If there's a season that makes it hard not to be partial to Pure Michigan, fall is a major contender. It's as if Mother Nature waves a special wand here in the Mitten, painting our surroundings in glorious golden hues, velvety reds, and all shades of bronzes and greens in-between! It's no wonder people travel far and wide to experience our natural canvas of radiant colors found in the Great Lakes Bay!

Here, you can explore 40 feet above the forest floor inside a sea of trees, zipline through a canopy of fall color, or soak up the beauty of the scenic route while you pedal with a pint in hand. Use this guide to discover new ways to witness some of the best fall color and scenery in Michigan:

Hues on High

Dow Gardens 

Not only will Dow Gardens wow your autumnal senses with winding pathways through florals and foliage, but experiencing the forest from 40 feet in the air along the 1,400-foot, fully-accessible Canopy Walk at Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens (opening October 2018) will have you hovering over fall hues from the longest canopy walk in the nation! Look over serene forest ponds and a four-zoned orchard, and enjoy moveable seating for encouraged reflection.

Set Sail on the Scenic Route 

Sail Boat on The Lake  

Wind in your hair, water shining as you sail, boarding the awe-inspiring Appledore Tall Ships with BaySail in Bay City is a majestic experience any time of year. But, booking your spot on their Autumn Color Tour River Cruises, cozying up in provided blankets and enjoying a warm lunch while sailing through astounding fall foliage? It's an absolute must to experience the finest fall scenery in Michigan!

Fall into Adventure 

Don't worry if you have a hard time choosing your custom outing with Johnny Panther Quests Adventure Trips. Specializing in ecotours, birding, romantic escapes, and B&B packages, too, each of these scenic boat tours through the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge lead by visionary "Johnny Panther" is memorable. But, Fall Color Tours by Boat (available in both Frankenmuth and Saginaw) are lovingly referred to as "The Cheap Trip", even though the stunning fall beauty, wildlife sightings, and boating experience you'll have are simply priceless. 

Ride the Rainbow

Frankenmuth Aerial Park

Ride the fall-colored rainbow, that is, while zooming and ziplining your way through Frankenmuth Aerial Park! Ready for families, soloists, and groups to fly the air, swing through the trees, and encounter challenging aerial obstacle courses, this multi-skill-leveled park is the place to be to experience thrills within our fall-painted woods and gain unforgettable views. Open Friday through Sunday, September - November, reservations in advance are highly recommended to enjoy this treetop opportunity!

Pedals of Pleasure

Sunrise Pedal Trolley

If gathering with a group of friends and pedaling together through downtown streets, sipping fall brews and stopping into watering holes, too, sounds like fun (yes, yes, yes!), then hop aboard Sunrise Pedal Trolley in Bay City and PedAle Trolley in Frankenmuth! These custom bikes hold eight to 16 passengers and pave way to great times! Prepare for picturesque views of fall beauty and waterways, unique storefronts and insider stories, and sharing in cheers to cities alive in autumnal glory! 

Wild Ride

Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge Fall Foliage

Inside the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, one of the largest and most productive wetland ecosystems in Michigan, you can experience an expansive territory where four rivers converge... on four wheels! The 6.5-mile Wildlife Drive Auto Tour Route is open from sunrise to sunset through September 30, and, here, you can become immersed in beautiful fall foliage from the comfort of your car!

Sips & Scenery

Imagine boating along a picturesque river exploding with fall color while on a one-hour guided tour, listening to storied info and tasting five Michigan-made wines expertly paired with five handmade chocolates. And, after enjoying a full glass of your favorite selection, you get to keep the souvenir glass! Sounds like a daydream, but it's actually a Wine & Chocolate River Tour with Frankenmuth FunShips, offered all the way through October, weather permitting. Enjoy!


By boat or by car, hovering high in the air or pedaling through downtown streets, enjoy each and every one of these epic new ways to take a fall color tour in Michigan!