In Michigan, we have to deal with the brunt of the worst attributes of every season, from the blazing heat in the summer to the freezing cold of the winter. But each fall, Southeast Michigan and the Detroit region are home to some of the most incredible sights of colors and seasonal change. Metro Detroit is a land covered in many, many beautiful trees, and though it means there’s a lot to pick up once the leaves fall, for a few magnificent weeks it’s all worth it as Detroiters get to see the splendid changing of the colors in the foliage. Here are some of the best places in and near Detroit to see the best sights.
Belle Isle Conservatory
300 River Place Drive
Detroit, MI 48207
(313) 331-7760

What could be better than sitting on a tree-covered island in the heart of the Detroit River as fall takes full effect? The Belle Isle Conservatory is one of the best locations in the city of Detroit to take in the color change of the seasons. Many different types of trees line the park, with more being planted every year, ensuring that the sights never grow old. With the Detroit skyline in the background, and the colorful scene happening all around you, Belle Isle proves to be one of the best places to enjoy a fall in Detroit.

(Gallup Park in Ann Arbor. Photo Credit: Michael Ferro)

Gallup Park
3000 Fuller Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
(734) 994-2780

Ann Arbor practically was a city built among the trees (not to mention having “Arbor” in its name). With so many amazing types of trees to see around the city, no place is better than Gallup Park to take in the colorful changing of the leaves. Gallup Park is free to visit and Ann Arbor’s most popular park. With 69 full acres, there’s plenty of space for you and your family to find a quiet spot to reflect on the colors, or even have one last barbecue with friends before the coming winter. Huron River flows through the park, which adds another element of beauty to the fall scenery as well.

Furstenberg Nature Area
2626 Fuller Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
(734) 794-6230

Acquired by the city of Ann Arbor in 1971, Furstenberg Nature Area is 38 acres of heavily-wooded land with so many different varieties of oaks, maples and other types of trees, that it almost seems selfish to think that Metro Detroiters get to enjoy all of its beauty in one location. A bridge takes you over the Huron River and into a half-mile paved trail into the thick of the trees where visitors can see all of the amazing sights that the fall changing colors has to offer. The grounds are wonderfully maintained by the city and the park is well worth the trip for those coming in from Detroit to see the sights.

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Dodge Park
40620 Utica Road
Sterling Heights, MI 48313
(586) 446-2700

Dodge Park in suburban Sterling Heights, just north of Detroit, is truly one of the Metro area’s best and least-known getaways when it comes to trees and stunning landscapes. The Clinton River flows through the heart of Dodge Park and an abundance of trees make it the perfect place to visit each fall for families and friends. There are also a number of picnic facilities within the park, all free for visitors, as well as games and recreation options, making Dodge Park the perfect location for a day-long excursion to see the colors change in the fall. A well-maintained bike trail is perfect for cyclists who wish to see the best Metro Detroit has to offer, as well.

(The Paint Creek Trail. Photo Credit: Michael Ferro)

Paint Creek Trail
E Avon Road
Rochester Hills, MI 48307
(248) 656-4630

Opened in 1983, the Paint Creek Trail in Rochester Hills is the State of Michigan’s oldest rail-trail. Once a railroad track, it ceased to be used and organizers turned it into a wonderful trail for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts to utilize as a nature walk. The Paint Creek is teeming with wildlife and the banks and many acres of land along the creek and surrounding it make for a perfect place to see the color changing each fall. Renowned for its many varieties of trees and generous hiking paths, the Paint Creek Trail is one of Metro Detroit’s best examples of taking something old and unused and refashioning it into something that will provide Detroiters incredible value through nature and beauty for generations to come.

Related: Best Weekend Getaways In The Detroit Area

Michael Ferro is freelance writer and a graduate of Michigan State University where he majored in Creative Writing and received the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award. Born and bred in Detroit, he currently resides in Ypsilanti Township. Additional writing can be found at