Text: R. Collins // Photography: Crystal Mountain Resort
Just southwest of Traverse City, near Frankfort and shortly off the coast of Lake Michigan, Crystal Mountain Resort is an all-inclusive resort experience in one of Michigan’s most beloved areas for travel. While the fall season in the area is beautiful just for casual viewing, there are many ways to make the most of the striking color season at the resort, especially with its golf offerings: Mountain Ridge and Betsie Valley golf course, and a practice and learning center.
“Fall at Crystal Mountain is spectacular. While many people associate spring and summer with golf, autumn is a beautiful time to hit the links. The fairways offer a wide-open view to all the fall colors and the cart paths run right through the trees,” said Brittney Buti, public relations manager at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville, Michigan.
Mountain Ridge’s 18 holes of championship golf are set amid soaring northern pines that surround fairways and frame views of the mountain elevation; and Betsie Valley is an enjoyable challenge for any golfer with its protected greens, forested fairway, and bunkers. Buti noted that if it is off-course fall activities one is looking for, a walk through the Michigan Legacy Art Park as leaves fall around more than 50 sculptures and poetry stones is something to witness this time of year.
Also at the resort, visitors can pedal through the trees by bike or adventure through the forest golf disc course. Of course, they can also simply relax in the fall atmosphere from the award-winning Crystal Spa on the mountain. If there’s one thing to do this season at Crystal Mountain to take in the already breathtaking views, it’s to see them via chairlift ride.
“Perhaps the most extraordinary way to experience fall at Crystal Mountain is by chair lift,” Buti said. “There’s nothing more picturesque than slowly rising above the trees to view a kaleidoscope of colors across three counties: Benzie, Manistee and Wexford. Enjoy the views at the top for as long as you’d like.”
Other fall favorite activities at the mountain include rolling down Michigan’s only Alpine slide, practicing at the outdoor archery range, and participating in the Crystal Mountain Bike Color Tour, where visitors can rent a bike or bring their own. Besides the activities offered season-long at the resort, there are some particular events to mark in the calendar. From October 17th through November 24th the spa is holding its Crystal Spa Days tradition, and on October 23rd the 15th annual Founders Peak2Peak Mountain Bike Classic will be held on the terrain surrounding the mountain. To close out October, consider attending Halloween on the Mountain, which supports a local non-profit, Mrs. Mullen’s Closet, in providing clothing to students and families in need.
To learn more about Crystal Mountain Resort and all it has to offer fall visitors, visit crystalmountain.com, and to discover fall in Traverse City, including several tasty wine tours, visit traversecity.com.