Fall Picture Places: 15 Stunning Spots for Fall Photos in Grand Rapids

Picture Places: Ah Nab Awen Park

Local Places to Take Family Pictures This Fall

Good photos are made better with a great backdrop.

As fall sets in, the range of colors in West Michigan creates a spectacular background that enhances fall photos.

A survey of our readers revealed the top fall picture places near Grand Rapids.

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

Fall Picture Tips

Capture the Best Fall Family Pictures

  • Hire a professional. Mom or Dad can’t be in the photos and take them at the same time (at least easily). 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?)
  • 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.
girl walking along wall at Fallasburg Park for fall pictures.
Fallasburg Park near the Covered Bridge

 Local Fall Picture Places, Listed

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

#1

Ah Nab Awen Park

220 Front Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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!

Fall pictures at Ah Nab Awen Park
Ah Nab Awen Park with Gillett Bridge in background. Andi Cochran Photography.
#2

Fitzgerald Park

100 Fitzgerald Park Dr, Grand Ledge, MI 48837

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.

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.

picture places: fall pictures at Fitzgerald Park in Grand Ledge
Andi Cochran photography.
#3

Downtown Rockford

48 Courtland St, Rockford, MI 49341

While the downtown area is picturesque in itself, fall pictures will really shine at the Rockford dam. Keep on walking north past the dam and you’ll find spots on the paved White Pine Trail that weaves through a colorful forest.

Rockford-Dam-Hunt-White-Pine-Trail
#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.

fall pictures with Fallasburg Park backdrop
Kids jumping off rocks at Fallasburg Park Hunt
fallasburg park Lowell Michigan
Favorite Picture Places include the stream at Fallasburg Park in Lowell, MI
#5

Grand Ravines

3991 Fillmore St, Jenison MI 49428

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.

Grand Ravines in fall VanderW
The path leading from the river to the lodge at Grand Ravines serves as a great picture place
#6

Provin Trails

2900 4 Mile Rd,  Grand Rapids Township, MI 49525

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

Fall Family Photos Provin
#7

Frederik Meijer Gardens

1000 East Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

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.)

IMG 7321
#8

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.)

Grand Rapids fall pictures at Blandford Nature Center
#9

Ada Covered Bridge

7356 Rix St SE, Ada, MI 49301

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

Favorite West Michigan Instagram Spots Ada Covered Bridge
#10

Newaygo State Park & Downtown Newaygo

2793 Beech St, Newaygo, MI 49337 & Downtown Newaygo

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.

#11

Spring Grove Park

1800 Greenly St, Grandville, MI 49418

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

#12

Warren Townsend Park

8280 6 Mile Road, Cannonsburg, MI 49317

Picture places to choose from here include a pine plantation, a 100-year old stone pavillion, 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

pavillion at townsend park cannonsburg Michigan
Historic Pavillion at Warren Townsend Park
#13

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, making this one of the stunning picture places in the area.

#14

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!

Wittenbach fall pictures Scripps 1
#15

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!

Photographers for Hire

Would you like to hire a pro to capture your family’s fall photos? We’re compiling a list of photographers offering this service in West Michigan.

Katie Cook Photography

Katie Cook Photography

616-893-4138

My goal for sessions is to make things fun in order to create lots of laughs, and there is no child too difficult for me!

26 thoughts on “Fall Picture Places: 15 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. 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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