Untitled design An Ann Arbor Autumn Along the Huron River | Fall Colors in Ann Arbor Michigan
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An Ann Arbor Autumn Along the Huron River | Fall Colors in Ann Arbor Michigan

Autumn is in full swing in the Mitten and Ann Arbor is no exception. This Michigan college town offers its locals and visitors mile upon mile of beautiful Michigan fall colors this time of year.

Whether you’re looking for a day-long adventure or just one spot to capture the colors of the season, you ought to get in the car or on a bike and head out along the Huron River to enjoy the best fall colors in Ann Arbor Michigan.

The Awesome Mitten - An Ann Arbor Autumn along the Huron River
Photo courtesy of Aaron Cruz

Fall Colors in Ann Arbor – Geddes and Gallup Park

East of downtown along Geddes is where you’ll find Parker Mill County Park. A beautiful variety of colors waits alongside the historic Grist Mill and Fleming Creek. Right next store is the 69-acre Gallup Park which contains miles of trails along both sides of the river. You might spot canoes and kayaks on the move with the fall colors on either side.

Geddes turns into Fuller Road and alongside Gallup is Furstenberg Nature area which gives off a different feel and autumn experience with wetlands, woodlands and prairie. No need to keep hopping in the car if desired, as all of the parks in the heart of Ann Arbor are connected via trails and pedestrian bridges.

Ann Arbor Autumn Foliage – Fuller and The Arg

As you approach the University of Michigan Hospital campus, while still on Fuller, you’ll discover Fuller Park to the north and Nichols Arboretum, or The Arb, to the south.

In The Arb you just might get lost amongst the variety of trails leading to native and exotic trees and shrubs. The colors of the season surrounding you will make you feel right at home.

The Awesome Mitten - An Ann Arbor Autumn along the Huron River
Photo courtesy of Aaron Cruz

Off the beaten path just across the river from family-friendly Fuller Park is Island Park. The Greek Revival Shelter within is a romantic, scenic, and popular place to have an autumn wedding or special event. Cross the bridge back into Fuller Park and walk through the woods alongside the river.

Argo and Main Ann Arbor Fall Colors

A little further upstream and after a few turns in the car, still in the heart of town, you can capture fall from the rocks in the middle of the river at the Argo Cascades. Grab a canoe, kayak, or raft at Argo Canoe Livery or just watch the University of Michigan rowing team go past all the colorful trees.

The Awesome Mitten - An Ann Arbor Autumn along the Huron River
Photo courtesy of Aaron Cruz

Still within Argo Cascades, walk across Argo Dam over to the opposite side of the river into Banderner Park.

You’ll be along Main Street as it heads into downtown. From there you’ll have opportunities to capture autumn and the Ann Arbor skyline together.

Fall Foliage Along Huron River Drive

The river at this point starts heading north and west of town at which time you should hop on Huron River Drive. Along the ten-mile route to the Village of Dexter, you’ll be hugging the river on both sides at various points as it will pass under you several times.

The Awesome Mitten - An Ann Arbor Autumn along the Huron River
Photo courtesy of Aaron Cruz

You’ll first come across Barton Nature Area and Park. Beautiful seasonal vistas await from the trails of the nature area.

Hang along the river on a floating dock, grab a look at Barton Dam, and/or climb the large staircase to have nothing but the vast Huron River and Barton Pond right in front of you.

A recommended place to get an autumn road shot is in-between Barton Park and Delhi Metropark just south of Honey Creek where the road and river are really hugging. My second choice would be on the East Delhi Road bridge looking north as you head into Delhi Metropark.

The Awesome Mitten - An Ann Arbor Autumn along the Huron River
Photo courtesy of Aaron Cruz
  • As you’re approaching Dexter, Dexter-Huron Metropark offers the visitor more fall colors both in the heart of the park and along the riverfront.
  • Burns-Stokes Preserve is another off-the-beaten path spot to capture the Washtenaw County fall scene.

Now you’ve reached the Village of Dexter which offers its own autumn beauty. You could also continue on Huron River Drive into Hudson Mills Metro Park. Let me know how you like the setting there for future reference.

Check out the route I took to explore the changing of the leaves.

More Fall Things to Do in Ann Arbor Michigan

Capturing fall colors in Ann Arbor Michigan along the Huron River is one of the best fall things to do in southcentral Michigan!

In addition, you could enjoy some of the many Metro Detroit fall things to do, including checking out the best greater Ann Arbor apple orchards or visiting a pumpkin patch near Ann Arbor.


Photos taken in Fall 2015 – current fall color conditions may vary.

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One Comment

  1. Oh, wonderful write up and images about Ann Arbor in the Autumn, Aaron!

    My son and I also swung past Bandemer Park on Saturday (10/11/14) morning, and caught the University of Michigan Crew teams out practicing on the Huron River. This can be a peaceful start to a gorgeous fall day, as the steam rises off the river, and crew teams glide up and down the tranquil waters.

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