Holly State Recreation Area – Wildwood & Valley Lake Loop Photo Tour
When you think about the most iconic and notably beautiful places in the state of Michigan, chances are good that Holly is not the first place that comes to mind. While it is not one of the more iconic tourist spots, the Holly State Recreation Area is quite picturesque and beautiful in it’s own right. During the peak of color in Southeast Michigan’s fall season, Jess, Anoush, Duncan, and myself paid a visit to one of the trails here. This is what we saw!
Our Wildwood and Valley Lake Loop journey begins…
When we headed out to the park from Downriver, we had intended on exploring the entirety of the Wilderness and Lakes Loop. However, a bit of a GPS coordinate mix-up led us to the south end of the park and trail. Allowing fate to guide us, we decided to simply trek where we were instead of wasting more of the beautiful daylight in the car trying to find our original destination. If you’d like to retrace the trail we are about to show, you’ll start at marker number 22, and follow it through the following sequence: 22 > 21 > 20 > 19 > 24 > 23 > 22
The trail-head is well marked, and the map is easy to read.
Fall color on full display!
We were instantly met with an effusion of autumn. The color being the most obvious. However, my favorite part of being in the woods in fall, is the deep earthy and sweet fragrance that wafts through the air. Aromatherapy at it’s most pure form. Here’s our first views as we hit the trail!
So much color to enjoy!
Our Adventure Collies Really Enjoyed the Trail!
One of Jess and my favorite aspects of all Michigan State Park trails, is that they are very pet-friendly. Hiking is definitely our pup’s favorite activity, so we really will only go hiking where pets are welcomed.
Spectacular view of Wildwood Lake.
After making our way down the path, we found ourselves blessed with this view of Wildwood Lake. Idyllic blue skies framed the intense fall colors, and beautifully accentuated the reflections on the relatively still waters. We had to stop and capture this view, keep scrolling to see why!
Fall color surrounds Wildwood Lake
Turning back into the Holly Rec Area forest
Pretty much immediately after this view, the path winds back into a moderately hilly, forested area. With the sunlight blasting through, it didn’t take us long to find something else to point our lens at.
We loved how the sun was really bringing out the color of the leaves
Onward to see more of Wildwood Lake
The bigger portion of this hike, took us on a trail which bordered the shores of Wildwood Lake. As we were casually strolling about, there was simply so much beauty along the shore, and in the forest. Here’s a bit of what we saw
Trees overhanging and bordering Wildwood Lake
After a sojourn near the lake, it was time to continue the adventure!
After so much beauty along the shores of Wildwood Lake, the adventure continues. It was at this stage of the adventure that I was able to find a bit of smaller details to capture the fall mood of our afternoon. There were still some bits of foliage holding onto their vibrant green. But, the little Maples and Oaks were ablaze with color.
Taking a moment to stop and see the little things
Views of Valley Lake at sunset
The very last leg of our journey took us back to Valley Lake. The skies were at their most vibrant here. While, the sunset was not what would be considered spectacular… They are all unique and picturesque in their own ways. And here, finally, Anoush accommodated our lens and posed for a peaceful shot of her own. Lol
Valley Lake Sunset
Thanks for taking a trip with us to Holly State Recreation Area!
Thanks for tagging along on our adventure! We hope you enjoyed and even more-so, hope you get out into the woods and enjoy your own hiking adventures. This will give you an idea of what you can expect to find on the Wildwood and Valley Lake Loop.