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Your guide to fall colors in the city

Fall color on the West Canfield Historic District


Winter is coming. Fans of Game of Thrones and residents of Michigan hold this truth to be self-evident. And if the coming winter will be anything like last year's, we better make the most of fall. So what better way than taking in the beauty of the changing leaves of the city's trees?

According to MLive, fall colors will peak in Detroit the week of October 7. Here are a few ideas to help you make the most of the fleeting beauty of autumn in Detroit.

Sign up for a Detroit River Sports kayak tour

In 2012, Detroit River Sports (DRS) was a finalist for Hatch Detroit's $50,000 prize. Though they didn't win, DRS's founders are forging ahead. This fall, DRS is leading weekly Friday night paddles (starting at 7 p.m.) where you can watch the sunset over Detroit's skyline and take in the fall colors in the twilight, then have the surreal experience of floating through darkness on the Detroit River in an illuminated kayak. The group is also hosting Saturday evening paddles starting at 6 p.m. and Sunday morning paddles starting at 11 a.m. All excursions begin at Riverside Marina, which is located directly across from Klenk Island in the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood.

"We've been seeing how things work this year," says DRS's Missy Kinyon. "There are 37 miles of the Detroit River. We want to explore all of it."

Visit detroitriversports.com for more information.

Kayaking the canals on Belle Isle with Detroit River Sports

Join a People for Palmer Park Thursday bike ride

Ever since Apple ran a commercial featuring Detroit's own Jason Hall and Slow Roll, the city's biggest weekly bike ride has gotten even bigger. Slow Roll's not the only weekly group bike ride in town, though. Every Thursday at 6:30 p.m., People Palmer Park organizes a group ride that meets at the Log Cabin in heart of the park, then meanders through the park and the historic neighborhoods of uptown Detroit, where beautiful fall foliage abounds.

People for Palmer Park bike rideq

Take a stroll through a historic neighborhood

A walk through the streets of Detroit's historic neighborhoods is rewarding any time of the year, but the fall color change is an exceptional opportunity to enjoy the character of these places.

On the east side, Indian Village's Iroquois and Seminole streets are great places to start a walk. If you're looking to extend your ramble, head over to West Village where you can grab coffee at the new Red Hook cafe or a drink and dinner at Craft Work on Agnes Street.

Along the winding roads of Palmer Woods (located on the west side of Woodward at 7 Mile Road) are towering trees and an eclectic mix of architecture -- from early 20th century mansions like the Bishop's Residence and the Alfred Fisher Mansion to mid-century modern structures like the Heart House on Stratchona and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Dorothy Turkel House on 7 Mile Road.

Take a hike through Rouge and Eliza Howell Parks

The Rouge River in Eliza Howell ParkBelle Isle may be the crown jewel of Detroit parks, but it's far from the only place of natural beauty in the city. Try the road less traveled by. It could make all the difference. Rouge Park, the largest park in the city of Detroit, is an excellent place to commune with nature, especially during the fall color change. The same goes for Eliza Howell Park just to its north. These parks' many paths through woods and along the banks of the Rouge River are great places to escape the sounds and stresses of the city.

Visit one of Detroit's historic cemeteries

Cutcheon monument in Woodlawn CemeteryDetroit's historic cemeteries are some of the best places to enjoy a reflective, peaceful moment. Not only are they full of mature trees, they are also rare places where the city's natural landscape is visible. At Frederick Law Olmstead-designed Elmwood Cemetery on the city's near east side, check out the graves of some of the city's former political elite (people like Lewis Cass, Zachariah Chandler, and Coleman A. Young) and the only above-ground remnant of Bloody Run Creek.

Woodlawn cemetery equals Elmwood's beauty and serves as the final resting place for many notable Detroiters -- from auto barons like the Dodge brothers and Edsel Ford to politicians like Hazen Pingree to Motown legends like James Jamerson.

Throughout the month of October, Preservation Detroit is offering Saturday tours of Detroit's historic cemeteries. View the schedule of tours here.


Woodlawn Cemetery

As Robert Frost reminds us in his classic poem "October," fall is fleeting:
 
O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.

So get out there ASAP and enjoy the beauty of autumn in Detroit!
 
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Matthew Lewis is Model D's managing editor. Follow him on Twitter @matthewjlew.
 

Read more articles by Matthew Lewis.

Matthew Lewis is a writer and former managing editor of Model D. He's currently the communications officer for the New Economy Initiative. 
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