Nothing makes a good photo even better like a great backdrop. As fall sets in, the range of colors in West Michigan create a spectacular background that will enhance any fall family pictures.
A survey of our readers revealed the top places to take fall pictures in Grand Rapids. So grab your favorite photographer or your own camera and check out these amazing places to capture your family on camera!
The Grand Rapids Public Museum is bringing you a family-fun experience with Santa virtually! Santa is visiting families through a LIVE Zoom chat or customized downloadable video message. Find out more at grpm.org/Santa.
Consider hiring a professional. Mom or Dad can’t be in the photos and take them at the same time, and trust me, your kids will want to see YOU in the family photos in years to come.
Visit your proposed location a couple of weeks before the big day, at the same time of day you will take pics, if it’s new to you or the photographer. Get ideas for where you’d like to take fall pictures, see how busy the location is, and take note of any challenges this location could face (is there water your toddler will be obsessed with and not want to sit for photos? Are there lots of hikers along the paths you’d like to stop on?)
Take an outfit assessment. Choose solid colors that go well together, and avoid busy shirts. Make sure outfits are comfortable for children, and don’t need to be constantly smoothed down or tucked in.
Practice with kids ahead of time. Some kids are naturals for the camera. Others need to be coaxed. If your child isn’t used to having to ham for the camera, practice in the weeks leading up, offering candy or whatever bribery you feel like.
FALL PICTURES LOCATIONS
14 Iconic Locations for Grand Rapids Fall Pictures
1) Ada Covered Bridge
7356 Rix St SE, Ada, MI 49301
“Prior to 1930 the covered bridge was the main thoroughfare across the Thornapple River. The Covered Bridge is a reconstruction of the original bridge that was destroyed by fire in 1979.” — Ada Township
2) Blandford Nature Center
1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
“Blandford Nature Center’s 143 acre of natural beauty provides the amazing fall pictures backdrop for every visit!” (Be sure to follow their photographer guidelines and policies.)
3) Downtown Rockford
48 Courtland St, Rockford, MI 49341
“Rockford’s downtown shopping district is a wonderful step back in time … The street scapes are meticulously designed and lamp posts, clocks, sidewalks and benches join together to make your visit special.” — Rockford Chamber of Commerce
While the downtown area is picturesque in itself, fall pictures will really shine at the Rockford Dam. Keep on walking north and you’ll find spots on the paved White Pine Trail that weaves through a colorful forest.
4) Fallasburg Park
1124 Fallasburg Road, Lowell, MI 49331
Fallasburg is the quintessential fall pictures spot. There’s the historic covered bridge, lots of grassy shores along a winding creek, the wider Flat River that flows between a riot of colorful trees each fall, and lots and lots of paths, sitting spots and more, where families can gather for the perfect fall family pictures.
Grand Ravines has a beautiful suspension bridge and lots of paved and unpaved trails to choose from. But it’s famous “big red barn” that makes it easy to spot from the road may be Grand Ravine’s most unique fall backdrop.
According to the Michigan DNR, “Newaygo State Park is a 99-site rustic campground and day use area sitting atop 20-foot embankments overlooking the Hardy Dam Pond, a six-mile flooding of the Muskegon River…With fall comes the beautiful color season, enhanced by spectacular views overlooking the Muskegon River.”
Downtown Newaygo also has a lot of photographic draw with old buildings, fantastic old doors, the river, train bridge, fish statues, Penoyer Creek Falls, and more.
8) Provin Trails
2900 4 Mile Rd, Grand Rapids Township, MI 49525
Pronounced pro-vin, Provin Trails is teeming with gorgeous trees, some mini sand dunes, and little tree houses made with fallen branches.
9) Gerald R. Ford Museum at Dusk
303 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Known for it’s great skyline photos at dusk, Ah Nab Awen Park, in front of the Gerald R Ford Museum also offers a beautiful river backdrop, colorful fall foliage, and even a big red button for kids to sit on for a pic!
10) Spring Grove Park
1800 Greenly St, Grandville, MI 49418
“With 16 acres of towering trees, Spring Grove Park is a great place for a family picnic … A flowing spring and small natural area with beautiful spring wildflowers adds to the charm of this park. A trellis constructed in 2000 is specially designed for outdoor weddings and other ceremonies.” — Ottawa County Parks and Rec
11) Warren Townsend Park
8280 6 Mile Road, Cannonsburg, MI 49317
“Townsend Park is a scenic and easy-to-reach destination for Grand Rapids area visitors. In the park’s north section, a hiking trail winds through a large pine plantation. The Cannon Township Trail also links to the park from the north, featuring a boardwalk over natural wetlands.” — Kent County Parks and Trails
12) Whistlestop Park
2120 76th Street, Byron Center, MI 49315
Whistestop Park has a large fishing pond set against a stunning fall backdrop. Also find a paved hiking trail and lots of wide open spaces for stopping for fall pictures.
13) Wittenbach Wege Center
11715 Vergennes St SE, Lowell, MI 49331
At Wittenbach Wege Center, find a pond, trails and an adorable little cabin in the woods for fall family pictures. Oh, and you may spot some farm animals, too!
14) Calvin College Seminary Pond & Bridge
3201 Burton St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
This expansive forest is a delight to hike any time of year, but especially gorgeous in autumn. Families love taking fall pictures at the wooden bridge.
If you have even more places that you love to take photos, let us know in the comments! Let’s make this a fantastic resource for great photo locations!