Sunday, October 5, 2014

West Side of Upper Michigan Color

Yesterday we took a drive to the west side of upper lower Michigan in search of more gorgeous autumn color.  I have read about the "tunnel of trees" highway (M-119, designated a Scenic Heritage Highway), for years and decided it was time to discover it for myself.  This narrow highway follows the shore of Lake Michigan, winding through a forest full of natural beauty between Harbor Springs and Cross Village.  It is about a 2.5 hr. drive from where we live. 

About 30 miles from our destination (over 2 hrs of driving), it started to rain...cloudy, cold, miserable rain.  I am sure the rain contributed to my lack of enthusiasm for this "scenic" highway.  Still I took a blurry picture or two through the car window to share with you.

This highway is so narrow it has no centerline.

Which means you have to go way over into the gravel when another vehicle passes from the opposite direction.   Yes, this is us heading toward the trees so as not to hit the other car....

This is the tiny town of Good Hart, which has become semi-famous because of the tunnel of trees highway.

Had it been a lovely autumn day full of gorgeous color, I probably would have described this as "charming".  As it was I could not wait to get to the end of this "scenic" drive.

This restaurant is Leg's Inn, quite famous due to its location at the end of  the tunnel of trees.  It has quirky décor inside with a lovely area outside where you can enjoy  a delicious meal of Polish cuisine.

My intention was to have lunch here. Unfortunately it did not open for another 35  minutes.  About 20 people were standing outside under umbrellas waiting for it to open.  We were so "unthrilled" with our drive through the tree tunnel that there was no way we were going to stand in the rain to eat lunch.

Perhaps we will go back some other time.

The whole day was not a total flop.  On the way to the tunnel of trees we did see some beautiful autumn color.  This is Stutsman Road. 
Gorgeous!  Luckily we took a wrong road and discovered this! That is Lake Michigan at the end of the road. I was way more impressed with this road than the tunnel of trees!

Along the tunnel of trees highway, I did enjoy this rural setting:

There is something about bales of hay lying in the field that I like. It would have been even better if there had been some fall color.

So has anyone been through the tunnel of trees and had a better experience?  Something that would make me want to make that 5-hr round trip again?  If so, I would love to hear about it!


  1. My son went through there a few years ago- he was so impressed he took his girlfriend to see it last week end. He found a pull off to go down to the beach and proposed! I think it will be their special place from now on. :-)

    1. What a wonderful story!
      Thanks for sharing it with us, KathleenS.

  2. Oh such gorgeous colors! Wish I was there.
    Thanks for sharing Zoey.
    Have a nice day!

  3. Legs Inn has such a cool bar inside. If you ever get a chance, you should see it.

    I used to go to an annual music festival up that way.


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