The Best Fall Views in Michigan.
Want to see the most beautiful Michigan fall scenery and vistas? Just in time for the 2022 fall foliage viewing season, I’m going to share 30 of my favorite places in Michigan for the changing leaves.
When you visit some of Michigan’s scenic overlooks, you will quickly realize why our state’s motto, Pure Michigan, was chosen. These lookout points and turnouts serve as hints at the rest of Michigan’s natural beauty as well as previews of your final destination.
Work these scenic overlooks into your trip, whether you’re driving from the bottom of the state to the top or just stopping by a small Michigan town to see family, to experience Pure Michigan in its most breathtaking fall splendor.
You can use the interactive map below to help you plan your trip as you read on to learn about the 30 best fall scenic overlooks in Michigan.
Best Scenic Viewpoints in Michigan for Fall Color Viewing in the Upper Peninsula.
Scenic Turnout for Grand Island Harbor.
The national lakeshore of Pictured Rocks.
This picturesque turnaround has views of both South Bay and Murray Bay and is situated in Alger County alongside M-28 and close to the Grand Island Ferry. A short climb here will reward you with stunning views of the upper peninsula.
The scenic overlook in St. Ignace.
Road Service Rest Area, St. Ignace, MI 49781.
With views of both the bridge and the Straights of Mackinac, this famous scenic pullout is located on the north side of the Mackinac Bridge. You can locate Castle Rock just up the road in St. Ignace on the Lake Huron side. Although St Ignace Scenic Overlook provides superior vistas, Castle Rock is another well-known overlook in this region of Michigan. Additionally, the Mystery Spot, the first of several well-known tourist attractions in the UP, is directly near to this overlook. Summit Peak Observation Tower
Ontanogon, Michigan’s Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.
With vistas of both the Apostle Islands and Isle Royale on clear days, it is the highest peak in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park region. It is conveniently accessible after a short trek and is about 2000 feet above sea level with a breathtaking panoramic view from the 50-foot tower.
30 Amazing Fall Michigan Views: Best Scenic Overlooks in Michigan.
Michigan’s Best Fall Views.
Want the best fall views and scenic overlooks in Michigan? I’m sharing 30 of my favorite spots for Michigan fall foliage, just in time for the 2022 fall leaf-peeping season.
Pure Michigan is our state’s slogan for a reason, and that reason is obvious when you stop by some of Michigan’s scenic overlooks. These overlooks and turnouts are little breadcrumbs hinting at the rest of the beauty Michigan has to offer, and they act as sneak peeks to your actual destination.
Whether you are on a road trip from the bottom of the state to the top, or just stopping by a small Michigan town to visit family, work these scenic overlooks into your trip so you can experience Pure Michigan in its peak fall beauty.
Read on for the 30 best fall scenic overlooks in Michigan, and use the interactive map below to help you plan your visit!
Top Michigan Scenic Overlooks for Viewing Fall Colors in the Upper Peninsula.
Grand Island Harbor Scenic Turnout.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Located in Alger County along M-28 and right by the Grand Island Ferry, this scenic turnout offers views of both South Bay and Murray Bay. This is a great place for a quick hike with some beautiful views of the upper peninsula.
St Ignace Scenic Overlook.
Rest Stop Service Road, St Ignace, MI 49781.
This scenic turnout on the north side of the Mackinac Bridge is iconic, with views of both the bridge and the Straights of Mackinac. Just up the road, on the Lake Huron side of St Ignace, you’ll find Castle Rock. Castle Rock is another famous overlook in this part of Michigan, but in my opinion the St Ignace Scenic Overlook has better views. Plus, this overlook is right next to
the Mystery Spot – the first of many famous tourist destinations in the UP.
Summit Peak Observation Tower .
Porcupine Mountains WIldnerness State Park, Ontanogon, MI.
It’s the highest point in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park area, with views of both the Apostle Islands and Isle Royale on clear days. It’s almost 2000 feet above sea level with a stunning panoramic view from the 50-foot tower, which you can easily reach from a short hike.
Lake of the Clouds.
Overlooking the Lake of the Clouds Ontonagon’s Porcupines Mountains.
It is one of the Upper Peninsula’s most popular photo locations, and you must visit it to fully appreciate its breathtaking natural beauty. The magnificent blue Lake of the Clouds may be seen from this easily accessible viewpoint in the centre of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. The effect is very spectacular in the fall when it is surrounded by bright fall foliage.
Grand Portal Point in Lake Superior.
Grand Portal Point Overlook on Lake Superior is situated close to Chapel Beach in the centre of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. It’s worth the roughly five-mile journey through the woods (bring insect spray). You’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of the Pictured Rocks’ painted cliffs and its gorgeous, turquoise-colored base.
Overlooking Cut River Bridge.
Highway along Lake Michigan, Naubinway, Michigan 49762
The Cut River Bridge Overlook is particularly stunning and is situated little over 50 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge. The Cut River is almost 150 feet below the bridge, and paths leading from the bridge to the river and Lake Michigan are also accessible. Here, you may get stunning views of Lake Michigan.
N13870 Copper Peak Rd, Ironwood, MI 49938; Copper Peak.
The tallest ski jump in the world is located on Ironwood’s Copper Peak, which is also one of the top places in the nation to observe fall foliage in the fall. A chairlift that rises 800 feet will take you to the summit of the hill, where you’ll get a 2,500-mile-long, unrestricted vista that includes three states and even Canada.
Wonderful Fall Scenic Views in Northern Michigan.
Oscoda, Michigan 48750; 5401 Monument Road; Lumberman’s Monument
Just west of Oscoda is one of my favourite picturesque vistas in Michigan. The Lumberman’s Monument honours the region’s long history of logging, which contributed to the formation of our nation. Beautiful views of the AuSable River and the neighbouring sand dunes may be seen here. Take the more than 200 steps down to a recreated cook camp that harkens back to the logging era along the river.
Glen Lake Viewpoint
Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive’s Top View.
With its breathtakingly aqua-blue water, Glen Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes around. Get out and enjoy the expansive views from the observation platform, without a doubt.
The M-22 splits Glen Lake into two stunning lakes, Big Glen Lake and Little Glen, near the narrows. Little Glen Lake is the shallowest at only 12′, while Big Glen Lake is the deepest at 130′. On the other side of Little Glen, be sure to keep a look out for Alligator Hill. Because of its lizard-like appearance—a result of its formation during the Ice Age—Alligator Hill is so named.
View of Lake Michigan.
The panoramic view of the point where the golden sands of Sleeping Bear Dunes meet the azure waters of Lake Michigan is right here where you’ve been waiting to see it. The dune viewing platform is 450 feet above Lake Michigan, and from there you can see Point Betsie in Frankfort, 15 miles distant to the south, the Manitou Islands off the coast, and Sleeping Bear Point in Leelanau County, which is located to the north.
Empire, Michigan’s North Bar Lake Scenic Overlook.
Lake North Bar Overlook.
Water beneath the sand dunes created a pond, which later expanded to become North Bar Lake near Empire, Michigan. North Bar Lake and Lake Michigan are occasionally divided by a sand bar that develops up. There is occasionally a little waterway that connects the two lakes. You’ll also get a fantastic perspective of Empire Bluff in addition to lovely panoramic vistas of Lake Michigan and North Bar Lake.
Petoskey has Sunset Park.
Petoskey, Michigan 49770, 101 E Lake St.
This charming park in Petoskey, just off US-31, offers breathtaking panoramic views of Little Traverse Bay. It’s the ideal place to see the sunset over Lake Michigan.
Old Mission Point Scenic Overlook Center Road.
Traverse City, Michigan 49686 Nelson Rd
From this vantage point on Traverse City’s Old Mission Peninsula, take in a breathtaking panoramic view of Grand Traverse Bay. With the stunning blue waters of the bay serving as a background, you can view vineyards, farmland, and an incredible display of vivid foliage in the fall.
County Scenic Overlook at Pigeon River.
Vanderbilt, Michigan 49795, Pickerel Lake Rd.
Discover breathtaking vistas of the Sturgeon River Valley, which in the fall is ablaze with gorgeous foliage that appears to stretch on forever.
Commerce Blvd, Gaylord, MI 49735; Aspen Park.
Visit this breathtaking area in Gaylord, northern Michigan, and take in 100 acres of Aspen trees that are ablaze with fall colour. Take some time to enjoy the area’s stunning natural surroundings since nothing is more wonderful than the sound of an Aspen trembling.
M-22, Arcadia, MI 49613 is the address of Inspiration Point.
Inspiration Point in Arcadia is undoubtedly one of the highlights of Michigan’s picturesque M-22 route, one of the state’s loveliest drives. To reach the observation platform, climb 120 stairs, and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the Lake Michigan shoreline below.
I-75, exit 407 at Topinabee, Cheboygan, MI 49721.
The perfect place to see a Michigan sunset is located off I-75, between Burt Lake and Mullet Lake. Cheboygan, nearby, is usually beautiful, especially in the fall.
Overlooking Deadman’s Hill
Elmira, Michigan 49730; Deadman’s Hill Rd.
Deadman’s Hill Overlook on US-131, also known as the Mackinaw Trail further north, is a stunning location to pause and take in the surroundings. It’s a piece of the Jordan Valley Pathway along the Jordan River and the North Country National Scenic Route, which are both excellent places to go hiking and trail exploration.
Overlook at Foote Pond and Champagne Hill.
Oscoda, Michigan 48750, W River Rd.
In spite of the fact that this is legally on Foote Pond, everyone who has been here will tell you that it seems more like a broad river. You may enjoy a bird’s eye view of some magnificent surroundings from this viewpoint. Not to mention the possibility of seeing bald eagles, who are known to nest in this region.
The Pyramid Point
Overlooking Pyramid Point.
MI Maple City
Pyramid Point, which is close to Glen Arbor, comes to mind when people think of picturesque vistas in Michigan. The nicest Lake Michigan vistas you’ll ever discover and excellent hiking routes are to be expected. If you’re feeling very daring, you may spend a few hours climbing the dunes, a feat that not many people can claim to have the courage to do. Undoubtedly, it belongs on your bucket list.
Midland, Michigan’s The Tridge.
Best Places in Mid-Michigan to See Fall Colors: Michigan Scenic Overlooks.
835 S Poseyville Rd, Midland, MI 48640; Overlook Park; 801-
Since this overlook in Midland is conveniently situated, you may spend a few hours seeing the neighborhood. The Chippewa Nature Center, The Tridge, as well as other attractions like a disc golf course and Chippewassee Park are just a short distance away from the park.
Best Fall Views for Michigan Fall Foliage in West Michigan.
US-131, SB. Tustin Scenic Overlook, Tustin, MI 49688.
The Tustin Overlook is the ideal rest stop during a lengthy drive across Michigan and is conveniently located off of highway 131 on your way up north (or on your way home from up north).
Although it’s great all year round, the fall is when the leaves change colours and are especially pleasant. Just a few miles north from here you’ll find the Waldeck Island Nature Preserve, another \sgreat place for hiking.
Lookout Park. 801 Fairview Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505.
When people hear “scenic overlook” they don’t often think of overlooking a city – but this \shilltop near downtown Grand Rapids will have you second-guessing that idea. Lookout Park is \sperfect for sunset picnics or afternoon walks, and the view changes fairly drastically from day to \snight. There’s also another city overlook nearby, The Lookout at Sixth Street Park, that is ideal \sat night when the city lights reflect off of the river.
Muskegon Lakeshore Trail Overlooks.
Muskegon Lake, Muskegon, MI 49442.
The Muskegon Lakeshore Trail actually has eight different overlooks to choose from, and recommend stopping by all of them and enjoying the trail. All three of these waterways are breathtaking and well worth the trip; the paths wind around Muskegon Lake, over Muskegon River, and past Bear Lake.
Mount Pisgah in Holland, Michigan.
Park at Mount Baldhead.
Trail in Mount Baldhead Park, Saugatuck, Michigan 49453
The stairs at Mount Baldhead Park are renowned for being steep but worthwhile to climb despite their punch. You’ll be astounded when you ascend the stairs halfway; the scenery only gets better from that point on. Although they are similar because of the stairs, they are both breathtaking (pardon the pun) and worth the climb. If you have the time, I also recommend stopping by Mt. Pisgah in Holland to experience that overlook.
3218–3320 Lakeshore Dr., St Joseph, MI 49085, is the location of Lookout Park.
Southwest Michigan’s Lookout Park in St. Joe is a must-visit overlook. Anyone who has ever visited the little town of St. Joseph would recognise this place because of the neighbouring food trucks, the art sculptures, and a variety of other things.
Best Scenic Viewpoints in Michigan’s Thumb for Fall Color.
Lake Huron Viewpoint
Turnout at Four Mile Scenic.
Lakeshore Road, Palms, Michigan, 48465, 5540-5554
This viewpoint features hiking paths, beaches, and breathtaking views directly on Lake Huron.
You may stroll up to Delaware Park and explore that region as well thanks to these hiking paths.
While on a road journey, this location is ideal for relaxing and stretching your legs.
Lake Huron Roadside Park is located in Port Sanilac, Michigan at 839 S Lakeshore Road.
This rest area, which is on the Blue Star Memorial Highway, features a boardwalk and some stairs that go directly to Lake Huron’s beach. You will be in awe of the vistas from the steps, and the hiking trails around will seem never-ending. Before heading back on the road, make sure to stop for lunch at the Triple J Café.
Visit Southeast Michigan for Beautiful Fall Views.
Detroit from Belle Isle City View.
Detroit, Michigan 48207, Sunset Dr.
This breathtaking location is situated on Belle Isle, a little-known jewel that sits directly between Canada and the US. A lot of postcards feature the views of Detroit from this location, and the pictures you capture will undoubtedly serve as your phone’s screensaver for a while. The closest thing to the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory is better, though. This conservatory ought to be at the top of your list of things to do in Michigan if you’ve never gone.
220 High St., Belleville, MI 48111; Horizon Park.
There are hiking trails, fishing piers, and breathtaking vistas at this lakefront park on Belleville Lake. Horizon Park need to be a stop along the road even though Belleville may not be your final goal.