In Upper West Michigan, we adore the fall — mostly because we’re blessed with rolling hills and Lake Michigan vistas that make the vibrant oranges, reds, yellows, and auburns that much more beautiful during the season.
To celebrate this, every year we look forward to the Depot-to-Depot Color Tour. This year, the color tour is set for the month of October.
Here are the details:
Time: Saturdays, October 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th, 10am – 4pm
The White Lake Area Chamber at the Whitehall Depot
124 W Hanson Street
Whitehall, MI 49461
The Muskegon County Convention Visitors Bureau at the Muskegon Union Depot
610 W Western Avenue
Muskegon, MI 49440
About the Depot-to-Depot Color Tour
Haven’t heard of the Depot-to-Depot Color Tour? Here’s what you need to know:
What is a fall color tour?
It’s basically a short day-trip you can take in your car that takes you past the best vistas for viewing the fall foliage. In New England, they tend to call them fall foliage tours (Michigan’s are better, trust us!).
The “tour” can be done at your own pace and is free for all. It’s called a tour because it’s a planned route — guided by a locally-created map you can pick up at either of the depot locations (wherever you start).
Why is it called the “Depot-to-Depot” color tour?
Because our tour both starts and ends at depots that have been converted into visitors bureaus: The Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau located in the historic Union Depot in Muskegon and the White Lake Area Chamber at the Whitehall Depot.
You can choose to go from Muskegon to Whitehall or Whitehall to Muskegon. Our lakefront hotel is just a 5-minute walk from the Whitehall Depot.
If you can take the tour at your own pace, why are there special dates and times?
The tour is “scheduled” for the Saturdays between October 7th and October 28th because first, these are absolutely the best times to see the fall colors in our neck of the woods, and second, we wanted to add a bit of extra fun to enjoying the fall colors. So on every Saturday in October when the Depot-to-Depot tour is “scheduled” (October 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th), there will be some extra activities to enjoy.
From 10am to 4pm on these days, both depots will have maps of the tour available, information about winning prizes, refreshments, and for kids: pumpkin decorating (with free pumpkins while they last!).
You can win prizes?
Yep! You’ll need a tour map to see the designated stop sites where you can get your map stamped. And with the required number of stamps, you’ll be entered to win one of several prizes that will be available.
In past years, prizes have included free passes to Michigan’s Adventure and tickets for the Lake Express Ferry, which takes passengers back and forth between Muskegon, Michigan and Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan.
Looking for More to Do While You’re Here?
Of course! There’s plenty to do in both Whitehall and Montague and the surrounding communities. Naturally if you haven’t already visited Lake Michigan, that’s the number one must while you’re here!
Below are some other ideas for activities and events going on during the times of the tour:
Lewis Farm Market Weekend Festivals
Lewis Farm Market & Petting Farm is located just 15 minutes from our lakeside hotel. The farm features local and exotic animals for you and your kids to “meet and greet” at the petting farm as well as other fun activities like hay rides, the Pumpkin Patch, and a huge 6-acre corn maze!
Check out the fun festivals going on each weekend in October at Lewis Farm Market:
Saturday, October 7th 9am – 6pm and Sunday, October 8th 10am – 5pm
Saturday, October 21st 9am – 6pm and Sunday, October 22nd 10am – 5pm
The Great Pumpkin Festival
Saturday, October 28th 9am – 6pm and Sunday, October 29th 10am – 5pm
Saturdays in October, 9am – 1pm
On every Saturday in October from 9am to 1pm, the Montague Farmers Market will be in full swing. The market takes place just a few minutes walk from our lakefront hotel at the corner of Church Street and Water Street. Enjoy checking out the fresh produce plus lots of and locally-made goods, including maple syrup and honey!
Saturday, October 14th, 9:30am – 4pm
Pumpkinfest in downtown Montague is a celebration of all things pumpkin! Along with the famous Pumpkin Roll where participants gather to roll their pumpkins down a large hill in the center of town, there’s a full day full of events and goodies: a pumpkin seed spitting contest, pumpkin pie baking contest, pumpkin decorating, hay rides, fresh apple cider, and more!
If you’d like to roll your pumpkin in the Pumpkin Roll, bring your own or purchase one for a small fee at the festival. Registration starts at the beginning of the day, so get there early! The location of the festival is at the Montague farmer’s market location — just a short walk from our lakeside inn.