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All Things Michigan

Michigan travels, events, photos, and more

Filtering by Tag: michigan-fall-color-tour

Take a Michigan fall color tour aboard the Pere Marquette 1225 Steam Locomotive

Andrew Norton

Talk about a unique experience! Can you imagine the thrill of viewing Michigan's wonderful fall color show aboard the Pere Marquette 1225 steam engine? I mean, Michigan's fall colors are amazing, but to hear the chug-chugging of the steam engine and hear that wonderful whistle blow? Paradise! As a child, I once road a train (it was a diesel, but as a kid I couldn't care - I was on a train!) for a fall color tour. It was so much fun and a very memorable experience. We packed up some snacks for the ride which was, I believe, a couple of hours. I'm pretty sure the best part was riding on a train - I don't remember what the fall foliage looked like ;).

The October 3, 2009 trip aboard either the Pere Marquette 1225 or the Nickel Plate Road 765 departs Alma at 9am and returns at 7pm. Tickets start at $125 for Coach and $200 for First Class (which includes a boxed lunch). For $135 you can get an open window seat for what I'm sure will be excellent photo opportunities. Order tickets online at

Per the Steam Railroading Institute website:

Celebrate the glorious fall foliage behind two steam locomotives! Together again for the first time since 1991, Pere Marquette 1225 and Nickel Plate Road 765 will be powering the Steam Railroading Institute's historically significant fall excursion to Cadillac, Michigan on October 3rd.

Here's some footage of the Pere Marquette 1225 from 2005 back when she was still lettered with 'Polar Express' for the movie of the same name that was released in theaters in 2004. For those who don't know, the Pere Marquette 1225 served as the model for the steam locomotive in the movie and you can hear it's whistle blowing and steam exhaust in the movie as those samples were recorded directly from the 1225 in operation. I never thought of this, but it was pointed out at Wikipedia that the road number, 1225, is also the date for Christmas - 12/25.

This November you can purchase a model of the Pere Marquette 1225 for any of the railfans in your family :).

Where is your favorite spot in Michigan for the fall colors?

Andrew Norton

It's that time of the year again when Michigan's landscape explodes in a beautiful palette of color. My two-year-old daughter and I have already started collecting some of the wonderfully hued leaves from the silver maples in our back yard. I couldn't believe it last week when I gazed up into the upper reaches of one of the silver maples and could see a handful of leaves beginning to blush with color. I simply love the area around here in southwest Michigan for fall color viewing. With so many rivers, state land, and a wonderful covered bridge in nearby Centreville it's a hotspot for fall color photography. I've also had the privilege of witnessing the show that is put on in the Upper Peninsula and that is a definite "must see" if you have never taken the opportunity to witness the fall colors in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Here's yet another great Pure Michigan ad to get you in the mood for Michigan's fall color show:

[poll id="33"]

Top Ten Things to do in Michigan in the Fall

Andrew Norton

Fall has been a hot topic of interest here at All Things Michigan the past couple of weeks. Everyone is searching for news about Michigan Fall Colors, Michigan Color Tours, Michigan Corn Mazes, and Apple Picking in Michigan. I thought it only fitting to throw out a Top Ten List using Michigan in the fall as a topic. Feel free to add your two cents to the discussion and add on to this Top Ten.

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Just a Plain Farm in Carp Lake, Michigan

Andrew Norton

EDIT - I just received an email (10-14-11) that says Just a Plain Farm is no longer in business. If you happen to be up in the Northern Lower Peninsula taking in the breathtaking display of color you should stop in at Just A Plain Farm in Carp Lake. Just off of U.S. 31 take Gill Road at Carp Lake (there is a yellow blinking light and a general store on the corner) west about 1.5 miles. The big barn is on the right and you can't miss it.

Big red barn

Owners Gordon and Judy Tuthill have a lot to offer each fall from September 1 through October 31. They offer pumpkin picking hayrides, a corn maze, and a farm store filled with cider and other assorted goodies. Their u-pick options include popcorn, gourds, pumpkins, and squash.

We stopped in on a frosty morning (it had been down in the 20's the previous night) last Friday and spent over an hour there. Our son had a grand time hiking out to the gourds (even though he was repeatedly tripped up by the vines) and thoroughly inspecting the barn.

From there we went west on Gill Road another mile or so and picked up County Road 81 south to just north of Petoskey where we picked up U.S. 31. I know I mentioned this before (I think it was yesterday), but that was probably one of the prettiest fall drives in recent memory. The sun was shining and the air was so crisp and clear that the reds, yellows, and oranges were so vibrant that pictures would not have done it justice.

If you go:

Monday through Saturday - 10 am to 6 pm Sunday - 10 am to 6 pm

Visit Just A Plain Farm on the web here -