Detroit September 21, 2021
You’ll Want To Take This Gorgeous Fall Foliage Road Trip Around Detroit This Year
Ready to enjoy some of the best fall foliage in Detroit and its surrounding areas? There’s nothing more wonderful on an autumn day than heading out for a leisurely drive through some of the region’s prettiest pockets of seasonal vibrance. With a combination of stunning parks and roadside stops, this road trip to the best fall colors near Detroit will leave you basking in the wonders of autumn.
For an adjustable map of our Metro Detroit fall foliage road trip map, click
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Belle Isle
Belle Isle, Detroit, MI, USA
This breathtaking island park in Detroit is the obvious place to start, as it remains a Motor City icon and provides access to some of the loveliest natural scenery within city limits. Whether you’re simply driving through to appreciate the changing leaves, taking a hike past the Blue Heron Lagoon, or enjoying a picnic with your sweetheart, you’ll find yourself surrounded by autumn beauty when you spend time on Belle Isle.
2. Pontiac Lake State Recreation Area
East Shelter, Waterford Twp, MI 48327, USA
Situated in Waterford Township, this unforgettable and sprawling park is nothing short of magical in the fall. Throughout its 3,745 acres, you’ll find a unique combination of forested areas, farm fields, marshes, and so much more - all of which bloom with vibrancy during the autumn months. There’s even an 11-mile mountain biking trail for those who appreciate exploring the foliage by bike.
3. Island Lake Recreation Area
Island Lake Recreation Area, 6301 Kensington Rd, Brighton, MI 48116, USA
This beautiful park in Brighton is home to a whopping 4,000 acres of land and year-round activities for the entire family to enjoy. During the fall, guests enjoy taking to Island Lake itself for canoeing and kayaking or walking along the banks of the Huron River as fall leaves create a picturesque scene. Settle in for a peaceful picnic alongside the trees or simply enjoy a quick jaunt through the area - what’s not to love?
4. Nichols Arboretum
Nichols Arboretum, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA
Next, venture to the city of Ann Arbor for an immersive experience at one of the region’s most unforgettable outdoor attractions: The Arb. This wonderland features 123 acres of seemingly untouched splendor, drawing in University of Michigan students, local residents, and out-of-towners alike with its year-round delights. During the fall, you can get happily lost among thick swaths of colorful trees and enjoy the Huron River frontage.
5. Huron River Drive (Ann Arbor to Dexter)
Huron River Drive, Huron River Dr, Dexter, MI, USA
As your road trip continues, be sure to head down Huron River Drive between Ann Arbor and Dexter. This route only extends for approximately 10 miles, but the views will make you feel like you’ve entered an entirely new world. Ann Arbor’s Main Street becomes Huron River Drive near Langford Nature Center - you’ll remain on the foliage-rich path until you reach Hudson Mills Metropark in Dexter.
6. Hudson Mills Metropark
Hudson Mills Metropark, 8801 N Territorial Rd, Dexter, MI 48130, USA
This gorgeous park in Dexter is ripe with fall colors every year. In addition to loads of pretty foliage and access to the Huron River, Hudson Mills is home to a golf course, canoe rental services, play areas for younger guests, and so much more. There’s a real sense of serenity here that’s difficult to replicate, and you just might want to stay forever once you arrive at Hudson Mills.
7. Elizabeth Park (Trenton)
Elizabeth Park Drive, Elizabeth Park Dr, Trenton, MI 48183, USA
Round out your tour of the best fall foliage near Detroit by visiting Elizabeth Park in Trenton. We’ve featured this locale in previous articles, and with good reason: it provides an incredible combination of history, natural splendor, and overall charm. With Detroit River views, long-standing bridges, and trees that burst with hues of orange, red, and yellow every autumn, Elizabeth Park is the perfect conclusion to this Metro Detroit road trip.
So, what do you think? Did we cover some of the best places to enjoy fall colors in Detroit and its surrounding areas? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a Facebook comment or recommend another beautiful natural destination near the Motor City by filling out our official nomination form
Searching for even more seasonal delight? Be sure to read about these seven
cider mills in Metro Detroit.