Flint - Brighton - Bloomfield Hills

Cider, Color and Wide Open Spaces 
Catch the last spectacular show of fall color in East Central and Southeastern Michigan in October. There is plenty of see and do with the entire family in this loop of 150 miles from Bloomfield Hills, to Flint and back down to the Brighton area.

Best Enjoyed: Early to Late October
Approximate Length: 150 miles

Bloomfield Hills is the home of Cranbrook, a 319-acre national historic landmark, and one of the world's leading centers of education, science and art. Visitors are welcome to tour the contemporary Art Museum, the natural history museum, and Cranbrook House & Gardens with 40 acres of formal and informal gardens that incorporate sculpture, fountains, a pool and a lake. The Cranbrook Institute of Science features many exhibits plus an outdoor science garden, nature trails, a state-of-the-art planetarium, an observatory and a nature center.

Located in Waterford off M-59 is Dodge #4 State Park with 139 acres of public use area including Cass Lake for fishing and boating. Year-round fishing has an excellent reputation for largemouth and smallmouth bass, pike, bluegill, perch and trout. Enjoy the fall colors and pack a picnic lunch for a great getaway.

Nearby Dodge is the 3,745 acre Pontiac Recreation Area that features rolling woodland terrain, a mixture of marshes, ponds, heavy forests, old farm fields, and river bottom and lakes that support a wide variety of animals and excellent hunting. Designated trails meandering throughout the recreation area are available for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking. The 11-mile mountain bike trail has been ranked as one of the "Top 100 Trails" in the United States. Horses can be rented for riding on 17 miles of trails. Hay rides, sunset rides and pony rides are also available. Be sure to check ahead for availability of equestrian activities.

Near Dixie Highway and M-59 is the Drayton Plains Nature Center in Waterford Township. Get hands-on experience on how to preserve and protect the natural world. Center grounds include woods, ponds, streams, and a prairie. The 137-acre facility has may trails and ponds.

Take I-75 north from Bloomfield Hills and make your first stop in Holly for a visit to Diehl's Orchard & Cider Mill. Holly has a charming historic downtown area with several antique shops housed in exquisite buildings of the late 1800's. Take South Milford Road from downtown Holly to reach Diehl's where you can enjoy fresh cider, orchard tours, hayrides and more.

The Holly Recreation Area with 8,000 acres of lakes, woodlands and open fields provides scenic overlooks and excellent fall color viewing, is only an hour away from the Metro Detroit area. There are plenty of campsites and picnic areas, 34 miles of hiking trails and 23 miles of mountain bike trails, Travel I-75 to Exit 101, E. on Grange Hall Road 1 mile to McGinnis Rd.

Seven Lakes State Park is west of Holly and offers 230 acres of water with several miles of shoreline. Enjoy 6.5 miles of hiking/biking trails with many songbirds and small wildlife, campout or picnic, fish at the lakes or from the pier; boat and canoe rentals are available through mid-September. One of Michigan's newer parks, opened in 1992, is popular for snowmobiling in winter months. Make sure your camera is loaded for memorable autumn reflections. From I-75 take exit 101, Grange Hall Road, go West 5 miles to Fish Lake Road; turn right to the park entrance.

Take a cider break in Fenton. Spicer Orchards and Cider Mill and Parshallville Grist Mill & Cider Mill offer the fresh juice of the apple and a lot more. Parshallville is a Michigan Historic Landmark -- the water powered grist mill is one the last remaining in Michigan.

Just a few miles northwest of the Holly Recreation Area is Ortonville Recreation Area with 5,300 acres of state land open to public use. Enjoy fishing on Algoe, Davidson, Round and Today lakes; hike or bike a 3.5 mile trail, picnic, or just enjoy the autumn colors. The park also features an equestrian camp ground, 6.5 miles of horse trails are available for horseback riding (bring your own pony). Take M-15 off I-75 to Ortonville, go east on Oakwood for three miles, then north on Hadley Road to the park entrance.

A few miles east of Flint off I-69 you will find For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum, a 380 acre nature preserve and arboretum with over seven miles of trails. The Visitor Center features an extensive collection of native Michigan flora and fauna including over 100 mounts, live animals, games and hands-on activities.

Railroad buffs won't want to pass up a visit to Durand, just 20 minutes west of Flint off I-69. As the legendary railroad hub of Mid-Michigan, Durand offers a major site of historical significance, the Durand Union Station and the Michigan Railroad History Museum.

Head for M-36 for a visit to the 11,000 acre Pinckney Recreation Area (I-69 south off M-36). Take a hike or a mountain bike on more than 50 miles of trails. Three lakes offer fishing and there are many campsites and picnic areas. Bring your binoculars to take in wildlife sightings during your visit. The area is covered with various tree species that make for a splendid autumn backdrop.

Located in the Pinckney area is Lakeland Trails State Park, a gravel surfaced linear park approximately 13-miles long. The park is designed for hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and wheelchair use. A trail runs between Stockbridge and Pinckney, passing through wooded areas and rolling farmland and offers spectacular views of fall color.

From Pinckney drive a few miles north on I-69 to the 4,947 acre Brighton Recreation Center for a horseback color tour. The Center's Riding Stable offers guided trail rides through November to see the vibrant tunnels of woodland colors from a different point of view. Guided trail rides range from 45 to 90 minutes for folks of all riding abilities age 8 years and up. Hand-led pony (or horse) rides are available for cowpokes too young for the trails. Advance reservations for horseback tours are recommended. Two hiking and mountain biking trails are also available for those who want their feet close to the ground.

Heading west on I-96 from downtown Brighton is the Island Lake Recreation Area. This is a 4,000-acre park in Livingston County that offers an "up north" experience without leaving southeast Michigan. The terrain is a mixture of open brush land to mature hardwood forest, with some pockets of open meadows mixed in. Island Lake is the only balloon port in the state park system. Balloons usually take off in the early morning or late evening, depending on the wind and weather. Four lakes and the Huron River offer a variety of fishing opportunities. Hikers can enjoy the fall colors on 18 miles of trails; mountain bike enthusiasts are offered14 miles of trails.

A little further northeast is Proud Lake Recreation Area. Proud Lake is located on the Huron River in Commerce Township with 4,700 acres with rolling hills, two lakes and pine tree forests. This fall enjoy picnicking, fishing and boating. Take an autumn walk over 20 miles of trails, two of the hiking/ski trails run parallel to the Huron River, the third loops around a marsh. For equestrians and mountain bikers there are trails offering varied terrain.

Highland Recreation Area boasts 5,900 acres of forest, marshes and lakes. Fall activities include picnicking, boating, fishing on two lakes, hunting, and volleyball. Nature trails abound at the Goose Meadow day-use area. There are more than 17 miles of trails for hiking, and nearly 15 miles of advanced trails for mountain biking with a variety of loops shared with hikers. The Haven Hill Natural Area has all of southern Michigan's principal forest types within one small area, including swamp forest of tamarack, cedar, beech-maple forest, oak-hickory forest, and mixed hardwood forest. The area has remained largely undisturbed for the past 75 years and has retained its natural character as well as some unusual flora and fauna. Taking man's best friend with you? Highland offers three dog field trial areas; hunting dogs may be trained year round.

Cranbrook Art Musuem
39221 N. Woodward Avenue
PO Box 801
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303
Phone: (248) 645-3323
Art Museum offers exceptional exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, architecture and design in all media. Collection highlights include works by Dubuffet, Eames, Lichtenstein, Saarinen, Stella and Warhol, along with a wealth of objects from the Arts and Crafts-era to the present. The museum offers more than a dozen different temporary exhibitions throughout the year, including work by leading national and international artists. Live music, films, lectures, openings and other events happen monthly throughout the year. Also the home of Saarinen House, one of Michigan's finest examples of Art Deco design. Open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm. Closed major holidays.
Cranbrook House & Gardens
380 Lone Pine Road
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303-0801
Reservations: (248) 645-3149
Phone: (248) 645-3147
Incredible vistas at every turn, the relaxing melody of water streaming out of several iconic fountains, the comforting smell of flowers in one of the many remarkable gardens, the feeling of history and architectural wonder all around you…just a taste of what awaits at Cranbrook House and Gardens, located at the heart of the Cranbrook Educational Community, a National Historic Landmark. From spring through fall, guests can tour the former estate of Cranbrook's founders, George and Ellen Booth, and the beautiful 40 acres of gardens that surround it; both maintained brilliantly by an incredible non-profit, volunteer run organization, Cranbrook House and Gardens Auxiliary. Cranbrook House and Gardens, the oldest surviving manor home in the metro-Detroit area, also offers special events throughout the year. #VisitCranbrook today!
Cranbrook Institute of Science
39221 N. Woodward Avenue
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303
Toll Free: (877) 462-7262
As Michigan's premier natural history and science museum, we offer programs for kids and adults, group programs, summer camps and fun weekend events for the entire family, visit our T-rex skeleton cast, tour the stars in our planetarium and observatory, explore our long-term and traveling exhibit there something for everyone.
Dodge #4 State Park
4250 Parkway Drive
Waterford, MI 48327
Phone: (248) 682-7323
A sandy beach and a one-mile shoreline on Cass Lake makes Dodge #4 State Park an excellent location for summer and winter water activities.
Pontiac Lake Recreation Area
7800 Gale Road
Waterford, MI 48327
Reservations: (800) 447-2757
Phone: (248) 666-1020
Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, with 3,745 acres of a mixture of marshes, ponds, heavy forests, old farm fields, river bottom and lakes that support a variety of animals and excellent hunting. Designated trails throughout the recreation area are available for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking.
Drayton Plains Nature Center
2125 Denby
Waterford, MI 48329
Phone: (248) 674-2119
The Drayton Plains Nature Center, located in Waterford Township, Michigan contains 138 acres, an expanse of nearly one mile in length, and exhibits our Earth’s finest treasure—Nature. The grounds include woods, ponds, streams and a prairie. Along with expansive trails and ponds, we offer a Interpretive Center that houses displays of specimens in their natural habitat, a gift shop with nature oriented items and bird seed for hands-on experience.
Diehl's Orchard & Cider Mill
1479 Ranch Road
Holly, MI 48442
Phone: (248) 634-8981
Apples, cider, donuts, jams, jellies and honey. We have hayrides and pony rides on the weekends in October. Further we have picnic and play areas. We will ship cider and apples upon request and purchase. Group tours. Ciderfest Craft Show the last weekend in September. The Orchard is open August 14 through October 31, 9am-6pm seven days a week, and November 1st-25th, Monday - Saturday 9-5pm, and Sunday 12-5pm. Closed on Thanksgiving.
Holly Recreation Area
8100 Grange Hall Road
Holly, MI 48442
Reservations: (800) 447-2757
Phone: (248) 634-8811
Nearly 8,000 acres of rolling woodlands, several lakes and open fields provide scenic overlooks and excellent fall color viewing. McGinnis Lake campground has 159 modern and rustic, heavily wooded to open and sunny campsites and cabins. Picnicking, swimming, fishing, boat launch. Ten miles of hiking and cross country ski trails and an extensive mountain bike trail system. Rowboat, canoe and paddleboat rentals.
Seven Lakes State Park
14390 Fish Lake Road
Holly, MI 48442
Reservations: (800) 447-2757
Phone: (248) 634-7271
An endless variety of topography and ecosystems form the area called Seven Lakes. Its land was a combination of farmland, rolling hills and forests. About 230 acres of water with several miles of shoreline await the park user. The dam, formed one large lake from seven small lakes. Metal detecting area.
Spicer Orchards & Carriage House Cellars Winery and Tasting Room
10411 Clyde Road
Fenton, MI 48430-9582
Phone: (810) 632-7692
A farm market, cider mill, donut shop, caramel apple station and gift shop with a kid’s animal barn, a hay fort and a children's play area. Features u-pick or picked strawberries, cherries, blueberries, apples, plums, pumpkins and raspberries. Also provides cider pressing viewing area, hayrides, school tours and fall weekend activities and festivals. Open daily 8 am to 7 pm. Free wine tasting. Hard ciders, fruit wines, and varietals available for tasting. Partial, and Case discount's. Luncheon deli on the patio. Winery open daily 10 am to 7 pm.
Historic Parshallville Grist Mill & Cider Mill
8507 Parshallville Road
Fenton, MI 48430
Phone: (810) 629-9079
Tom Walker's Grist Mill is a Michigan Historic Site. This building as it sits today is 136 years old. Built in 1869, this cider mill is a favorite among visitors to Livingston County. We offer freshly pressed cider, spiced donuts, caramel apples & homemade pies. In addition, you can choose from a variety of heirloom apples for baking and eating. We also offer made in Michigan products including local honey. Come enjoy our beautiful setting along the flowing Ore Creek. Our Gift Shoppe offers a variety of specialty food items and gifts. We offer guided tours during the week, call for information.
Ortonville Recreation Area
5779 Hadley Road
Ortonville, MI 48462
Reservations: (800) 447-2757
Phone: (810) 797-4439
Ortonville Recreation Area is comprised of 5,430 acres of state land open to public use. This wooded area, dotted with many small lakes, offers a secluded get-away from the metropolitan area. Activities include hiking, bicycling, boating, camping, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, fishing, hunting, picnicking, and swimming. Rustic cabin rentals are available; reservations required. Rifle range & equestrian campground included. Recreation Passport required for entry.
For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum
2142 N. Genesee Rd
Burton, MI 48509
Toll Free: (800) 648-7275
Phone: (810) 789-8567
A 380 acre nature preserve and arboretum with over seven miles of trails. A new Visitor Center features an extensive collection of native Michigan flora and fauna including over 100 mounts, live animals, games and hands-on activities. Weekend programs are conducted by Genesee County Park Naturalists.
Durand Union Station/Michigan Railroad History Museum
200 Railroad Street
PO Box 106
Durand, MI 48429-0106
Phone: (989) 288-3561
The Durand Union Station recaptures the golden years of railroading. The Michigan Railroad History Museum features photos, artifacts, displays and articles of Durand's rich railroad history. Also presented are displays from the Ann Arbor Technical & Historical Society and the Grand Trunk Western Historical Society. Open Tuesday-Sunday from 1-5pm. Archives are open by appointment only.
Pinckney Recreation Area
8555 Silver Hill Road
Route 1
Pinckney, MI 48169
Reservations: (800) 447-2757
Phone: (734) 426-4913

Numerous lakes within 11,000 acres. Picnicking, playground, fishing, beaches, concession stand and boat launches. Rowboat, canoe, paddleboat, kayak rentals. Private liveries, stables. A paradise for backpackers, mountain bikers, anglers and other recreation enthusiasts. Pinckney is known for its extensive trail system and chain of excellent fishing lakes. Over forty miles of multi-use trails with remote campsites afford a backcountry experience. In the winter these trails can be used for cross-country skiing. Snowmobiling in designated areas and ice fishing is available on Silver, North and South Lakes. 186 modern campsites, a camper cabin that sleeps six and has two bedrooms located near the modern restroom and showers at Bruin Lake. Rustic camping on Crooked Lake. Backpack camping is available along the Potawatomi Trail. Bridle trails and metal detecting area.
Lakelands Trail State Park
8555 Silver Hill Road
Pinckney, MI 48169
Phone: (734) 426-4913
Converted from abandoned railroad corridors this gravel surfaced linear park is approximately 13-miles long. Designed for hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and wheelchair use. Trail runs between Stockbridge and Pinckney, passing through wooded areas and rolling farmland and offers spectacular views of spring flowers. Trailheads are located on M-52 in Stockbridge and a quarter mile north of M-36 on D-19 in Pinckney. On June 23, 2007, Hamburg Township dedicated the portion of the Lakelands Trail State Park that runs through Hamburg Township. The asphalting of the trail and the tunnel under M-36 has been completed and the trail is officially open for public use. The MI parks system offers 4 linear parks.
Brighton Recreation Area
6360 Chilson Road
Howell, MI 48843
Reservations: (800) 447-2757
Phone: (810) 229-6566
Brighton Recreation Area provides 4,947 acres of recreation for park visitors to use. The area has a combination of high, irregular ranges of hills, interspersed with a number of attractive lakes. Brighton Recreation Area has several miles of trails available for equestrian, mountain biking, and hiking. Oak forest, thick hedgerows and open spaces blend on the uplands while grassy marshes, shrub marshes and dense swamp timber mark the lowlands.
Island Lake Recreation Area
12950 East Grand River
Brighton, MI 48116
Reservations: (810) 229-7067
Phone: (810) 229-7067
Island is a 4000 acre park that draws 1 million plus vistors a year. The Huron River runs through the park and offers visitors a chance to rent a canoe and canoe along the river stop at a rustic camp site and camp overnight. Island Lake also has two public beaches for use, fishing in three lakes with a chance to catch trout and bass. Island Lake also offers 18 miles of mountain bike trails, seven picnic shelters for rent, overnight cabins to rent and an organization campground which can hold up to 500 people.
Proud Lake Recreation Area
3500 Wixom Road
Commerce Township, MI 48382-2049
Reservations: (800) 447-2757
Phone: (248) 685-2433
Located on the Huron River with 4,700 acres with rolling hills, two lakes and pine tree forests. 130 modern campsites and two mini cabins overlooking Proud Lake. Picnicking, swimming, fishing and boat launch. Rowboat, canoe, paddleboat and kayak rentals. Over 20 miles of trails, two of the hiking/ski trails run parallel to the Huron River, the third loops around a marsh. For equestrians and mountain bikers there are trails offering varied terrain.
Highland Recreation Area
5200 E. Highland Road
White Lake, MI 48383
Reservations: (800) 447-2757
Phone: (248) 889-3750
5,900 acres of forest, marshes and lakes. Rustic 30 site campground is available to campers with and without horses. Rustic cabin, picnicking, swimming, boating, fishing, hunting, volleyball. Nature trails. Riding stable. Miles of hiking, mountain bike and bridle trails. Three marked x-country skiing trails for the novice and intermediate skiers. Dog field trial areas, snowmobiling in designated areas. Metal detecting area.