This article was written by Denise Simon of Huron-Clinton Metroparks
Look no further than Southeast Michigan to discover 25,000 acres of autumn’s best colors coming this fall to 13 Huron-Clinton Metroparks.
“Goldenrods and fall asters are blooming in the fields right now, and the red maples are turning color in the woods,” said Kevin Arnold, Interpretive Services Supervisor for Oakwoods and Lake Erie Metroparks.
At Oakwoods Metropark in Huron Township, the nature area is comprised of nearly 400 acres of oak hickory forest. Trails meander among towering trees, offering views of the lush backwaters of the Huron River, and opportunities to see ducks, muskrat, beaver, osprey and bald eagles.
The areas along the bike path in Lake Erie Metropark are full of coneflowers, ironweed, and a variety of other wildflowers helping to paint the fall tapestry.
Although colorful trees and wildflowers can be found at all 13 Metroparks, nature areas at Indian Springs, Kensington, Oakwoods and Stony Creek Metroparks are the most popular spots to visit.
Here is a sampling of the most popular ways to take in nature’s finest colors in Southeast Michigan this fall at the Huron-Clinton Metroparks:
- Paved bike/hike trails, ranging in length from three to eight miles, are located at Hudson Mills, Indian Springs, Kensington, Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, Lower Huron, Oakwoods, Stony Creek and Willow Metroparks. A 3.2–mile paved connector path between Willow and Lower Huron gives trail users 15 miles of continuous trails through Lower Huron, Willow and Oakwoods Metroparks. Bike rentals are available at Stony Creek and Willow.
- Foot trails traverse colorful wooded areas at Lake St. Clair, Wolcott Mill, Stony Creek, Indian Springs, Kensington, Huron Meadows, Hudson Mills, Lower Huron, Oakwoods and Lake Erie Metroparks.
- Fall color tours are offered on the “Island Queen II,” a 37-passenger pontoon boat moored on Kent Lake at Kensington Metropark. Points of interest on Kent Lake are highlighted during these 45-minute tours offered weekends through October 13, from noon to 6 pm. Children 3 to 12 years of age and senior citizens can ride for $4 per person; adults are $6 per person. Children 2 and younger are free.
The peak of the fall color season in Southeast Michigan is generally the second or third week of October, although weather conditions can change the peak color dates considerably.
Where is you favorite place to take in fall colors?