Mother Nature helps ease us into winter by painting the treetops such spectacular colors. While Northern Michigan gets a lot of attention, there are many great vistas in Southeast Michigan—especially around Ann Arbor.
Ann Arbor gained the nickname “Tree Town” as a result of its dense woodlands, its 150+ area parks and its tree-lined streets. Places like Nichols Arboretum, Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Gallop Park and Dexter-Huron Metropark provide stunning fall color views, but visitors can appreciate the fall vista while shopping or dining downtown as well.
In addition to the areas mentioned above, the most scenic road in Ann Arbor is West Huron River Drive between Dexter and downtown Ann Arbor. The street runs alongside the Huron River and the views are absolutely stunning. It is a popular area for bicyclists, so take your time as there are a number of curves and blind spots. There are also a number of parks along this stretch, such as Delhi Metro Park or Barton Park. Another great way to view the colors is canoeing down the Huron River. Argo Park has a livery for canoe and kayak rentals.
While in town, you can enjoy area fall festivals, including the largest at Wiard’s Orchard and County Fair. It has a number of activities including hayrides, a corn maze, petting farm, a children’s play area, haunted barns and more. The first County Fair weekend is September 13 and then runs Wednesday – Sunday starting September 17. Another great activity for families with young kids is the Hands-On Museum. They recently added the new interactive exhibit H2Oh! which demonstrates concepts of fluid motion.
When planning a fall trip to Ann Arbor, you should consult the University of Michigan football schedule for home games. If you want to check out the Big House but perhaps a U-M football game isn’t going to work, they could come for the Slippery Rock vs Mercyhurst game on October 18. There’s a long tradition of Slippery Rock scores being announced during U-M football games and this year will mark the third visit by the Pennsylvania University. Read more about the Slippery Rock event here.
This year’s unseasonably cool temperatures seem to have brought an early start to the fall color season. To plan your trip around peak color periods, check out Michigan.org which compiles a state-wide fall foliage report.