Marquette County Color Tour Cruises

From tunnels of color to historic attractions, these four fall foliage cruises are full of sights loved by locals and visitors alike.

 

Central Marquette County | 4 hours (193 miles)

• Start at Travel Marquette, head east on W Washington St. and turn right onto S Front St.
• At the traffic circle, stay on S Front as it becomes US-41S.
• In 1.6 miles, turn left onto M-28 E and continue for 38 miles to Munising.

• Stay on E Munising Ave. (instead of turning south on M-28). • Head east of downtown as it becomes Adams Trail H-58 and continue 6.5 miles.

This tour from Marquette to Munising travels parallel to Lake Superior, passing several scenic, sandy beaches.

• Turn south on Shingleton Rd. (H-15) for 5 miles.
• Then turn west onto M-94, and continue for 52 miles. (Note: There’s a brief jog on 41 N to continue onto M-94 W.)
• Turn left onto M-553 S (2.8 miles) then turn right onto M-35 for 22.2 miles.

M-35 is a well-paved, curvy country road that takes you through old farming hamlets and past mining operations.

• Turn right onto US-41 for 2.2 miles then turn left (northwest) on Midway Dr. for .6 miles (or stay on US-41 to go back to downtown Marquette).
• Turn right (heading northwest) onto Co Rd 510 for 32 miles.

Much of Co Rd. 510 is unpaved, meaning conditions may be difficult. However, is heavily traveled in autumn due to its scenic beauty. Many spots on the road will be completely covered in brilliant colors formed by a canopy of foliage.

• At AAA Rd., turn right onto paved road for 2.5 miles.
Turn right onto Big Bay Rd., Co Rd 550 and continue 23 miles.

• Turn right onto Presque Isle Ave., taking you back into downtown Marquette.

 

 Eastern Marquette County | 1.5 hours (81 miles)

• Start at Travel Marquette, head east on W Washington St. and turn right onto S Front St.
• At the traffic circle, continue on S Front St. as it becomes US- 41 S.

• In 16 miles, turn left onto M-94 E and drive 6.35 miles to Co Hwy 327, Sundell Rd. (Which becomes Laughing Whitefish Falls Rd. in about 3 miles.)
• Turn right into the park for falls viewing.
• After seeing the falls, turn back heading south on Sundell Rd. to M-94.

• Turn left and head east, staying on M-94 for about 13 miles.
• Between Chatham and Forest Lake, turn left onto AuTrain Forest Lake Rd., (H-03, note: road is often rough).
• Drive north for 7 miles along the AuTrain River and past scenic AuTrain Lake until you reach the junction of M-28 at the town of AuTrain.

• Then head west along M-28 heading back to Marquette along the Lake Superior shoreline.

On a clear day, you can see Marquette and Northern Michigan University’s Superior Dome in the distance.

 

 Western Marquette County | 2.5 hours (100 miles)

• Start at Travel Marquette, head east on Washington St., turn right onto S Front St.
• At the traffic circle, stay on S Front St. as it becomes US-41 S.
In about 6.1 miles, turn right onto Cherry Creek Rd. and turn right on 480.

• Head west for about 18 miles to business M-28 in Negaunee and Ishpeming to US-41.
• Turn left onto US-41 and travel west for about 3 miles to Wawonowin Rd., (Co Rd 478).

• Continue past the golf club and the Greenwood Reservoir. • Continue on County Rd 478 for 10 miles heading west into Republic.

• Turn right on M-95 and travel north to US-41.
• Turn left on US-41 and drive west through Champion and Michigamme.

In Michigamme, see craft shops and a historic log restaurant where the movie “Anatomy of a Murder” was filmed.

On the return trip to Marquette along US-41, side trips include the Moose Lift Kiosk at Van Riper State Park, the National Ski Hall of Fame in Ishpeming, and the Michigan Iron Industry Museum in Negaunee.

 

 Northern Marquette County | 2 hours (70 miles)

• Start at Travel Marquette, head north on Front St. towards NMU.
• Turn right at Fair Ave. and head east towards Lake Superior
• Turn left onto Lakeshore Blvd. after about 1.1 miles, turn left on Hawley St. (which becomes Big Bay Rd., Co 550) to head out of Marquette.

County Road 550 is an impressive drive through cut rock, harboring a beautiful array of fall color. This 35-minute ride to Big Bay winds past Sugarloaf Mountain, Hogback Mountain, over the Yellow Dog River and past Lake Independence into Big Bay. While there, you can see the historic hotel where the filming of the movie “Anatomy of a Murder” took place and where Henry Ford spent much of his time while supervising the lumber mill that manufactured the sideboards for early Ford station wagons.

The return trip from Big Bay along Co Rd 510 will take you through the majestic Huron Mountains and past trees that arch over the roadways to form tunnels of color. You’ll be able to stop at scenic spots and waterfalls along the way. County Rd 510 is unpaved for much of its length. Conditions may vary, weather depending.

 

Plan your autumn adventure in Marquette County, Mi

 

Travel Marquette

117 W. Washington St Marquette, MI 49855

906.228.7749