(WXYZ) — One of the most magical parts of living in Michigan are the fall colors. From fiery reds to the brilliant yellows and outrageous oranges, the change of season is an explosion of color.
There are plenty of great places locally to check out the fall fun, but if you’re willing to drive a bit, the trees become thicker and the colors become bolder.
The best autumn color day trips is our Thursday’s Top 7.
If you’re looking for autumn at its best... Michigan and its 19 million acres of forest can’t be beat, from winding blacktop to winding rivers.
#7 PONTIAC RECREATION AREA
Seventh on our list is the Pontiac Lake Recreation Area. Here, towering mature trees with colors bursting grow right up to the edge of ponds, rivers and lakes. Trails allow runners to pound the earth and admire the arrival of autumn.
#6 WATERLOO STATE RECREATION AREA
Waterloo State Recreation Area in Chelsea is sixth. It’s the largest state park in the lower peninsula and an incredible place to get away to see the colors, close to home.
Move over Christmas! Autumn is awesome in Frankenmuth. Here, you can get a taste of Bavaria and a taste of fall.
#4 UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
If you’re going to root for the Wolverines, make an extra point to check out the colors at Michigan and beyond. A drive along the Huron River or a walk across campus will bring you a season full of red, orange and maize.
#3 MICHIGAN STATE - LANSING
If you bleed green, you can still check out other colors of the rainbow at MSU. Vibrant trees hug the Red Cedar River each fall, depositing a carpet of leaves at the end of the season.
#2 MUSKEGON - GRAND HAVEN
The Muskegon - Grand Haven area is worth the drive, from the first leaves to change to the end of the season. Don’t forget to look at fall colors in the sky over Lake Michigan at the end of the day
#1 STATE ROUTE 25
Our top spot goes to the M-25 tour. The road curves along the Thumb from Port Huron to Bay City. The flaming leaves of fall are set against Lake Huron’s blue water.
While the leaves and trees are green now, this is the time to plan your fall color tour. The season peaks in October, with color sweeping from north to south across the state. The weekends of Saturday October 12 and the 19 will offer peak or near peak colors across the Lower Peninsula.