Fall Picture Places: 18 Stunning Spots for Fall Photos in Grand Rapids


Best Outdoor Places to Take Pics Near Grand Rapids

As fall sets in, the range of colors in West Michigan creates a spectacular background that enhances fall photos. If “update family photo” isn’t one of your family’s fall activities, add it now.

These are some of the best picture locations for fall photos in West Michigan. Or really, for any time of year.

Find beautiful woods, historic bridges and stone picnic shelters. Bubbling creeks, picturesque trails, split rail fences and more await at these fall photo hotspots.

So grab your favorite photographer or your own camera and check out these amazing places to capture your family on film!

girl walking along wall at Fallasburg Park for fall pictures.
Fallasburg Park near the Covered Bridge

Fall Family Photos Tips

Follow these tips to capture the best family portraits.

  • Hire a professional – Mom or Dad can’t be in the photos and take them at the same time (at least not easily). Trust me, your kids will want to see YOU in the fall family photos in years to come.
  • Scout your location – 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 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?)
  • Do 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 on camera. Others need to be coached – or coaxed. If your child isn’t used to participating in photo sessions, practice in the weeks leading up, offering candy or whatever bribery you feel like.

 Local Fall Picture Places, Listed

Here are the spots families, brides and seniors love to visit for amazing backdrops.

1 – Grand River Riverfront Park

12570 Grand River Dr SE, Lowell, MI 49331

Why It’s One of the Best Fall Picture Places:

Walking paths abundant with fall foliage criss cross this 80 acre park, but the crown jewel is the gorgeous pedestrian bridge that connects the north and south sides of the park.

Pedestrian Bridge at Riverfront Park in Lowell.

The bridge itself is gorgeous enough for your pics, but the serene river below and riot of colors along the shoreline make this a knockout spot for any fall photos.

2 – Cascade Peace Park

8900 Grand River Dr SE, Ada, MI 49301

Why It’s One of the Best Fall Picture Places:

Peace Park is a hiker’s paradise, with various paths in a very colorful woods and a cute “hidden” creek.

It’s easy to get turned around if you venture deep into the park, but for family photos, you don’t have to go far.

Fall photos in a field at Cascade Peace Park.

The best photo spot at Cascade Peace Park is at the top of the hill by the Bolt Dr. entrance. Your GPS will take you to the Grand River entrance, so use this map to find Bolt Drive and that access point.

3 – Ah Nab Awen Park

220 Front Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Why It’s One of the Best Fall Picture Places:

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!

Picture Places: Ah Nab Awen Park
Ah Nab Awen Park with Gillett Bridge in background. Andi Cochran Photography.

4 – Fitzgerald Park

100 Fitzgerald Park Dr, Grand Ledge, MI 48837

Why It’s One of the Best Fall Picture Places:

This might just be my most favorite of all picture places!

Located east of Grand Rapids toward Lansing, Fitzgerald Park is a stunning spot for photographs.

The Ledges at Fitzgerald Park

Find gorgeous fall color through open woods, a soaring train trestle bridge, and their most infamous attraction – massive sedimentary rock formations full of texture and shadows and light.

5 – Downtown Rockford

48 Courtland St, Rockford, MI 49341

Why It’s One of the Best Fall Picture Places:

While the downtown area is picturesque in itself, fall pictures will really shine at the Rockford dam.

Keep walking north past the dam and you’ll find spots on the paved White Pine Trail that weaves through a colorful forest.

Downtown Rockford – Hollliann Studios Photography

6 – Fallasburg Park

1124 Fallasburg Road, Lowell, MI 49331

Why It’s One of the Best Fall Picture Places:

Fallasburg Park 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.

Fallasburg Park Covered Bridge
Fallasburg Park – Andi Cochran Photography
picture places fall photos West Michigan

7 – grand ravines

3991 Fillmore St, Jenison MI 49428

Why It’s One of the Best Fall Picture Places:

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.

The path leading from the river to the lodge at Grand Ravines serves as a great picture place.

8 – provin trails

2900 4 Mile Rd,  Grand Rapids Township, MI 49525

Why It’s One of the Best Fall Picture Places:

Pronounced pro-vin, Provin Trails is a stately white pine forest bragging some mini sand dunes and little tree houses made with fallen branches.

9 – Frederik Meijer Gardens

1000 East Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Why It’s One of the Best Fall Picture Places:

“A destination marrying world-renowned sculpture and horticultural landscapes, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s indoor and outdoor gardens and sculpture galleries hold something for the whole family to enjoy.”

(Be sure to follow their photography guidelines.)

pumpkins frederik meijer gardens in fall

10 – Blandford Nature Center

1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Why It’s One of the Best Fall Picture Places:

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.)

11 – Ada Covered Bridge

7356 Rix St SE, Ada, MI 49301

Why It’s One of the Best Fall Picture Places:

Looking for picture places with historic charm?

Consider the Ada Covered Bridge: “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

12 – Newaygo State Park & Downtown Newaygo

2793 Beech St, Newaygo, MI 49337 & Downtown Newaygo

Why It’s One of the Best Fall Picture Places:

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.

13 – Spring Grove Park

1800 Greenly St, Grandville, MI 49418

Why It’s One of the Best Fall Picture Places:

Spring Grove Park boasts 16 acres of towering trees, a flowing spring and an outdoor trellis designed specifically for weddings or other ceremonies.

14 – Warren Townsend Park

8280 6 Mile Road, Cannonsburg, MI 49317

Why It’s One of the Best Fall Picture Places:

Picture places to choose from here include a pine plantation, a 100-year old stone pavilion, or a babbling brook.

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

Historic Pavilion at Warren Townsend Park

15 – Whistlestop Park

2120 76th Street, Byron Center, MI 49315

Why It’s One of the Best Fall Picture Places:

Whistlestop Park has a large fishing pond set against a stunning fall backdrop. Also find a paved hiking trail and lots of wide open spaces, making this one of the most stunning picture places in the area.

16 – Wittenbach Wege Center

11715 Vergennes St SE, Lowell, MI 49331

Why It’s One of the Best Fall Picture Places:

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!


17 – Calvin College Seminary Pond & Bridge

3201 Burton St SE,  Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Why It’s One of the Best Fall Picture Places:

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.

18 – Wedgewood park

3391 Wilson Ave, Grandville MI 49418

Why It’s One of the Best Fall Picture Places:

This 14-acre park has a cute creek that makes for a nice backdrop.

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!

Photographers for Hire

Would you like to hire a pro to capture your family’s fall photos?

Try one of these popular West Michigan photographers for your next picture day.

They’ll know the right angles, right lighting, and will take the time to edit your photos to perfection.

photographers in West Michigan

26 thoughts on “Fall Picture Places: 18 Stunning Spots for Fall Photos in Grand Rapids”

  1. In order to shoot at Blandford you need to purchase a photographer’s membership. There is information about it on their website.

  2. ~The Rockford Dam- They have it beautifully landscaped all the time and for each season!
    ~The Richmond Park Swimming pool building is awesome! The bricks are all different, makes for a great back ground!
    ~The Algoma Sports Park- They have a spot hidden with pretty flowers and a long row of different types of pine trees. And a little board walk next to trees.
    ~In a Christmas tree farm- Set up lights and a couple ornaments and lay down a blanket!
    ~On a lake shore
    ~Near a light house
    So many great places 🙂

  3. Another suggestion: old downtown buildings … like in Lowell, great brick buildings and river nearby for some good photography too 🙂

  4. Just an FYI that Meijer Gardens does allow family (and other) portraits to be taken on their grounds… but for a $300 fee.

    1. Avatar photo

      I’ve heard about that, but doesn’t it apply only if you’re using a tripod or professional equipment? I’ve never had a problem snapping a photo of my family myself…

    2. Thanks, Amy! It’s a good tidbit to put on here, since some readers may be investing in the services of a professional photographer.

      I shot my sister’s Senior Photos there a few years ago (sans tripod) and didn’t have any trouble. 🙂

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