In Pure Michigan you’ll find six state forests, four national parks, and 97 Michigan state parks, Michigan nature preserves, refuges, gardens and arboretums. Folks from the city and the country can always find a bit of nature in Michigan. Read about some of those experiences here.
Did you know that there are more than 200 waterfalls in Michigan? Many of these are located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and are a beautiful sight to behold in any season. When the temperature drops during the deep winter months, the free-flowing falls freeze over and transform into magnificent winter wonders.
Michigan visitors and residents alike venture out to feast their eyes on these natural beauties (and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even learn how to ice climb one!). Some of these spectacular sights are relatively easy to access. Others require snowshoes, skis or a snowmobile. Find out how to access the frozen waterfall nearest you here.
In Michigan, you’re never more than six miles away from a natural water source. Why not take a day trip to marvel at Michigan’s frozen falls? For inspiration, here are eight fantastic photos of frozen Michigan waterfalls captured by our fans and other talented photographers around the state.
Todd and Brad Reed are a father-son outdoor photography team based in Ludington, Michigan. Today, they tell us why fall is their favorite time of year to take photographs of Michigan’s beautiful scenery and fill us in on the best places to go around the state to see the colors change.
Be sure to check out the infographic below with Todd and Brad’s top 10 scenic spots for fall foliage across the state, and let us know if you plan a fall color tour in Michigan this season.
Autumn is our favorite time of year to photograph our beloved home state of Michigan. The quality of light during October, fall color, wind, waves and dramatic cloud formations combine to make it a most spectacular time to be on Michigan highways, byways, hiking trails, waterways and shores.
When it comes to photographing fall color, Brad and I know our own backyard of Ludington best. We love driving the country roads east of Ludington in autumn, especially Conrad Road, which boasts what I find to be one of the most picturesque tunnels of trees in Michigan. It is a short but splendid tunnel with farms on each side of the roadway. Further east on Conrad Road are more farms and impressive barns, Amber Elk Ranch and another short tunnel of trees.
Another of our favorite Ludington places to experience fall color is the Lost Lake Trail at Ludington State Park. Toward the end of October, the shores of Lost Lake are usually resplendent with fall color and reflections of fall color. Shooting at the water’s edge near sunrise can be a photographer’s dream.
A float trip down any stretch of the Pere Marquette River between Baldwin and Custer can be one of life’s most relaxing experiences and a great way to see fall color and wildlife. We love floating by stable drift boat with an expert river guide manning the oars. Guides can also help you catch fish or can cook you a gourmet dinner on the river. For those who prefer staying ashore, driving through the Manistee National Forest in this region is a visual treat.
One of our favorite inland color-touring highways is M37 between Baldwin and Mesick. These forests are loaded with brilliant sumac and gorgeous ferns as well as towering maple trees mixed with green pine trees.
When traveling on the east side of Michigan during the fall, be sure to check out the Price Nature Center near Saginaw. You won’t be disappointed.
When we travel to southeast Michigan in the fall we always make it a point to stop by the Kensington Metropolitan Park near Milford. The park is filled with white tail deer and other fun animals and birds to photograph as you meander amongst beautiful fall leaves that fill the forest floor.
Take time to explore some side roads during your travels to find Michigan’s hidden visual fall treasures. Don’t be afraid to ask locals for tips on their favorite fall color places and how to get there.
Finally, a highlight of our fall photography expeditions is seeing the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore aboard one of the cruise boats out of Munising. Between the peak fall color and the evening magic light striking the rocky sandstone cliffs, the Pictured Rocks area views last October were breathtaking. We also found great fall color hiking at waterfalls, inland lakes and woodlands in the Hiawatha National Forest in the Munising area.
All of these places and countless more are Pure Michigan in the fall. Get out there!
See the image below for Todd and Brad’s top scenic spots in Michigan for fall foliage. Click here to download a full-sized version.
Todd and Brad Reed are a father-son outdoor photography team based in Ludington, Michigan. Visit their website to learn more about the duo and see some of their work.
Peggy Dolane is a digital writer who lives in Seattle and shares each summer, and her heart, with Antrim County Michigan. Today, Peggy shares with us a recent experience she had at the Glacial Hills Pathway Natural Area, where she was able to quietly enjoy the beautiful Michigan landscape.
Read about her experience below, and tell us in the comments section some of your favorite places to enjoy a peaceful afternoon in Pure Michigan.
There’s a stillness in the woods that you can’t find on any mediation retreat. Walking along a quiet path the trees stretch up into the sky and embrace you in their canopy.
It’s easy when summer finally arrives in Antrim County to sit all day long on the shore of a sparkling, aqua lake and never venture into the forest. But on grey days when the North wind blows, a hike deep into the woods is a welcomed outing.
For years I’d driven by Glacial Hills Pathway and Natural Area near the Village of Bellaire without giving it a second thought. This summer I heard Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy has partnered with Antrim County and Forest Home Township to develop a series of hiking and biking trails in this 763 acre upland forest. So on a grey July day I decided to check it out.
You’d hardly guess that these woods were logged off more than 100 years ago by Maine investors looking to grow their riches out “west”. After the lands were logged clear and the lumber barons gone, nature took care of reforestation.
Eventually maples, beech and oak grew up into a high canopy. You’ll also find random groves of red pine evenly spaced like soldiers in their rows. These trees were planted in the 30s by the Civilian Conservation Corp, bringing depression-era jobs to this impoverished region as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal.
Farm houses and back-road single wides have changed little over the past 50 years, and the quiet forests of one of the nation’s most beautiful regions have been left untouched.
Trail designer, Brad Gerlach of Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, expects the 20 miles of trails — featuring rolling hills, wild flower meadows, brilliant fall colors, and stunning territorial vistas — will make this local treasure a mountain biking destination.
It’s easy to get lost in the quiet of the place even with well-marked paths and despite it being just a quick ride down the road from Bellaire. Not having my bike with me, I was happy to wander awhile and listen to the sound of the wind in the tree tops. Drinking in the lush green surroundings, for one precious moment, I sat alone, in the presence of the woods.
Peggy Dolane is a digital writerwho lives in Seattle and shares each summer, and her heart, with Antrim County Michigan. You can follow her @PeggyDolane.