozens of quaint little towns like Leland, with its historic Fish Town and winery tours at just about every turn, you can spend the entire day stopping at points of interest along the way, or just let the miles roll away and take in the splendor of this wonderful ride.

D:  From Cadillac, take M-115 west to Frankfort and get on M-22 North. This beautiful road will take you past countless opportunities to stop and take in some of the most breath-taking views northern Michigan has to offer. Wind your way through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore which Good Morning America called “The Most Beautiful Place in America.”   M-22 will turn to the south at Northport, but before you go forward, be sure to take the trip out to the lighthouse at Leelanau State Park.  Following M-22 south from Northport will deliver you to Traverse City after passing through the century old villages of Peshawbestown and Suttons Bay.  From Traverse City you will catch M-37 south to M-113 which will carry you east to US-131 south and back into Cadillac.

 

Black Ride

FRANKFORT/ MANISTEE

 

A leisurely day-trip with plenty of chances to stop and enjoy all the area has to offer, with some sight-seeing, a light lunch and still be back in Cadillac in time for dinner and  to take in some night-life. 

D:  Head west out of Cadillac on M-115 until you find yourself in the little port town of Frankfort. Ask the locals about the ‘Elberta Lookout’ to get an awesome view of the village and Betsie Lake. Heading south from Frankfort on M-22 will bring you a scenic turn-out just North of Arcadia. Don’t miss this. The view is unforgettable. Continue south on M-22 until you are a few miles north of Manistee.  Here you will turn east on Coates Highway. This is where this ride really gets interesting. Coates Highway will take you on a twisting and turning course following the flow of the Manistee River. Opportunities abound to see wildlife and take in the rolling panoramas of the ancient river bed your riding through. Tippy Dam, Red Bridge and the State Fish Hatchery at Harrietta are just a few of the places well worth the time spent if you decide to stop. Following this wonderful country road will eventually bring you back to M-115 just west of Cadillac.

 

Green Ride

LEELANAU CASINO/WINE TOUR

Our Casino & Wine Tour ride finds you in the Old Mission Peninsula and wraps around Traverse Bay where several wineries are located.  And you’ll find two casinos tucked into the landscape along these beautiful rolling hills.

D:  head north from Cadillac on US-131 into Kalkaska. Turn to the west on M-72 into Williamsburg where you will find Turtle Creek Casino. After some time spent here continue west on M-72 into Acme where you will get on US-31 headed south into Traverse City. On your way through Traverse City be sure to take a ride up M-37 through Old Mission Peninsula to Lighthouse Park.  Here you will find a unique geographical point-of-interest. You will be standing on the 45th parallel, half-way between the equator and the North Pole.  Look for Winery signs.  Head back into Traverse City and continue west to M-22 where you will turn north to Peshawbestown (sha-be-town) and the Leelanau Sands Casino.

Yellow Ride

CHARLEVOIX/TUNNEL OF TREES

If an all-day adventure is what you’re looking for, this trip will deliver. Along the way you will discover many of northern Michigan's greatest treasures. You will ride along the shores of Lake Charlevoix, recently voted as Michigan's “Most Beautiful Lake”, through the “Tunnel of Trees” on a National Heritage Route and stop for lunch at a Historic Landmark restaurant, The Legs Inn in the tranquil little village of Cross Village.

D:  Your adventure begins by heading north out of Cadillac on US-131. After arriving in the sleepy little town of Mancelona you will continue north on M-66 until you come into Ironton. Here you have a choice to make. Either continue on M-66 into Charlevoix and pickup US-31 or you can take the Ironton Ferry across Lake Charlevoix and catch US-31 on the other side. We recommend the ferry. This is an adventure after all!  

Whichever way you choose, once you find your way onto US-31, heading north will bring you into the harbor town of Petoskey on Little Traverse Bay. Just outside of Petoskey you will take M-119 west into Harbor Springs. Plan on spending some time shopping in this amazing little town on the bay. Artists and antiques are everywhere. M-119 turns to the north out of Harbor Springs and delivers you into the Tunnel of Trees. This narrow, winding road twists its way along the lake shore at times hundreds of feet above the lake. It is an amazing 20 miles.

Coming out of the tunnel, you will find yourself at the historic Legs Inn. Lunch here is a must. Authentic Polish cuisine is on the menu and the deck affords a view you won’t soon forget. Once your lunch is settled, head out of town on County Road C66 to the town of Levering. Here you will once again catch US-31 and turn south to head back to Cadillac for dinner.

QUICK STATS

MILES OF RIVER ACCESS

COLOR TOUR ROUTES

MILES OF SCENIC ROADWAYS & TRAILS

FALL HUNTING IN CADILLAC

Learn. Explore. Plan Your Hunt. Select one of the items below to learn more.


Experience Fall in Cadillac!

FALL EVENTS IN CADILLAC

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