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30 Stunning Fall Scenic Overlooks in Michigan: Best Fall Views in Michigan (MAP)

Grand portal point -best fall scenic overlooks in michigan
Grand Portal Point

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!

Map of fall scenic overlooks in michigan

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.

Porcupine Mountains - scenic overlooks in michigan
Lake of the Clouds

Lake of the Clouds Overlook
Porcupines Mountains, Ontonagon

It’s one of the most photographed spots in the entire Upper Peninsula and you’ll have to see it for yourself to believe the amazing natural beauty of this spot. I love this fully accessible overlook in the middle of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, where you’ll take in the gorgeous blue Lake of the Clouds. In the fall, surrounded by brilliant fall foliage the effect is simply stunning.

Lake Superior Grand Portal Point

Lake Superior’s Grand Portal Point Overlook is located in the middle of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore near Chapel Beach. You’ll have about a five-mile hike through the woods (bring bug spray), but it’s worth it. You’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the painted cliffs of the Pictured Rocks with the amazing, turquoise-colored Lake Superior at the base.

cut river bridge - fall scenic overlooks in michigan
Cut River Bridge Overlook

Cut River Bridge Overlook
Lake Michigan Scenic Hwy, Naubinway, MI 49762

Located just over 50 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge, the Cut River Bridge Overlook is quite dramatic. The bridge stands almost 150 feet above the Cut River, and trails from the bridge provide access to the river and Lake Michigan, too. You find absolutely beautiful views of Lake Michigan here.

Copper Peak
N13870 Copper Peak Rd, Ironwood, MI 49938

Ironwood’s Copper Peak is home to the highest ski jump in the world and in the autumn, it’s one of the best fall color viewing spots in the country. You’ll take an 800-foot chairlift to the top of the hill where you’ll have an unobstructed view that stretches 2,500 miles, taking in three states and even Canada.

Amazing Fall Scenic Overlooks in Northern Michigan

Lumberman’s Monument
5401 Monument Rd, Oscoda, MI 48750

One of my favorite scenic overlooks in Michigan is just west of Oscoda. The Lumberman’s Monument pays tribute to the area’s rich lumbering history that helped build this country. The views overlooking the AuSable River and surrounding sand dunes are magnificent. take the 200-plus stairs down where you’ll find a replica cook camp reminiscent of the river’s logging days.

Glen Lake -Scenic Drives in michigan
Glen Lake Overlook

The Top Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive Overlooks

Glen Lake Overlook

Lakes don’t get much prettier than Glen Lake, with its stunningly aqua-blue water. You’ll definitely want to get out and take in the panoramic views from the viewing platform.

Glen Lake is divided by the M-22 at the narrows, forming two gorgeous lakes, Big Glen Lake and Little Glen. At only 12’ deep, Little Glen Lake is the shallowest, while Big Glen Lake reaches depths of 130’. Be sure to keep your eyes open for Alligator Hill on the other side of Little Glen. Alligator Hill is named for its reptilian appearance, a result of it’s formation during the Ice Age.

Lake Michigan Overlook

This is the spot you’ve been waiting for: a panoramic view of the spot where the golden sands of Sleeping Bear Dunes meet the aqua blues of Lake Michigan. The dune overlook platform stands 450 feet above Lake Michigan and you’ll be able to catch views as far away as Point Betsie in Frankfort, south some 15 miles away; the Manitou Islands offshore, and Sleeping Bear Point in Leelanau County to the north.

North Bar Lake Scenic Overlook in Empire MI
North Bar Lake Scenic Overlook in Empire MI

North Bar Lake Overlook

North Bar Lake in Empire, MI, was formed when water behind the dunes formed a pond that eventually grew to become North Bar Lake. At times, the sand bar builds up and separates North Bar Lake from Lake Michigan. At other times, a small connecting channel exists between the two lakes. In addition to gorgeous panoramic views of both Lake Michigan and North Bar Lake, you’ll also get a great view of Empire Bluff.

Sunset Park in Petoskey
101 E Lake St, Petoskey, MI 49770

This pretty park located right off US-31 in Petoskey provides amazing panoramic views of Little Traverse Bay. It’s the perfect spot to take into Lake MI sunset.

Center Road Scenic Overlook Old Mission Point
Nelson Rd, Traverse City, MI 49686

Take in an amazing panoramic view of Grand Traverse Bay from this spot on the Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City. In the fall, you’ll see vineyards, fields, and an amazing show of brilliant foliage with the beautiful blue waters the bay as a backdrop.

Pigeon River County Scenic Overlook
Pickerel Lake Rd, Vanderbilt, MI 49795

Find amazing views of the Sturgeon River Valley it’s simply lights up with color during the fall with stunning foliage that seems to go on forever.

Aspen Park in Gaylord
Commerce Blvd, Gaylord, MI 49735

See 100 acres of Aspen trees alight with fall color at this spectacular northern Michigan spot in Gaylord. There is nothing quite as beautiful as the sound of a quaking Aspen, so take some time revel in the natural beauty of the area.

Arcadia inspiration point - things to do in michigan
Inspiration Point

Inspiration Point
M-22, Arcadia, MI 49613

Michigan’s scenic M-22 highway is one of the prettiest drives in Michigan, and Inspiration Point in Arcadia is definitely one of the highlights. Take 120 stairs to the viewing platform, where you’ll take in gorgeous views of the bright, blue Lake Michigan shoreline below.

Topinabee Rest Area 407, I-75, Cheboygan, MI 49721

Located right off I-75 between Burt Lake and Mullet Lake this is a gorgeous spot to take in a Michigan sunset. Nearby Cheboygan is always lovely, especially in the fall.

Deadman’s Hill Overlook
Deadman’s Hill Rd, Elmira, MI 49730

On US-131, also known as Mackinaw Trail up north, Deadman’s Hill Overlook is a gorgeous
place to stop and take a look around. It’s part of the North Country National Scenic Trail and the
Jordan Valley Pathway along the Jordan River, which is a great place to do some hiking and trail
exploring.

Foote Pond Overlook & Champagne Hill
W River Rd, Oscoda, MI 48750

Although this is technically on Foote Pond, anyone who’s been here will tell you that its more of
a wide river. From this overlook you’ll get a bird’s eye view of some breathtaking scenery. Not
to mention you might actually get to see bald eagles as they are known to nest in this area.

pyramid point - best fall scenic overlooks in michigan
Pyramid Point

Pyramid Point Overlook
Maple City, MI

When people think of scenic views in Michigan, they think of Pyramid Point near Glen Arbor. You can expect the best views of Lake Michigan that you’ll ever find, as well as some topnotch hiking trails. If
you’re really adventurous, you’ll take a few hours to climb the dunes – a task not many people
can say they’re brave enough to try. It’s a bucket list item for sure.

the tridge in midland mi
The Tridge in Midland MI

Michigan Scenic Overlooks: Prettiest Places in Mid Michigan to See Fall Colors

Overlook Park
801-, 835 S Poseyville Rd, Midland, MI 48640

This overlook in Midland is centrally located so you can take a few hours to explore the
surrounding areas. The park is just down the road from the Chippewa Nature Center and The
Tridge,
along with other attractions like a disc golf course and Chippewassee Park.

Best Fall Views in West Michigan for Michigan Fall Foliage

Tustin Scenic Overlook SB
US-131, Tustin, MI 49688

The Tustin Overlook is located right off highway 131 on your way up north (or on your way
home from up north
) and it’s the perfect pit stop during a long roadtrip across Michigan.
It’s especially nice in the fall when you can see the leaves changing colors, but it’s great all year
round. Just a few miles north from here you’ll find the Waldeck Island Nature Preserve, another
great 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
hilltop near downtown Grand Rapids will have you second-guessing that idea. Lookout Park is
perfect for sunset picnics or afternoon walks, and the view changes fairly drastically from day to
night. There’s also another city overlook nearby, The Lookout at Sixth Street Park, that is ideal
at 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 I
recommend stopping by all of them and enjoying the trail. The paths wrap around Muskegon
Lake, over Muskegon River, and past Bear Lake – all three waterways are gorgeous and worth
the trip.

mt pisgah - fall scenic views in michigan
Mt. Pisgah in Holland MI

Mount Baldhead Park
Mt. Baldhead Park Trail, Saugatuck, MI 49453

The stairs at Mount Baldhead Park are famous for packing a punch but being worth the climb.
Once you reach the halfway point up the stairs you’ll be amazed, and the views only get better
from there. If you have the time, I suggest also stopping by Mt. Pisgah in Holland to experience
that overlook as well – although they are similar because of the stairs, they are both
breathtaking (excuse the pun) and worth the climb.

Lookout Park
3218-3320 Lakeshore Dr, St Joseph, MI 49085

Lookout Park in St. Joe is a must-see overlook in southwest Michigan. This destination is famous
to anyone who has ever been to the little town of St. Joseph, and it is known for the food trucks
nearby
, the art sculptures, and much more.

Lake huron scenic overlook in the fall
Lake Huron Overlook

Best Scenic Overlooks for Fall Color in Michigan’s Thumb

Four Mile Scenic Turnout
5540-5554 Lakeshore Rd, Palms, MI 48465

Located right on Lake Huron, this overlook includes hiking trails, beaches, and amazing views.
With these hiking trails you can walk right up to Delaware Park and explore that area as well.
This spot is perfect to stretch your legs and take a break during a road trip.

Lake Huron Roadside Park
839 S Lakeshore Rd, Port Sanilac, MI 48469

Located on the Blue Star Memorial Highway, this pitstop has a boardwalk of stairs right on the
shore of Lake Huron. The views from the stairs will blow you away, and the hiking trails near
here will seem endless. Be sure to stop at the Triple J Café for lunch before getting back on the
road.

Find Scenic Fall Views in Southeast Michigan

Belle Isle City View of Detroit
Sunset Dr, Detroit, MI 48207

Located on the little-known treasure of Belle Isle, right between Canada and the US, this scenic
spot will amaze you. The views of Detroit from here are on many postcards, and the photos you
take will probably be your phone screensaver for quite some time. The best part though is the
proximity to the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory. If you’ve never been, this conservatory
should be at the top of your “must-see in Michigan” list.

Horizon Park
220 High St, Belleville, MI 48111

This waterfront park right on Belleville Lake has everything: hiking trails, fishing spots, and
incredible views. Although Belleville might not be your destination, Horizon Park should
definitely be a place you stop along the way.

Even More Scenic Places for Stunning Michigan Fall Color

15 last minute getaways in michigan
Traverse City in the fall
15 Best Scenic drives in Michigan
10 top spots for a michigan fall road trip

About the Author-

Casey Johanson is a senior at Grand Valley State University and is passionate about writing and reading. An avid traveler around Michigan, Casey enjoys gardening and running. Her favorite places are typically the hidden beaches and secret scenic overlooks throughout Michigan that most people don’t know about. She loves trying to find places that people haven’t been before and loves writing about those places even more.