Spend a perfect fall day in Calhoun County

Sweater weather is upon us. Don’t let winter come before you take in the autumn sights. Bonus: It’s all things that are easy to do while following CDC guidelines for distancing. 

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 Kingman Museum 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.

Go for a stroll on the Riverwalk in Marshall. It’s a peaceful path, through a wooded area along the Kalamazoo River. If you park at the Marshall Recreation Department, it’s also three-quarters of a mile of walking along the path to get to Dark Horse Brewing Co. Bonus: Dogs are allowed in the outdoor seating area, so bring your fur baby, too.

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.

Remember traditions

What would fall be, without fresh doughnuts coated in sugar? Station 66 serves up pumpkin doughnuts and apple cider at its small cafe. It’s right on M-66, which connects Battle Creek with Ionia and Nashville. 

Pick a pumpkin at Bosserd Family Farm. The working farm has a gift shop and other fall activities, such as a petting zoo, corn maze, putt-putt golf, hay bale, straw climb and zip line.

Get lost in the M-60 Corn Maze in Union City. This year’s theme is zoo animals, so you’re going to have to navigate the stripes of a tiger and the nose of a bear. Highway M-60 is also another great addition to your fall color tour.

Tell stories around the campfire at Fort Custer Recreation Area. This state park offers a variety of camping opportunities, along with hiking, fishing and boating. Trails allow for mountain bikes and horses.

Stock up on wool socks and scented candles

When the leaves turn colors, that means cozy season is right around the corner.

Prepare for longer nights with ambient light and pleasant scents of candles. Pick up a variety of Michigan-inspired smells at Living MI in Marshall. They have official Faygo pop candles, as well as the popular Kymora Kandles. Take home candles inspired by thunderstorms, campfires and cereal factories.

Pick up a warm Stormy Kromer hat and maybe some matching mittens at the Green Scene in Marshall. (link: http://the-green-scene.com)They also have Smartwool socks, for all of your outdoor activities. You’ll be able to shop environmentally friendly at Green Scene.

Time for boot shopping! Check out Rice’s Shoes for cute ankle boots, quilted slippers and fur-lined winter boots. If you miss old-fashioned customer service, this is the place for you. Talk to a real person, not a robotic message service. The experts can make fit recommendations based on the way you walk.