Visit These Michigan State Parks to See Breathtaking Fall Colors

Autumn colors at their peak provide awe-inspiring views all around the Great Lakes state.

Forests in Hartwick Pines State Park during fall.
Hartwick Pines State Park | Photo Courtesy of Pure Michigan

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Whether you're planning a fall color drive or want to explore the breathtaking views on foot, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the beauty of the season. We put together a list of a few Michigan state parks to enjoy this fall.

Hartwick Pines State ParkGrayling

Hartwick Pines is one of the largest state parks in Michigan's lower peninsula. You can climb the rolling hills to overlook the AuSable River and explore the forest of Old Growth Pines. Also, make sure to make a pit stop at the Hartwick Pines Logging Museum, which is about a 1/4 mile walk from the visitor center. The unique history is worth the extra steps!

Tahquamenon Falls State Park –​ Paradise

waterfall surrounded by a pine forest
Tahquamenon Falls | Photo Courtesy of Pure Michigan

Tahquamenon Falls State Park stretches over 13 miles and offers amazing sights all year long, but is especially magnificent in the fall. Most famous are the Upper Tahquamenon Falls, one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi. The Upper Falls has a drop of nearly 50 feet and is more than 200 feet across. Four miles downstream is the Lower Falls, a series of five smaller falls cascading around an island.  There are more than 40 miles of hiking trails, 13 inland lakes, 24 miles of the Tahquamenon River and approximately 20,000 acres of natural area, which provide plenty of space to explore.

Silver Lake Sand Dunes State Park –​ Mears 

Embark across almost 3,000-acres along the Lake Michigan shoreline. This area includes both dune country and acres of mature forest. One of the park's biggest draws is the 450-acre off-road vehicle area, so hop on and start exploring the orange, yellow and red stunning leaves.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park –​ Ontonagon

This Upper Peninsula gem provides towering timbers, secluded lakes, and miles of wild rivers and streams covering 60,000 acres. Explore 90 miles of foot trails and camp on the shore of Lake Superior to enjoy sunsets from your site. The North Country Trail includes 23 miles within the state park and rugged trails to conquer on a mountain bike. Take in the scenic vistas, waterfalls and old-growth forest. It is designated as an official Michigan Wildlife Viewing Area for its varied wildlife and can't miss views.

Seven Lakes State Park –​ Holly

Located in Southeast Michigan, Seven Lakes State Park offers an endless variety of topography and ecosystems that form the area called Seven Lakes. Its land has a combination of farmland, rolling hills, and forests. About 230 acres of water with several miles of shoreline await the park visitor.