Sweater weather is upon us. Don’t let winter come before you take in the autumn sights.
Whether you’re coming into Battle Creek on M-89 or following Old US Highway 27 into Marshall, here are some stops for your fall color tour:
Enjoy the fall colors
If you can’t hear the crunch of leaves under your feet, then it’s not really autumn. So get out of your car to take a walking tour in Battle Creek.
Leila Arboretum is a carefully cultivated park. Two great vantage points are the steps of the old museum building and the Fragrant Hill Pavilion to see the trees spread out in all their colorful glory.
Historic Bridge Park is the home of trestle bridges that have been relocated next to the Kalamazoo River. Admire the river or go for a walk in the woods on a paved trail.
Oak Hill Cemetery might seem like an unusual pick, but the old cemetery has beautiful golden foliage. It’s also a chance to see a little Battle Creek history, as famous citizens are remembered here: the Kellogg brothers, C.W. Post, Sojourner Truth, Junior Walker, Ellen White and more.
If you want more of an adventure than a walk in the woods, try kayaking the Kalamazoo River. The tree-lined river is beautiful in the fall, with the colors reflected in the water. If you don’t have a kayak, Marshall Recreation rents them out.
It’s not unusual to see people shopping with a glass of wine in hand at Horrocks Farm Market in Battle Creek. There’s a small bar in the back, if you can get there without being distracted by the large selection of wine bottles and craft beer. Samples and flights are available, too.
Marshall offers lots of opportunities for wine shopping. Schuler’s Restaurant and Pub commissioned their own bottles, with drawings of local landmarks. Rosé offers mulled wine in the cold months – it’s a flower shop with a wine room. You can get a flight or a glass of wine. Since it’s fall, they’ll have hard cider, too. Twisted River Winery not only offers tastings – the wine room can be rented out for events such as book clubs or birthday parties.
And if you don’t like wine but want another perfect fall drink, order the beautifully spiced fall hot chocolate at Cafe Rica.
What would fall be without fresh doughnuts coated in sugar? Station 66 serves up pumpkin doughnuts and apple cider at its small cafe. They also host hay rides on the weekends in
For a nice Sunday drive, try Gorsline Road, N Drive North, L Drive North, Verona Road and 9 ½ Mile Road in Calhoun County. You’ll go through tree tunnels and find roadside farm stands, such as ZEMR Family Farm.
Be brave for Haunted Adventure during the weekends at Cornwell’s Turkeyville in Marshall. Try the creepy hayride, haunted barn, corn maze and spooky train ride. For something sweeter, there will also be homemade doughnuts, apple cider, pumpkins and mums.
The Turkeyville restaurant serves up a classic turkey plate. It has the advantage of being right off of N Drive North, one of the area’s best fall drives. If you don’t think you’ll have time to cook this Thanksgiving, you can also reserve a take-home turkey meal for the holiday.
Get lost in a corn maze
Pick a pumpkin at Bosserd Family Farm. The working farm in Marshall has a gift shop and other fall activities, such as a corn maze.
EBMY Farm is close to Albion College. Try the corn maze and maybe pick up some preserves from the farm stand.
M-60 Corn Maze in Union City is celebrating movie magic this year with a twisty design featuring famous movie scenes. They’ll also have pumpkins and a trick-or-treat event at the end of the season.
Shop for antiques
Amazing Grace Antiques in Marshall is a co-op for eight different sellers, so there’s a wide variety of stuff to discover. Maybe you’ll find an old velvet dress, a classic record, a bronze chandelier or a first-edition book.
Farmer Grey’s is inside a charming 1859 school house. They carry vintage and farmhouse antiques, architectural rescues, furniture with original patina, and other unique and found wares.
Vintage Revived has pieces that have been brought back to life or furniture and decorations that can become unique showstoppers with some TLC.
Speaking of TLC, Theirlooms takes old furniture and gives it a modern twist. The store, located in downtown Battle Creek, is a fundraiser for the Arc of Calhoun County, an organization that helps people with disabilities.
Prepare to be cozy
The smells are free at Bread & Basket, but we recommend bringing home a candle with fall vibes. From sweeter vanilla notes to smokey amber, the candle selection has sophisticated scents inspired by sweater weather. Bonus: Bread & Basket supports local businesses and women of color entrepreneurs.
Once November hits, lots of people start gratitude journals to remind themselves of what they have to be thankful for. In Marshall, you’ll find a super cute stationary store called Paper & I. You’ll find not only journals but lots of things to help you decorate the pages.
The woodland animal puzzles at the Mole Hole are a perfect blustery day activity. Take some time to browse this Marshall store for a variety of puzzles, including ones shaped like bears and foxes.