As the fall color tour season begins to emerge, you’re invited to bring the family out to explore the back-country roads along the Lake Michigan shoreline stretching throughout Van Buren and Allegan Counties.
Nestled along a 30-mile stretch of Michigan’s “Fruit Belt” region lies a collection of orchards, farms and vineyards known as Lakeshore Harvest Country. Taking full advantage of the “lake effect” climate delivered by the Great Lakes and Lake Michigan specifically, this shoreline area is rooted in agricultural and tourism heritage.
Visiting Lakeshore Harvest Country is a real family affair. In today’s fast-paced, technologically-focused world, it is more important than ever for families to spend quality time together reconnecting and making memories. There’s just something special about seeing kids visiting with the cows, goats, llamas and other animals; or enjoying a snack of fresh picked fruits or vegetables; or watching artists create beautiful pieces crafted from wood, clay, metals and other mediums. Fall also means corn mazes, trips to the pumpkin patch, wagon rides, haunted houses and countless other family-friendly activities.
Now is the perfect time to stock your refrigerator, freezer and pantry for the upcoming cold-weather with locally-made jams and sauces, flavorfully-blended spices, syrups and honey and other culinary goodies. And, don’t forget locally-made cheeses, fresh-baked breads and pies, and award-winning craft beer, wine and ciders. Freshly-picked fruits and vegetables are waiting to be canned or preserved for enjoyment throughout the coming months.
It’s also time to start thinking about autumn home décor—corn stalks, bales of hay, gourds, mums and more can dress up your porch, patio or hearth. And, don’t forget the pumpkins for carving as you prepare for Halloween.
Lakeshore Harvest Country publishes a brochure and map which identifies its members and provides additional information about the activities found at each. The map is available at any of the member locations, as well as at the Visitor Bureau offices in Saugatuck and South Haven and Welcome Centers around the state. It can also be downloaded online at LakeshoreHarvestCountry.com
Members of Lakeshore Harvest Country Include:
- Barden’s Farm Market
- Bumbleberry Acres
- Cogdal Vineyards
- Dee’s Lakeshore Farm
- DeGrandchamp Farms
- Evergreen Lane Artisan Cheese
- Fenn Valley Vineyards & Winery
- Hungry Village Tours
- Khnemu Studio on Fernwood Farm
- Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum
- McIntosh Apple Orchards & Winery
- Overhiser Orchards
- Riverbend Raspberries
- Salt of the Earth
- The Sugarhouse at Ridley Family Sugar Farm
- Virtue Cider
Lakeshore Harvest Country was launched with a grant from the Michigan Department of Agriculture in 2006 and in 2009 the trail was awarded the “Community Vision” award by the Greater South Haven Area Chamber of Commerce.