Autumn in Michigan may be one of the most "Instagramable" seasons. Unless, of course, the whole site goes down like it did yesterday. But, now that's it's fixed I wouldn't be surprised to see a plethora of people perfectly posing in the foreground of the changing leaves.

But, what if you need a spot that can be professionally photographed?

On Michigan's Reddit, a user with the name feetwithfeet asked the question,

What's the most beautiful natural place in lower Michigan that isn't on a lakeshore?

They went on to explain that they were setting up a photo shoot for their boss and needed a place with relatively easy access.

There were over 60 suggestions on the original post, which you can see here, but I'm going to list the top 8.

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Here are at least 8 natural spots in lower Michigan that are incredibly photogenic

1. Hartwick Pines State Park 

This suggestion comes from u/ervelee who said, "Hartwick Pines would make a powerful impression. Fall colors from the top of ski hills would be a solid photo." Hartwick Pines State Park is located in Grayling. According to their website, it's one of the largest state parks in the Lower Pennisula and features over 21 miles of trails.

2. Jordan River Pathway

Reddit user mpawlak recommended the Jordan River Pathway saying, "The Jordan River Pathway is an incredible trail that takes you through almost every type of wilderness you will find in Michigan. It's an incredible hike." Indeed, according to their website, the trail is nearly 19 miles long and even features a few spots for fishing.

3. Dow Gardens 


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Dow Gardens in Midland is a bit different than other 'natural' spots on this list because it's a botanical garden. However, the suggestion came from u/Exactpanda. Browsing their Instagram account, this certainly would be an idyllic location for a photo shoot. Keep in mind, because it's a botanical garden versus a state park you may need to call ahead to ask if professional equipment can be used. Find all of their information here.

4. The Manistee River North County Trail Loop 

Also called The Manistee River Loop Trail, this picturesque spot was recommended by Reddit user Kraig_Kilbourne and seconded by u/mtxgirl who said, "It’s really magical there." According to the website for this trail, it's rated as 'moderate' and is just over 19 miles. The trail can be used for camping, hiking, fishing, and leashed dogs are welcome.

5. The Ledges 


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The Ledges are actually a part of Fitzgerald Park in Grand Ledges, Michigan. The park features a picnic area, a half basketball court, and more. But, the suggested ledges are on a separate trail. Find all the information on Fitzgerald Park and The Ledges on their website.

6. Hidden Lake Gardens 

Hidden Lake Gardens in Tipton is under the care of Michigan State University. Their mission, according to their website is to, "preserve and enhance our gardens and arboretum for educating and inspiring the public to the beauty of plants and the value of nature." There is an admission fee but it's only $5. They're also accepting donations for a project they've named Reach for the Sky where they hope to construct a "700-foot long tree Canopy Walk" by fall of 2022. Read more here.

7. Gallup Park 


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Gallup Park is located in Ann Arbor and has plenty of backdrops for a great photoshoot. Yes, there are options right by the water since this park features a canoe launch. But, there are also unique sculptures and hiking trails too. Read more about Gallup Park here.

8. Ocqueoc Falls

According to their website, Ocqueoc Falls is, "the largest waterfall in Michigan's Lower Peninsula and the only universally accessible waterfall in the United States." The trails are accessible all season just be sure to look out for cross country skiers. Read more here.

While all of the above locations would be perfect for an Instagram picture if you're intending to do a photoshoot with professional equipment you should always double-check to make sure you're allowed before visiting.

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