Door County is a Leaf Watcher’s Paradise!
Every fall, Door County’s hardwood forests put on a show for locals and tourists alike. Our thousands of acres of woods rival any art gallery in beauty. Door County Lodging will be posting updates as the Fall Color progresses so check out our Facebook Page for weekly updates and pictures!
The nearing winter brings cooler temperatures that trigger a change in many of our local hardwood. Leaves begin to change into spectacular ranges of yellows, oranges and eventually reds. No two trees change at the same rate so you are guaranteed to get the full spectrum.
The back roads are perfect for taking in this beautiful time of year without the hassle of traffic on the highways. Some of the best kept secret roads for leaf watching exist all over the county. Starting at the southern end of the peninsula, we have Cave Point Drive on the Lake Michigan shoreline. Cave Point offers miles of road between Valmy and Jacksonport for exploring as well as acres of hiking trails to enjoy the beauty on foot or by bike.
In Baileys Harbor, the best kept secret would have to be Bluff Rd leading out of the center of town. Even though this road is relatively short, it gives you a rare peek into a mainly hardwood forest lining bluff above Baileys Harbor.
Sister Bay’s Beach rd. lies on the north end of town. This scenic drive along the bayside takes your breath away. The canopy is filled with the brightest yellows to the deepest crimson leaves. At the end of Beach Rd, take a left to reach the water. This is a very sharp winding road but well worth it. The single lane road opens up to an isolated beach revealing some of the greatest views of Ellison Bay Bluff.
The Headlands Bluff between Sister Bay and Ellison Bay is another great spot to enjoy the leaves on foot. With miles of trails and an amazing scenic overlook, this is definitely a must see spot. Set off the highway, you can lose track of time walking around these picturesque trails.
Ellison Bay and Gills Rock lie “north of the tension line” and on these back roads you will rarely see another car. Garret Bay Rd is by far one of the prettiest up in this area. To reach it, just take a left on Blackberry Rd. off the highway north of Ellison Bay. It will be the first road on your left. This is also a great way to reach the water in Garret Bay. Lying just south of Gills Rock, this bay is home to a very famous shipwreck. The Fleetwing lies very close to shore and can be seen on very bright clear days.
Gills Rock has the grand finale of leaf watching opportunities. The northern most section of Hwy 57/42 is also known as Northport Rd. This road seems to be a practical joke by the road crew but was actually intentionally made like this. The many curves make travelers slow down and appreciate the beauty around them as they weave through majestic hardwoods.
No matter where you are in Door County, there are so many opportunities to catch nature’s true beauty. The peninsula is filled with fall colors and opportunities to reconnect with your loved ones.