When it comes to fall foliage, New England seems to get all the credit. But Midwestern fans of fall color need not be jealous. Just a few hours north of Chicago, on majestic Lake Superior, road-trippers can experience one of the country’s most spectacular autumn displays along the shores of the Great Lakes.
Starting from the bustling Midwestern port city of Duluth and driving Northeast towards the Canadian town of Thunder Bay, visitors will experience an ever-changing landscape of wild natural beauty and scenic autumn views. It’s a virtual art show put on by mother nature: vistas of inky-green pine trees punctuated by fiery oranges and glistening yellows, set against towering cliffs and the steely-gray surface of Lake Superior beyond.
Begin your trip in Duluth, one of the largest port cities on the Great Lakes. The city is connected by the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Atlantic Ocean more than 2,000 miles to the East. Along the canal leading to Duluth’s harbor, you can watch the massive cargo ships ferrying iron-ore as they maneuver they way in and out of port. From Duluth make your way towards Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, home to a historic lighthouse set above the massive rock formations of the lake.
As you make your way closer to Canada, make sure to stop off at Grand Marais and the Lutsen Mountains, where you’ll be spoiled by a wealth of great hiking opportunities. Soon you’ll arrive at the final stop in Ontario’s Thunder Bay. Perhaps the most famous attraction in the area is the Ouimet Canyon, often referred to as the “Grand Canyon” of Ontario and home to two knee-shaking suspension bridges.