West Michigan's abundant forests helped fuel Grand Rapids' rise as "furniture capital of the world" in the late 19th-early 20th centuries. While many hardwoods were sacrificed to sawmills in those years, Grand Rapids remains a tree-lover's paradise.
In addition to a dazzling explosion of leaf colors, fall brings an abundance of apples to 12,000 acres of local orchards. Combine your color tour with a visit to the Fruit Ridge to purchase or pick your own apples (and pumpkins). Stop at an authentic cider mill for a refreshing drink and a delicious donut straight out of the oven. Get back in your vehicle for a ride across charming covered bridges and a tour of the many antique shops throughout the area.
Soak up the beauty of fall foliage on a leisurely hike/bike ride.
Visit Fruit Ridge Markets for apples, pumpkins, hayrides, corn mazes and more.
Explore fall flavors – apples, doughnuts, cider & more .
Enjoy the view from a fireside table on an outdoor restaurant patio .
See fall colors from the water on a fishing expedition of local rivers – it's salmon and steelhead season.
Consider one or more of these scenic stops for a self-guided color tour of the area:
Ada Township Park. This 57-acre park includes a 200-tree arboretum, woodland garden, and nature area with barrier-free warbler trail.
Ada Covered Bridge. Erected in 1867, this 125-ft. Brown-truss wooden bridge spans the Thornapple River and is open to foot and bicycle traffic. It connects the village of Ada with a public park on the other side.
Ada/Amway World Headquarters. While you’re in Ada, stroll the charming central business district for unique shopping and meals, and visit the Amway Welcome Center to learn about the global company’s heritage and contributions to the Grand Rapids area.
Fallasburg Covered Bridge. Opened in 1871, this 100-ft. Brown-truss wooden bridge still accommodates vehicular traffic across the Flat River just north of Lowell. It is adjacent to a forested county park crisscrossed with hiking trails.
Lowell. The historic village of Lowell, just minutes from Fallasburg Covered Bridge, boasts a charming main street lined with antique shops and art galleries – a lovely complement to your color tour.
Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery. This 100-year old family orchard is a favorite fall destination for purchasing or picking 30+ variety of apples, enjoying cider and homemade baked goods, and engaging with nature via hayrides, a corn maze, petting zoo and mountain bike trail.
Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens. Hike scenic trails through 100+ acres of forest, wetlands and a native plant garden for a display of fall finery. Bring binoculars for birdwatching!
Pickerel Lake Park/Frederik Meijer Nature Preserve. Explore a scenic mix of wetlands, sandy woods, and rolling forest hills and valleys alongside a picturesque 80-acre lake. A 900-ft boardwalk crosses a portion of the lake.
Blandford Nature Center. An extensive trail network through old-growth forest and a naturalized golf course are ideal for admiring fall’s color palette.
Check out these suggested color tour routes.
Every year, the Kent County Road Commission maps out an annual Color Tour encompassing various routes in different areas of the county. Download the maps for: