Detroit’s Autumn Avenues: Best Places for a Fall Foliage Drive

By: Katie Goncalves | October 13, 2023
Winding road with colorful leaves on trees

Everyone who is from Michigan knows that we live in the best state because we get to experience all four seasons in their entirety. Part of the magic of fall is watching the leaves change colors to create a gorgeous landscape. While these moments only last a couple of weeks, there are plenty of places right here in Detroit to get out and enjoy the fall colors before they’re gone. Here are some of the best places to take a drive to soak in the gorgeous fall foliage.

CAMPUS MARTIUS

800 Woodward Avenue, Detroit

Campus Martius, named as the number one “Top Public Square” by USA Today, is Detroit’s favorite gathering place and a great location to spend a fall day. “The Downtown Detroit Partnership has the honor and the privilege of creating/transforming, programming, and managing six of Downtown Detroit’s historic and transformational public spaces and urban parks, including Campus Martius Park, each of which offers guests respite, relaxation, and comfort any time of day,” said John Myers III, Director of Operations Public Spaces, Downtown Detroit Partnership. “Each season, our focus is making our Downtown Detroit Parks come alive, each with its own unique features, including beautiful landscaping, flowing fountains, historical monuments, flourishing gardens, winter activities, comfortable seating, innovative dining options, and a variety of activities that appeal to every age and background.” 

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fall foliage around the campus martius entrance
Photo courtesy of Campus Martius

BELLE ISLE PARK

99 Pleasure Drive, Detroit

Belle Isle Park is a little pocket of calm just outside of Downtown Detroit. You can bring a picnic and enjoy the grounds, or take a walk by the water. The 2.5-mile-long, 982-acre island park is home to three lakes, a lagoon, and 230 acres of forested wetlands. This unique combination of ecology means you get to experience a vast array of changing trees and plants as you explore the island.

PALMER PARK

910 Merrill Plaisance Street, Detroit

Palmer Park is one of the largest parks in Detroit and is one of the thirteen Regional Parks in the City of Detroit Park System. It is home to over 281 acres of woodlands, meadows, recreational areas, and athletic fields. Palmer Park is a great place to take in the fall colors on a crisp fall day.

ROUGE PARK

21860 Joy Road, Detroit

Rouge Park was founded in 1925 and is Michigan’s largest urban park at 1,184 acres. It features six miles of paved walking paths, a golf course, and swimming pools. At the center is the Rouge River, making this the perfect place for hiking, mountain biking, and exploring. There are more than 400 acres of forest, 60 acres of native prairie, and a 5-acre marsh.

street lined with changing fall foliage

WILLIAM G. MILLIKEN STATE PARK AND HARBOR

1900 Atwater Street, Detroit

The William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor is located in the heart of Detroit, just east of downtown, along a portion of the city’s Detroit Riverwalk, which provides easy access for fishing, biking, walking, and rollerblading. This park is open year-round and family and pet-friendly.

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