2018-10-11 / Front Page

Fall colors nearing peak in county

By Jen Murphy
of the Enterprise staff

Seekers of a splash are descending on Leelanau County.

The color splash that typically laces leaves across the peninsula this time of year is starting to show its colors — and in grand style in some locales. Some locals believe peak color may happen as soon as early next week.

Weekend visitors are already making their way to the Land of Delight to snap selfies with a backdrop of oranges, reds and yellows.

Jared Pontius, owner of Korner Kottage Bed and Breakfast, said visitors looking for fall color are arriving in Suttons Bay.

But the way Pontius sees things, area visitors have a dual purpose to their stay: The splash isn’t only about the colors.

“We are seeing good, steady business coming into color season,” he said. “A lot of that business has come from wine events on the weekends. It kills two birds with one stone - visiting wineries and seeing the colors as well.”

County residents seem to like this approach as well. Just ask Jim Rink.

Rink, a former winery owner and Leland Township resident, is a big fan of Leelanau’s annual color displays. He also used to write press releases for AAA on color tours.

But unlike last year when he was still working in a tasting room 7 days a week, he’s been able to get out and do some leaf peeping this year.

“It’s fun to get out and see the other wineries and see the fall color while you’re at it,” he said. “I like to say since the wineries are open, the new fall colors are red, white and rosé.”

Rink’s peak prediction? Early next week, since today he said the color is 40 to 50 percent. He’s unsure whether trees will give a strong display, however, due to a forecast of strong winds that could blow leaves off trees.

Assistant manager of guest services Anthony Schaub said the Homestead Resort in Glen Arbor is welcoming many color-seekers, but added this year is a little unusual. He explained the resort typically has many weddings this time of year, “but we have more color people coming up.”

He added visitors have been just walking in to make reservations as well. “A lot of people love touring the area and they just want to stay because they are enjoying the colors,’ Schaub said.

By comparison, front-page coverage of color season painted a different picture in the Oct. 19, 2017, edition of the Leelanau Enterprise. That story began, “Unseasonably mild temperatures have delayed the fall color season yet another week ...”

Looking ahead from autumn color to winter snow, don’t forget time is running out to submit your estimate for the Enterprise’s annual snowfall contest. Entries are due in our office by 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 26.

Return to top