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Are you looking for a way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life? Do you crave the feeling of fresh air in your lungs and the sound of nature surrounding you? The best hiking trails in Michigan might be for you.
With over 13,000 miles of state-designated trails, Michigan offers some of the best hiking experiences in the country. Hiking in Michigan is one of the best Michigan outdoor adventures you can do. From the stunning waterfalls and dense forests of Northern Michigan to the lesser-known trails near Michigan’s inland lakes, there’s a hiking trail for every level of hiker.
Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker or just starting out, Michigan’s hiking trails will provide you with the freedom to explore the beauty of nature at your own pace. The freedom of the great outdoors awaits you.
- Michigan offers thousands of miles of hiking trails with diverse scenery, including dense forests, cascades, lakes, and views of Great Lakes.
- The state has several popular trails, such as the Empire Bluff Trail, Iron Belle Trail, Sugarloaf Mountain, and Au Sable River Foot Trail, among others, that provide different levels of difficulty.
- Michigan’s North Country Scenic Trail is the longest designated state trail in the US and offers various camping options for hikers, from primitive backcountry sites to established campgrounds and rustic shelters.
- Michigan’s county parks, nature preserves, and state parks, such as Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and Manistee National Forest, offer family-friendly hikes, backpacking opportunities, and beautiful scenery.
Best Hiking Trails in Northern Michigan
If you’re looking for the best hiking trails in Northern Michigan, you’ll want to check out the Escarpment Trail in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. This scenic hike offers breathtaking views of Lake of the Clouds and the surrounding area.
Another great option is the Sleeping Bear Dunes Heritage Trail, a 9-mile roundtrip ride from Dune Climb to Glen Arbor that allows you to explore the stunning Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
For a more rugged experience, try the Canyon Gorge Trail in Copper Harbor or the Mason Tract Pathway in George Mason River Retreat. We’ll cover those below in our guide.
And don’t forget about the Bare Bluff Trail, which offers stunning views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding wilderness.
The Escarpment Trail in Upper Michigan is one of the most scenic trails in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. It’s also one of the best scenic drives in Michigan to get there!
It provides an unforgettable hiking experience. As you traverse the rugged landscape, breathtaking views of the surrounding wilderness will leave you in awe.
The trail’s 4.4-mile loop takes you up to the escarpment, where you can see Lake of the Clouds and the Carp River Valley from high above. This trail is one of the best hiking spots in Michigan, and it’s easy to see why. The views are simply stunning, and the sense of freedom you get from being out in nature is unparalleled.
If you’re looking for scenic trails in Michigan, the Escarpment Trail is a must-visit destination.
When you’re exploring Michigan, don’t forget to check out the Heritage Trail. This popular hiking trail offers a nine-mile roundtrip ride from Dune Climb to Glen Arbor and showcases the natural beauty of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
The trail takes you through lush forests, over sand dunes, and past stunning vistas of Lake Michigan. Keep an eye out for the boardwalks that help protect the wetlands from being compacted by foot traffic.
To make the most of your time on the Heritage Trail, be sure to bring plenty of water and wear comfortable hiking shoes. You can use Michigan Trail Maps to plan your route and ensure you don’t miss any of the highlights.
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, this trail is the perfect way to experience the natural beauty of Michigan. So pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready for an adventure you’ll never forget.
Canyon Gorge Trail
Get ready to be awed as you traverse the stunning Canyon Gorge Trail, a must-visit destination for adventure seekers like yourself in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This scenic trail is located in the McCormick Wilderness Area and offers a challenging hike through rugged terrain, towering cliffs, and the breathtaking Canyon Falls. The trail is approximately 5 miles long and takes about 3-4 hours to complete, but the stunning views and serene surroundings make it well worth the effort.
As you traverse the Canyon Gorge Trail, you will be surrounded by some of the most beautiful and untouched nature that Michigan has to offer. This trail is just one of many scenic trails in Michigan, offering adventurers like yourself the chance to explore the state’s natural beauty.
Mason Tract Pathway
You’ll love exploring the Mason Tract Pathway, a beautiful hiking trail that winds through the George Mason River Retreat in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. This 11-mile loop trail offers a unique wilderness experience with stunning views of the Manistee River.
The trail takes you through a mix of pine and hardwood forests, across streams and rivers, and through a variety of terrain, making it a must-visit hiking trail in Michigan. The Manistee river is also a great place to kayak in Michigan if you prefer the natural beauty of Michigan’s untouched riverbed shorelines.
The Mason Tract Pathway is perfect for those who want a true wilderness experience without having to travel too far from civilization. The trail is well-maintained and well-marked, making it accessible for hikers of all skill levels.
So if you’re looking for a Michigan wilderness hike that will take your breath away, the Mason Tract Pathway should be at the top of your list of must-visit hiking trails in Michigan.
Bare Bluff Trail
To fully appreciate the stunning views of Lake Michigan from the top of Bare Bluff Trail, you’ll need a decent pair of hiking boots and a willingness to tackle a challenging but rewarding hike in the heart of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
This trail is a must-visit for anyone looking to explore the best scenic trails in Michigan.
As you make your way up the trail, you’ll pass through dense forests and over rocky terrain before reaching the summit, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the lake below.
So if you’re looking for a new adventure in Michigan, make sure to add Bare Bluff Trail to your list of must-visit hiking trails.
Big M Trail
Now that you’ve explored the Bare Bluff Trail, it’s time to discover another hidden gem in Michigan’s hiking trails. Have you heard of the Big M Trail? Located in the Manistee National Forest, this trail offers over 40 miles of well-maintained paths that weave through the forest and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding wilderness.
But what sets the Big M Trail apart from other hiking trails in Michigan? To answer that question, let’s take a look at this table:
|Feature||Big M Trail|
|Trail Length||Over 40 miles|
|Scenery||Forests, meadows, and wetlands|
|Wildlife||Deer, foxes, and various bird species|
|Amenities||Campsites, picnic areas, and restrooms|
As you can see, the Big M Trail offers a unique experience for hikers looking to explore Michigan’s natural beauty. With its moderate difficulty level, this trail is perfect for both novice and experienced hikers. So, if you’re looking for a new adventure and some Michigan trail recommendations, be sure to add the Big M Trail to your list!
Empire Bluff Trail
Located in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the Empire Bluff Trail is one of the most scenic trails in Michigan.
This 1.5-mile hike takes you through a dense forest and up a steep incline to a breathtaking overlook of Lake Michigan.
The view from Empire Bluff Trail is unparalleled, offering a stunning panoramic vista of the Great Lakes that will leave you feeling awestruck.
If you’re looking for a Michigan coastal hike that offers incredible views and a moderate challenge, Empire Bluff Trail is the perfect choice.
Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker or a weekend warrior, Empire Bluff Trail is a must-visit destination on your next trip to Michigan’s hiking trails.
Sugarloaf Mountain Trail
The Sugarloaf Mountain Trail in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a popular hiking destination that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding forests and lakes. As you hike the trail, you’ll be rewarded with stunning vistas that stretch for miles.
So whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, the Sugarloaf Mountain Trail is definitely worth adding to your list of must-visit Michigan mountain trails.
The Sugarloaf Mountain Trail is just one of many popular hiking trails in Michigan. With over 13,000 miles of state-designated trails, Michigan is known as The Trails State. From the dense forests and tumbling cascades of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to the stunning vistas of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, there’s no shortage of natural beauty to explore in Michigan.
So grab your hiking boots, check out the visitor’s center, and hit the trails! The freedom of the great outdoors is waiting for you!
Iron Belle Trail
You can experience the longest designated state trail in the US by exploring the Iron Belle Trail. This trail is a hiking enthusiast’s dream, as it cuts through 48 counties in Michigan and offers breathtaking views of the state’s diverse landscapes. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, the Iron Belle Trail has something for everyone.
Traverse through dense forests, cross over tumbling cascades, and take in the glimmering mountaintop lakes. The trail is a testament to Michigan’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty and provides a unique opportunity to explore some of the state’s most stunning scenery.
If you’re looking for the ultimate Michigan hiking destination, the Iron Belle Trail should be on your list. It’s a great way to experience Michigan’s trail systems, which boast over 13,000 miles of state-designated trails. The Iron Belle Trail is a prime example of the state’s dedication to providing outdoor enthusiasts with an exceptional hiking experience.
If you’re looking for a scenic and enjoyable fun things to do in Traverse City, hop on the Tart Trail. This 10.5 mile paved trail takes you through forests, pastures, and along the shores of West Grand Traverse Bay.
The trail is named after the Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation (TART) Trails organization, which maintains over 100 miles of trails in the region. The Tart Trail is perfect for a leisurely bike ride or a peaceful walk, with plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the stunning views of northern Michigan.
Explore Leelanau Trail, a beautiful 17 mile unpaved trail that winds through the stunning countryside of northern Michigan. This trail is perfect for those who are looking for a peaceful and scenic hike in the midst of Michigan’s forested landscape. As you hike along this trail, you will be surrounded by a variety of trees including oak, maple, and beech, and may even spot some wildlife such as deer or wild turkeys.
To help you plan your hike, here is a table of some other popular Michigan hiking destinations and family-friendly hikes in Michigan:
|Michigan Hiking Destinations||Family-Friendly Hikes in Michigan|
|Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore||Ledges Trail in Fitzgerald County Park|
|Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park||Old Growth Forest Trail in Hartwick Pines State Park|
|Isle Royale National Park||Cottonwood Trail in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore|
|North Manitou Island in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore||Bald Eagle and Blue Heron Loop in Crosswinds Marsh County Park|
|Manistee River Trail in Manistee National Forest||Crooked Lake Trail in Pinckney Recreation Area|
With so many Michigan forest trails to choose from, Leelanau Trail is just one of many great options for hiking in Michigan. If you get tired of hiking, take a break at any of the best Leelanau Peninsula wineries in the area.
Little Traverse Wheelway
Now that you’ve explored the Leelanau Trail, it’s time to discover the Little Traverse Wheelway. This paved trail stretches 26 miles from Charlevoix to Harbor Springs, offering stunning views of Lake Michigan and passing through charming towns along the way. It’s perfect for a family-friendly hike or bike ride, with plenty of spots to stop for a picnic or ice cream cone.
But the Little Traverse Wheelway isn’t just a leisurely stroll. It’s also part of a larger network of Michigan hiking destinations, including the North Country Trail and the Michigan Hiking Loops. So, if you’re up for a challenge, you can extend your hike and explore even more of this beautiful state.
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, the Little Traverse Wheelway is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty of Michigan.
Best Hiking Trails in Southeast Michigan
If you’re looking for some great hikes in Southeast Michigan, there are a few trails that you definitely don’t want to miss. The Detroit RiverWalk is a beautiful path that showcases street art and offers separate lanes for cyclists and pedestrians.
Paint Creek Trail, Blue Heron Loop at Crosswinds Marsh County Park, Crooked Lake Trail at Pinckney Recreation Area, and Graham Lakes Trail at Bald Mountain Recreation Area are all family-friendly hikes with stunning views that are sure to impress.
You’ll be amazed by the vibrant street art and stunning views of the Detroit River on the Dequindre Cut, a two-mile recreational path that is a must-visit on the Detroit RiverWalk. This path showcases excellent street art and has separate lanes for cyclists and pedestrians, making it perfect for a family-friendly hike in Michigan.
There are also 5-mile routes on the Detroit RiverWalk as well extending down to Belle Isle which is a 982 acre park located in the Detroit river with spectacular views of the Canadian shoreline.
The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is a steward of the Detroit RiverWalk and Dequindre Cut Greenway, ensuring that visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience while exploring this beautiful area.
If you’re looking for Michigan hiking destinations, the Detroit RiverWalk is just one of many fun things to do in Detroit and in the state.
Paint Creek Trail
Explore the picturesque Paint Creek Trail, a 9-mile paved trail running from Rochester to Lake Orion, winding through beautiful parks and over the glistening Paint Creek. This family-friendly hike in Michigan is perfect for a leisurely stroll or bike ride, offering stunning views of the surrounding nature.
Here are three things you can do to make the most out of your visit to the Paint Creek Trail:
- Pack a picnic and take a break at the picnic areas located along the trail.
- Look out for wildlife such as deer, foxes, and birds that call this area home.
- Take a detour to the nearby Yates Cider Mill and enjoy a refreshing glass of apple cider or a delicious donut.
The Paint Creek Trail is just one of many Michigan trail recommendations. As one of Michigan’s top hiking trails, it offers a unique opportunity to escape into nature and enjoy the beauty of Michigan’s outdoors.
Blue Heron Loop at Crosswinds Marsh County Park
Now, let’s move on to another trail in Michigan that’s worth checking out. If you’re looking for a scenic hike that’s perfect for a day trip, the Blue Heron Loop at Crosswinds Marsh County Park should be on your list of Michigan trail recommendations.
This 3.5-mile loop takes you through a beautiful wetland area that’s home to a variety of bird species. You can spot blue herons, sandhill cranes, and even bald eagles if you’re lucky. The trail is suitable for Michigan skiing in the winter.
The Blue Heron Loop is a great option for those who want to experience the beauty of Michigan’s backcountry hiking without going too far away from civilization. You’ll get to enjoy the fresh air and nature while also being close to amenities like restrooms and picnic areas.
Plus, the park is only a short drive from major cities like Detroit and Ann Arbor. So, if you’re looking for a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, head on over to Crosswinds Marsh County Park and take a stroll on the Blue Heron Loop.
Crooked Lake Trail at Pinckney Recreation Area
If you’re up for a scenic hike in the beautiful state of Michigan, head over to Crooked Lake Trail at Pinckney Recreation Area. This trail is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts alike.
It’s known to be one of Michigan’s top hiking trails and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding lakes and forests. The trail is 5.5 miles long and is considered to be of moderate difficulty level, making it perfect for a day hike.
The trail takes you through beautiful wooded areas and along the shores of Crooked Lake. The trail is well-marked and maintained, so you won’t have to worry about getting lost.
It’s a great way to spend a day in nature and enjoy the beauty of Michigan’s hiking destinations.
Graham Lakes Trail at Bald Mountain Recreation Area
You don’t want to miss the stunning Graham Lakes Trail at Bald Mountain Recreation Area – it’s a hidden gem that offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This 4.3-mile loop trail takes you through beautiful forests and around three serene lakes, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding nature.
To help you plan your adventure, here’s a table outlining some of the top hiking destinations and mountain trails in Michigan:
|Hiking Destination||Trail Name||Distance|
|Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore||Pyramid Point Loop Trail||2.7 miles|
|Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park||Escarpment Trail||5.2 miles|
|Isle Royale National Park||Minong Ridge Trail||28.4 miles|
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting, Michigan offers a diverse range of hiking experiences for all. From the serene lakes of Graham Lakes Trail to the rugged terrain of Escarpment Trail, there’s something for everyone. So pack your hiking boots and get ready to explore Michigan’s top hiking trails and mountain trails.
Haven Hill Natural Area at Highland Recreation Area
Ready to escape into nature and explore a hidden gem? Head to Haven Hill Natural Area, located in Highland Recreation Area. You can hike through the lush forests and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
This Michigan hiking destination offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, with over six miles of trails to explore.
Here are some reasons why Haven Hill Natural Area should be on your list of Michigan top hiking trails:
- The trails are well-maintained and offer a range of difficulty levels, from easy to moderate.
- You can hike through a variety of landscapes, including wetlands, hardwood forests, and open meadows.
- Keep an eye out for wildlife, such as deer, foxes, and birds of prey.
- The highlight of the natural area is the historic Haven Hill Estate, once home to Edsel Ford and now a popular spot for picnicking and exploring.
With its stunning natural beauty and rich history, Haven Hill Natural Area is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the best hiking trails in Michigan.
Hickory Ridge Trail at Island Lake Recreation Area
Get lost in the natural beauty of Island Lake Recreation Area by exploring the winding and challenging Hickory Ridge Trail, where you’ll encounter stunning views of the surrounding forests and wildlife along the way. This 4.5-mile loop trail is one of Michigan’s top hiking trails, offering a moderate level of difficulty that will satisfy both novice and experienced hikers.
The trail begins at the Hickory Ridge trailhead and takes you through a diverse landscape of hardwood forests, wetlands, and glacially formed hills, providing an unforgettable hiking experience.
To help you plan your Michigan hiking destinations, check out the table below for Michigan trail recommendations.
This list includes some of the best hiking trails in Michigan, ranging from easy family-friendly hikes to more challenging backpacking trips. Whether you’re looking for a quick day hike or a multi-day adventure, Michigan has something for everyone. Lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails to explore the natural beauty of the Great Lakes State.
|Isle Royale National Park||Upper Peninsula||45 miles|
|North Country Trail||Various locations||Over 4,000 miles|
|Manistee River Trail||Manistee National Forest||20 miles|
|Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore||Upper Peninsula||42 miles|
|Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore||Lower Peninsula||Over 100 miles|
|Hickory Ridge Trail||Island Lake Recreation Area||4.5 miles|
|Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park||Upper Peninsula||Over 90 miles|
|Jordan River Pathway||Jordan River Valley||18 miles|
|Huron Sunrise Trail||Lake Huron Shoreline||11 miles|
|Sugarloaf Mountain||Upper Peninsula||0.6 miles|
So what are you waiting for? Lace up your hiking boots, grab your backpack, and hit the trail to discover the natural beauty of Michigan’s top hiking destinations. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water, snacks, and your sense of adventure as you embark on your next Michigan hiking adventure.
Best Multi-Day Backpacking Trails in Michigan
If you’re looking for the best multi-day backpacking trails in Michigan, there are plenty of options to choose from. Michigan’s hiking trails are unique attractions in Michigan for many that are not found easily in the country.
The Lakeshore Trail in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a popular choice, offering stunning views of Lake Superior and towering cliffs.
|Lakeshore Trail||Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore||42.4 miles||Moderate||Beach camping, stunning views|
|Minong Ridge Trail||Isle Royale National Park||29 miles||Difficult||Wildlife sightings, remote wilderness|
|Waterloo-Pinckney Trail||Chelsea to Pinckney||33.9 miles||Moderate||Woodlands, wetlands, prairies|
|Manistee River Trail||Manistee National Forest||11 miles||Moderate||Walk-up campsites, river views|
|North Manitou Island||Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore||30 miles of trails||Moderate||Remote island, beach camping|
For a more remote experience, consider the Minong Ridge Trail in Isle Royale National Park. It takes hikers through rugged terrain and offers the chance to spot moose and wolves.
The North Country Loop, Grand Stable Dunes to Grand Marais, and Waterloo-Pinckney Trail are also excellent choices for backpackers looking for a longer adventure.
To fully appreciate the beauty of Michigan’s Lakeshore Trail, you should pack your hiking boots and head out on a picturesque adventure through the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. This 42-mile trail takes you on a journey along the stunning Lake Superior shoreline, with breathtaking views of sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, and sparkling blue water.
Here are five reasons why the Lakeshore Trail is a must-visit on any list of Michigan’s top hiking trails:
- The trail takes you through the heart of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, a natural wonderland with some of the most stunning geological formations in the country.
- You’ll pass by several waterfalls along the way, including the picturesque Chapel Falls and the towering Spray Falls, which cascade down a 70-foot cliff into Lake Superior.
- The Lakeshore Trail is one of the most scenic hikes in Michigan, with panoramic views of the lake and surrounding wilderness at every turn.
- The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, making it accessible to hikers of all skill levels.
- Camping is available at several sites along the trail, allowing you to experience the beauty of the lakeshore at any time of day or night.
With its stunning waterfalls, breathtaking views, and easy accessibility, it’s no wonder why this trail is one of Michigan’s top waterfall hikes.
Minong Ridge Trail
Immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park by taking on the Minong Ridge Trail, one of the top hiking trails in Michigan.
This 29-mile trail offers a challenging but rewarding experience for those seeking to push their limits. With steep inclines, rocky terrain, and unpredictable weather, this trail is not for the faint of heart. But for those who are up for the challenge, the Minong Ridge Trail offers breathtaking views of Lake Superior, untouched wilderness, and a sense of freedom that can only be found in the great outdoors.
|Trail Length||29 miles|
|Wildlife Sightings||Moose, wolves, and foxes|
|Best Time to Hike||Late June to early September|
As one of Michigan’s top hiking trail recommendations, the Minong Ridge Trail is a must-visit destination for any avid hiker. This long-distance trail is perfect for those seeking a multi-day backpacking adventure.
Along the way, you’ll find numerous campsites with stunning views of the lake and surrounding wilderness. Just be sure to pack accordingly and follow best practices for backcountry camping.
So if you’re looking for a true wilderness experience in Michigan, look no further than the Minong Ridge Trail.
Grand Stable Dunes to Grand Marais
Explore the stunning natural beauty of Michigan as you trek from Grand Stable Dunes to Grand Marais, taking in the breathtaking scenery along the way. This trail is perfect for those who crave adventure and a desire to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
The 42-mile trail offers stunning views of Lake Superior, rocky cliffs, and dense forests that will leave you in awe. As you hike, you’ll have the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife, from black bears and wolves to bald eagles soaring overhead.
The trail is challenging, so make sure to bring proper hiking gear and plenty of water. But the reward is well worth it, as you’ll witness some of the most beautiful scenery Michigan has to offer. So, set your sights on Grand Stable Dunes to Grand Marais and experience the freedom of the great outdoors.
Discover the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail, a 35-mile trek through some of Michigan’s most stunning scenery, including dense forests and rolling hills. This trail is part of the Potawatomi Trail system and is located in Southeast Michigan. It is a popular destination for hikers, backpackers, and horse riders alike, offering something for everyone who loves the great outdoors.
The Waterloo-Pinckney Trail is divided into four sections, each with its own unique features. The table below summarizes the length and notable features of each section, so you can plan your trek accordingly. Whether you’re looking for a day hike or a multi-day backpacking trip, the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking adventure and freedom in Michigan’s beautiful wilderness.
|Section 1||5.3 miles||Waterloo Recreation Area’s Eddy Discovery Center|
|Section 2||8.5 miles||Rolling hills and the historic Green Lake Campground|
|Section 3||10 miles||Waterloo State Recreation Area’s biggest hills|
|Section 4||11.6 miles||Pinckney Recreation Area’s Crooked Lake and Halfmoon Lake|
Manistee River Trail
The Manistee River Trail offers a stunning 11-mile loop through natural waterfalls and varied terrain, providing backpackers with an unforgettable experience in Michigan’s Northern Lower Peninsula. This trail is rated as moderate to difficult, making it a great option for those seeking a challenging adventure.
As you hike, you’ll encounter breathtaking views of the river and surrounding forest, and may even spot some wildlife along the way.
To make the most of your backpacking trip on the Manistee River Trail, consider these helpful tips:
- Camping is available at Seaton Creek National Forest Campground or Red Bridge Access Site.
- Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, as there are limited resources along the trail.
- Don’t forget to pack a map and compass, as the trail can be difficult to navigate at times.
North Manitou Island
For a true off-the-grid experience, you should definitely consider backpacking to North Manitou Island, where you can immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of Lake Michigan without any distractions.
This remote island is part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and is only accessible by ferry or private boat.
Once you arrive, you’ll find 15 miles of hiking trails that wind through forests, sand dunes, and along the shoreline.
The island is a designated wilderness area, meaning there are no roads, stores, or other amenities.
You’ll need to bring all of your own food, water, and camping gear.
But the lack of modern conveniences is part of the appeal for those seeking a true wilderness experience.
With no cell phone service or distractions, you’ll have plenty of time to connect with nature and enjoy the solitude of this beautiful island.
Lesser-Known Trails Near Michigan’s Inland Lakes
Are you looking for a peaceful hiking experience away from the crowds? Consider exploring some of the lesser-known trails near Michigan’s inland lakes.
You can enjoy the serenity and coastal beauty of Lake Huron or take tranquil hikes along the state’s picturesque small lakes.
With so many options for hiking adventures, there’s something for everyone in Michigan’s stunning wilderness.
Lake Huron Trails: Serenity and Coastal Beauty
Experience the serenity and coastal beauty of Lake Huron Trails while hiking in Michigan’s Northern Lower Peninsula. The Huron Sunrise Trail is a must-visit destination for its breathtaking views of Lake Huron’s shoreline and best Lake Huron beaches in Michigan. This 11.1-mile trail takes you through a mix of evergreen forests, sandy beaches, and rocky cliffs.
It ends at Hoeft State Park where you can relax on the beach, swim in the lake, or have a picnic with your loved ones. The trail is moderate in difficulty, so it’s perfect for beginners and experienced hikers alike. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the stunning views of the lake and the surrounding nature.
Another trail that offers coastal beauty is the Sand Lakes Quiet Area trail. This trail takes you through five marl lakes that are surrounded by a mix of hardwood and pine forests. The trail is 7.7 miles long and is perfect for backpackers who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
You can camp at the Guernsey Lake State Forest Campground, which is located near the trailhead. The area is quiet and peaceful, and motorized vehicles are prohibited, so you can enjoy the sounds of nature without any distractions. If you’re looking for a trail that’s off the beaten path and offers a serene atmosphere, then the Sand Lakes Quiet Area trail is perfect for you.
Tranquil Hikes Along Michigan’s Inland Waterways
Discover the tranquility of hiking along Michigan’s inland waterways, where you can immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings and connect with nature on a deeper level.
Michigan’s inland waterways offer some of the most serene hiking trails in the state, with towering trees, crystal-clear streams, and abundant wildlife. The trails wind through the woods, along the water’s edge through the best lakes in Michigan, and over hills, offering stunning views and the chance to explore some of Michigan’s most beautiful natural landscapes.
As you hike, you’ll feel the stress of daily life melt away, replaced by a sense of freedom and peace. The quiet surroundings will allow you to reconnect with yourself and nature, and the beauty of the landscape will inspire you to keep exploring.
Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, Michigan’s inland waterways have something to offer everyone who craves a sense of adventure and a connection to the natural world. So, lace up your hiking boots, grab your backpack, and head out to explore the tranquil beauty of Michigan’s inland waterways today.
Hiking Adventures Near Michigan’s Picturesque Small Lakes
Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Michigan’s picturesque small lakes by exploring the scenic hiking adventures available nearby. Lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails to discover the hidden gems scattered throughout the state’s charming small lake towns.
Here are some of the best hiking spots to add to your outdoor adventure list:
- Traverse City: Take a hike around the lovely Boardman Lake Trail, which offers stunning views of the lake and the city. For a more challenging trek, head to the 3.5-mile Hickory Hills Loop Trail, which boasts steep inclines and rewarding views of the surrounding forests and lakes.
- Petoskey: Explore the hidden wonders of the Bear River Valley Recreation Area by hiking the Bear River Valley Trail. The 1.5-mile trail winds through wooded areas, along the river, and past several picturesque waterfalls. For a longer and more challenging hike, check out the 5-mile North Country Trail, which takes you through dense forests and offers panoramic views of Lake Michigan.
North Country National Scenic Trail in Michigan
Are you ready to explore the North Country National Scenic Trail in Michigan?
With over 1,000 miles of trail to hike, you’ll want to plan ahead for trail access points and starting locations. Luckily, there are plenty of camping and accommodation options along the way, as well as nearby attractions and side trips to add even more adventure to your journey.
Plus, you can connect with other hikers and share stories and experiences at events and festivals celebrating the North Country Trail in Michigan.
Trail Access Points and Starting Locations
To access Michigan’s amazing hiking trails, you’ll need to know where to start! Luckily, there are plenty of trail access points throughout the state, from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to the Huron-Manistee National Forest, where you can lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails.
For example, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore boasts more than 100 miles of hiking trails, with popular starting points including Empire Bluff Trail, Pyramid Point Loop Trail, and the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail.
The Huron-Manistee National Forest also provides access to miles of hiking trails, with popular starting locations including the Manistee River Trail, North Country Trail, and Jordan River Trail. Additionally, the North Country Trail has numerous camping options, from primitive backcountry sites to established campgrounds and rustic shelters.
No matter where you choose to start your hike, be sure to check for backcountry permits, campground fees, fire restrictions, and waste disposal guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
Camping and Accommodation Options
Now that you know where to start your hike, it’s time to talk about camping and accommodation options.
Michigan has a variety of camping options, from primitive backcountry sites to established campgrounds with amenities. The North Country Scenic Trail has numerous camping options along its route, so be sure to check the interactive map for updated suggestions. Keep in mind that backcountry permits, campground fees, fire restrictions, and waste disposal should always be considered before setting up camp.
Backpackers looking for a more rustic experience can camp on bluffs and beaches along the Lakeshore Trail, and the Alger County Transit Authority even drops off backpackers at various points along the trail.
For those seeking family-friendly hikes, there are plenty of options in county parks and nature preserves, with trails like the Ledges Trail in Fitzgerald County Park and the Cottonwood Trail in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
With so many trails and camping options, Michigan truly earns its nickname as The Trails State.
Nearby Attractions and Side Trips
While you’re exploring Michigan’s incredible hiking trails, don’t forget to check out the nearby attractions and side trips that will add even more excitement to your adventure.
If you’re looking for something to do after a long day of hiking, head to one of Michigan’s many lakes or beaches for some swimming or kayaking. The Great Lakes offer endless opportunities for water sports and relaxation, and many hiking trails pass by these stunning bodies of water.
If you’re interested in history and culture, make sure to check out some of Michigan’s museums and historic sites. The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn is one of the largest indoor-outdoor history museums in the country, while the Mackinac Island State Park offers a glimpse into Michigan’s colonial past.
For a unique experience, take a trip to one of Michigan’s many lighthouses, which dot the coastlines and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
With so much to see and do in Michigan, there’s no shortage of activities to add even more excitement and adventure to your hiking trip.
Stories and Experiences from Hikers on the North Country Trail
Get inspired by the stories and experiences of hikers who’ve traversed the North Country Trail in Michigan. This national scenic trail spans over 4,800 miles across eight states, but the Michigan section is truly special.
You’ll find yourself immersed in some of the most breathtaking scenery the state has to offer, from rolling hills to dense forests and cascading waterfalls.
Hikers on the North Country Trail in Michigan have reported feeling a deep sense of connection to nature and a renewed appreciation for the beauty of the world around them. Some have even said that the experience changed their lives.
Whether you’re an experienced backpacker or a beginner, the North Country Trail in Michigan is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking adventure, freedom, and a deeper connection to the natural world.
Events and Festivals Celebrating the North Country Trail in Michigan
Discover the vibrant culture surrounding the North Country Trail in Michigan by attending one of the many exciting events and festivals taking place throughout the year. From trail races to music festivals, there’s something for every outdoor enthusiast.
The North Country Trail Hike 100 Challenge encourages hikers to complete 100 miles of the trail in one year, with rewards for those who accomplish the feat. The North Country Trail Association also hosts events such as trail maintenance days and guided hikes.
The North Country Trail Celebration takes place annually in a different location along the trail. This multi-day event includes guided hikes, educational sessions, and entertainment. The festival showcases the natural beauty and rich history of the trail, as well as the communities it passes through.
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just getting started, attending an event on the North Country Trail is a great way to connect with nature and like-minded individuals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any hiking trails in Michigan that are accessible for people with disabilities?
Yes, Michigan has accessible hiking trails for people with disabilities. The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, Dequindre Cut Greenway, and Silver Lake State Park all offer wheelchair-friendly paths and boardwalks.
What is the best time of year to go hiking in Michigan?
The best time to go hiking in Michigan is during the fall season, specifically September and October, when the leaves change colors. The weather is cooler, and the trails are less crowded, giving you the freedom to explore nature at your own pace.
Are there any guided hiking tours available in Michigan?
Yes, there are guided hiking tours available in Michigan. Several companies offer guided hikes in various locations across the state, providing a unique and educational experience for those looking to explore the outdoors with a knowledgeable guide.
What are some safety tips for hiking in Michigan?
When hiking in Michigan, be prepared by bringing proper gear, checking weather conditions, and telling someone your plans. Stay on designated trails, avoid poisonous plants, and watch for wildlife. Carry water and snacks, and follow Leave No Trace principles.
Are there any hiking trails in Michigan that are particularly good for birdwatching?
Yes, Michigan has some great hiking trails for birdwatching. Check out the Jordan River Pathway, where you can spot a variety of birds, including bald eagles. The Pigeon River Country State Forest is another great option.
What are some of the best hiking trails in Michigan?
Michigan is home to numerous beautiful hiking trails that offer stunning views and unique landscapes. Some of the best hiking trails in Michigan include Pyramid Point Trail, Au Sable River Foot Trail, Potawatomi Trail, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
What are the scenic and northern hiking trails in Michigan?
Scenic and northern hiking trails in Michigan include Dune Trail, Escarpment Trail, Pyramid Point Trail, Au Sable River Foot Trail, Ridge Trail, Big Carp River Trail, Great Warren Dune Trail, Greenstone Ridge Trail, and Manistee River Loop Trail.
What is Au Sable River and its significance in hiking trails?
Au Sable River is a river in northern Michigan that runs for almost 140 miles before flowing into Lake Huron. It’s a popular spot for canoeing, fishing, and hiking as it offers scenic beauty and access to several nearby hiking trails, including the Au Sable River Foot Trail and North Country River Trail.
What are Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore?
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore are both national parks in Michigan. They offer several hiking trails that showcase Michigan’s beautiful natural landscapes, including Lake Michigan beaches, sand dunes, and rocky cliffs.
What are some of the best lookout points or scenic overlooks along hiking trails in Michigan?
Some of the best lookout points or scenic overlooks along hiking trails in Michigan include Pyramid Point, Sleeping Bear Point, Chapel Rock, and the top of the dunes at Warren Dunes State Park.
What are some of the best backpacking trails in Michigan?
The Porcupine Mountains, Isle Royale National Park, and North Country Trail are some of the best backpacking trails in Michigan. These trails offer beautiful scenery and a rugged wilderness experience.
Can mountain bikers enjoy hiking trails in Michigan?
Yes, many of Michigan’s hiking trails are also open to mountain bikers. However, it’s important to check trail regulations and be mindful of other trail users.
What makes Michigan’s hiking trails unique?
Michigan’s hiking trails are unique for their wide range of landscapes and natural features. From sandy beaches and towering sand dunes to rocky coastlines and lush forests, Michigan’s hiking trails offer a diverse range of experiences for hikers of all skill levels.
Congratulations! You’ve just discovered some of the best hiking trails in Michigan.
From the stunning views of the Empire Bluff Trail to the rugged terrain of the North Country National Scenic Trail, Michigan’s hiking trails offer something for everyone.
Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, there are plenty of trails to explore. So what are you waiting for? Grab your timberlands and hit those trails!
Whether you’re looking for a quick day hike or a multi-day backpacking adventure, Michigan’s hiking trails are sure to provide you with unforgettable experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.
Don’t forget to bring plenty of water, snacks, and a camera to capture all of the breathtaking scenery along the way.