Ask any Michigander and they will tell you that autumn in our state is something special. As people gather friends and family for hayrides, apple picking, corn mazes, and carving pumpkins, the City of Norton Shores is a place to enjoy the very best that the fall season has to offer.
This fall, consider adding leaf peeping to your list of things to do. After all, the natural beauty of Norton Shores is one of the best parts of living here on the lakeshore.
What is Leaf Peeping
Leaf peeping is the recreational activity of, quite simply, watching the leaves change color. In the month of October, Michigan is at its peak for viewing fall foliage. The reason leaves change color has less to do with the weather changing and more to do with the shortening of daylight that comes with the turn from summer to autumn. Chlorophyll, a chemical in the leaves of the tree, absorbs sunlight and keeps the leaves green. The lack of daylight ‘triggers’ the tree to start the process of breaking down chlorophyll as a preparation for winter hibernation, and the green color fades, revealing the colors that have actually been there all along – red, brown, yellow, orange, and even purple.
As the leaves on the trees begin to pop with the vibrant colors of fall, Michigan residents are treated to the beauty of the world that comes with the changing seasons.
When is Peak Leaf Peeping Time?
Michigan doesn’t have a single “best” week to see peak colors since the color-changing starts north in the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) before migrating south into the lower peninsula. The U.P. has already seen peak color change this year, and the color change has already been seen in the northern Lower Peninsula near Traverse City and Petoskey.
Here is Norton Shores, the early part of October (through October 17) is expected to be the peak time to see the vibrant fall colors. The actual peak could vary by as much as a week, given variables including weather conditions.
Where’s the Best Leaf Peeping in Norton Shores?
Because Norton Shores is a city with miles of Michigan coastline and several state and city parks, there are plenty of places to watch the colors change right here in our own backyard.
P.J. Hoffmaster State Park is a prime area for hiking year-round. Residents and visitors alike can enjoy the cooler temperatures and vibrant colors of the leaves as they walk the many miles of trails in the woods and along the beach.