6 awesome ways to take a fall color tour on Mackinac Island

It’s just about that time of year for one of Michigan’s favorite pastimes: the fall color tour. As the weather cools and the sun sets earlier, the leaves begin to change from their summer greens into a kaleidoscope of yellow, orange and red.

The amazing display presents an awesome opportunity to get behind the wheel of your car, hit the open road and…

…wait a minute, Mackinac Island is car free!

No problem, color tours on Mackinac Island are a unique experience. Here are six extraordinary ways to immerse yourself in the beauty of fall (car not included):

A person riding a bicycle has their feet out wide off the pedals while cruising through a forest of fall color on Mackinac Island

Fall Color Tour By Bicycle on Mackinac Island

With no cars, bicycles are a popular way of getting around on Mackinac Island. The two-wheeled transports are a lovely way to travel some of the 70-plus miles of trails on Mackinac Island and immerse yourself in the beautiful fall colors. There are all sorts of routes to take through the Mackinac Island State Park forest. Or, bike all the way around Mackinac Island on M-185, with blazing leaves on one side and dazzling blue waters on the other.

4 trails to explore by bike on Mackinac Island

A hiker silhouetted by the setting sun sits on a bluff overlooking downtown Mackinac Island in fall

Fall Color Tour By Hiking on Mackinac Island

Many of the same trails that are good for biking around and through Mackinac Island also are great for hiking. One of the island’s best hikes is the Tranquil Bluff Trail that courses through the forest along the eastern shore, on the edge of cliffs high above Lake Huron. Or, set off to find Mackinac Island’s legendary rock formations hidden off footpaths in the state park forest.

5 fall hikes on Michigan’s Mackinac Island

A horse-drawn carriage makes its way down a road covered with fallen leaves on a fall day on Mackinac Island

Fall Color Tour By Horse-Drawn Carriage on Mackinac Island

Experience the Mackinac Island version of a fall color tour on four wheels by hiring a horse-drawn carriage driver for a private tour. Or, rent a horse and buggy and drive it yourself! Public tours that depart from downtown Mackinac Island throughout the day are another fine way to see fall colors from a carriage during your visit.

7 sights to see on a horse-drawn carriage tour of Mackinac Island

Two people ride horseback through the woods on a fall day on Mackinac Island

Fall Color Tour On Horseback on Mackinac Island

You can ride horseback everywhere on Mackinac Island that you can go in a horse-drawn carriage, and then some. Saddle up your trusty steed and saunter on up to Fort Holmes, the highest point on the island. It’s 320 feet above lake level, offering an amazing panoramic view of the island’s colors and the surrounding waters.

10 questions about horses on Mackinac Island

A lone kayaker paddles over the underwater rock maze off Mackinac Island with fall colors in the foreground

Fall Color Tour By Kayak On Mackinac Island

Rise before the sun and get out on the water for a kayak tour of Mackinac Island to get a unique look at fall colors, not to mention a cool perspective on the island’s limestone formations such as Arch Rock above and the underwater rock maze below. (Note that trips with Great Turtle Kayak Tours typically end for the season in late September before fall color reaches its peak.)

Sunrise vs. sunset kayak excursions with Mackinac Island’s Great Turtle Kayak Tours

Aerial view of Mackinac Island cottages and home in fall with trees bursting with fall colors

Fall Color Tour By Plane On Mackinac Island

From 1,000 feet in the air on a Mackinac Island color tour by air you can see 30 miles in any direction and take in all of the island’s beautiful hardwood forest as well as buildings and landmarks. A Mackinac Island fall color tour by helicopter is another aerial option.

Explore Mackinac Island from the air

Bright red trees line a street on Mackinac Island with a church building and lighthouse in the background

When To See Peak Fall Color on Mackinac Island

Fall color on Mackinac Island typically peaks in the middle of October. That’s also the time many Mackinac Island hotels, resorts and B&Bs offer special deals before the end of the visitor season. Book your place to stay and choose which kind of Mackinac Island color tour to enjoy this year!


Share on Social
Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top