The leaves they are a changin’

jackie.stark

Click here to download the original PDF file.

With a month having passed by in the semester, the air is becoming a little more crisp, the nights a little more cool and the leaves a little less green. In a few weeks, fall will descend on Marquette, bringing with it a collage of orange, red and yellow foliage. And while mid-terms may be arriving sooner than students may like, they should still take a break from studying to experience the beauty that is fall in the Upper Peninsula. The following are some great places to visit in the coming weeks:

Fall Color Tours

The Upper Peninsula is famous for its natural beauty, especially in the fall. Realizing this, the Marquette Country Convention and Visitors Bureau has put together a fall color tour guide that is easily accessible through their Web site, www.marquettecountry.org. All that’s required is a car and a few good friends to fill the seats. Some tours listed in the guide include a north tour through Big Bay and another that will take you along scenic Lake AuTrain, among others. The tours also provide you with places to stop and visit along the way, including beautiful beach views and areas which were used for filming “Anatomy of a Murder,” the infamous novel turned movie that was filmed in the U.P.

Brockway Mountain

The breathtaking view from the top of Brockway Mountain, located between Eagle Harbor and Copper Harbor, is especially beautiful once the fall colors appear. Driving up the winding road is scenic in itself, as the trees often act as a canopy, separating you from the sky with their brilliantly colored leaves. About halfway up the mountain is the Brockway Mountain Sanctuary, which is home to hiking trails, should the mood to be amongst the orange, red and yellow leaves strike you. The top of the mountain is 1,328 feet above sea level, which you’ll be able to see proclaimed on one of several information signs at the peak. And while the drive up will be filled with color, it’s the view from the top that will make the trip well-worth it. Depending on what side of the mountain you look from, you can see Agate Harbor, Eagle Harbor, Copper Harbor, Lake Bailey, Lake Medora and, of course, Lake Superior.

Oktoberfest

Every year, from the end of September to the beginning of October, people in Munich, Bavaria, Germany celebrate Oktoberfest, a 16-day festival that is widely known for its size and its beer. Every year, the festival, which is known worldwide as the “Largest Fair in the World,” is kicked off by the mayor of Munich tapping the first keg of Oktoberfest beer. And though Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a far cry from Germany, one local brewery is celebrating as well.

Jasper Ridge Brewery, located in Ishpeming, has been brewing its own version of Oktoberfest beer for the last 11 years.

“Compared to other Oktoberfest beers, ours is a little maltier, has a little bit of a sweet finish, kind of along the lines of the red ale we make,” said General Manager Pat Beyer, adding that the beer will be available on Friday, Sept. 26, and will be offered as long as it lasts.

Guided Hikes

If you’d like to begin hiking, but aren’t sure you want to venture out alone, NMU’s Outdoor Recreation Center (ORC) may have just what you need: guided hiking tours. “This program is designed to offer students with, especially those who don’t have cars, since some of these places are difficult to get out, a chance to hike some great trails,” said Benjamin Maher, a senior business management major, and a member of the ORC staff. The ORC will be taking people from Wetmore Landing to Hidden Beach on Oct. 4, up Hogback Mountain on Oct. 18, and through Carp River Falls on Nov. 1. All hikes are $5 per person, per hike. Participants must register for the hike and sign a waiver form at the ORC before leaving. Each hike will begin at 10 a.m. – participants should arrive at the ORC in the PEIF, where they will then be transported to the hiking area by van.

Marquette Mountain and Mount Marquette

If you’d like to spend a day in among the colorful foliage, but you don’t want to drive a long distance, Marquette still has plenty of great outdoor recreation areas for you to choose from. Marquette Mountain, most notable as a ski hill in the winter, also has hiking and mountain bike trails for the few snowless months in the U.P. Located just off of County Highway 553, it’s a short drive outside of Marquette.

Mount Marquette, located off of Highway 41 South, also offers some great hiking and a brilliant view. The trail here is a little more difficult to traverse, but the summit provides a sight that’s worth the trip.

And if you don’t feel like driving out to either of these places, there are still the old classics: Dead River Falls, located a few miles outside of Marquette off of Forestville Road, Sugarloaf Mountain and Hogback Mountain, located about six miles and three miles north of Marquette off of County Road 550, respectively.

Porcupine Mountains

Though the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is located on the Western edge of the Upper Peninsula, making it a few hours’ drive from Marquette, it offers some of the best scenic views in the U.P. Boasting over 60 waterfalls and hiking trails that can run up to 23 miles, the Porcupine Mountains are sure to please anyone looking for an escape from the daily grind of class and work. You can choose to hike a trail which will take you to scenic Lake of the Clouds, or you can stick with a trail that takes you around the shores of Lake Superior. With 60,000 acres and the largest tract of old-growth timber in the Mid-West, the park has plenty to offer for everyone.