With fall just around the corner it’s time to be thinking of fall photo locations. One of my favorite locations is the area around Munising, Michigan. Generally the interior colors peak around the last week of September with the colors along the lake peaking the first week of October. Hiawatha National Forest offers a numerous lakes to photograph during the fall color peak. Some of the more popular photo locations are a series of lakes just south of Munising along highway H13. The area has many back roads an lakes so just driving around will likely reveal some great photos. Last year I happened to be in the area during a snow storm which produced some great photo opportunities although it was a bit difficult to photograph in wet snow. Finding the lakes are fairly simple. Drive south from the intersection of H13 and highway 28 in Wetmore, Michigan. At about 9.5 miles you will see a roadside rest area for Moccasin Lake on your right. I’ll use this as the base to locate the other lakes.
Petes Lake – At the south end of the Moccasin Lake rest area you will see a sign for forest road 2173 and about a hundred feet farther you will see a sign for Petes lake on your left. Follow the signs to Petes Lake. Once at Petes Lake you can park at the boat launch area and photograph and you can also park at the gate for the campground and walk into the campground. This provides a wider range of opportunities. Petes Lake is best photographed at sunrise.
Moccasin Lake – Leaving Petes Lake you can drive back to H13 and turn right to return to Moccasin Lake. This is also another great location that is best photographed in the morning.
Red Jack Lake – When you leave Moccasin Lake turn left (north) and drive a few hundred feet and turn left on 2261. At the one mile mark you will see a post with forest road 2261a marked on it. Turn on this road and you will Reach Red Jack Lake. Red Jack Lake is best photographed at sunrise although you can also photograph at sunset.
Council Lake – When you are finished you can return to forest road 2261 and turn right. This will take you to Council Lake. This lake is best photographed at sunrise although you can also photograph at sunset.
Thornton Lake – When you are finished you can return to H13 and turn left. In about .4 miles you will see a sign for adapt a road on your left. Just past this sign there is a turn in to Thornton lake and a small parking lot. It is easy to miss this turn if there are lots of leaves on the trees
Doe Lake – When you leave Thornton Lake turn left and drive to Buckhorn Road. Turn left onto Buckhorn road and drive .8 miles to Doe Lake Road (forest road 2268). Buckhorn road turns right and Doe Lake road continues on straight. After a few hundred feet you will see Big Twin Lake on your right. This can be photographed in the early morning or late evening. Continue on for 2 miles and you will reach Doe Lake. When you reach a section of asphalt you are at Doe Lake. This is best photographed in the morning.
There is a nice listing and maps to Michigan Lakes on the web.
There are more photos from Hiawatha National Forest on my website.