Michigan is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the United States, ranging from the pristine beaches of the Pictured Rocks National Lake shore to the old-growth forests of Hartwick Pines State Park. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, there’s something for everyone in Michigan’s hiking trails. With over 12,000 miles of trails to explore, hikers can immerse themselves in nature, witness breathtaking views, and experience the diverse landscapes of Michigan. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the top hiking trails in Michigan and what makes them so special.
Upper Peninsula Hiking Trails:
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. – scenic trail with sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, and beaches
Chapel Loop Trail. – 10-mile loop at Pictured Rocks Nat’l Lakeshore with Chapel Rock and Falls views.
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. – over 90 miles of trails, incl. Escarpment Trail with Lake of the Clouds views.
Tahquamenon Falls State Park. – 4-mile hike to large Upper Falls, east of Mississippi River.
Lower Peninsula Hiking Trails:
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. – Offers miles of sandy beaches, dunes, and forests, with trails like the Dune Climb and Empire Bluff Trail.
North Country Trail. – The North Country Trail is a 4,600-mile hiking path through Michigan and other states. It features scenic sections in the Huron-Manistee and Hiawatha National Forests.
North Country Trail Association – https://northcountrytrail.org
Jordan River Pathway. – This is an 18.7 Mile Hiking loop. It takes you through the Jordan River Valley. You Will See Forests, Hill, & Wetlands.
Jordan Valley Pathway Trail map – https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/publications/pdfs/RecreationCamping/Jordan_Valley_Pathway_Map.pdf
Hartwick Pines State Park. – Hike over 10 miles of trails. Many Old-growth Forests. You will see White pine, hemlock, and hardwoods.
Central Lower Peninsula Hiking Trails:
Manistee River Trail. – 11.6-mile loop with views of waterfalls, rocks, and forests.
Manistee River Trail – https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hmnf/recarea/?recid=18710
Pinckney Recreation Area. – offers over 40 miles of trails passing through lakes, wetlands, and forests.
Midland City Forest. – 4 miles of trails through woods, wetlands, and meadows.
Midland City Forest | Midland, MI – Official Website – https://www.cityofmidlandmi.gov/1394/Midland-City-Forest
Chippewa Nature Center. – A 1,200-acre nature preserve with over 15 miles of hiking trails, including a boardwalk trail through a cattail marsh.
Southern Lower Peninsula:
Kensington Metropark. – 4,500-acre park with over 17 miles of hiking trails, including the Lakeshore Trail that follows the edge of Kent Lake.
Kensington Metro Park – https://www.metroparks.com/kensington-metropark/
Highland State Recreation Area. – Offers over 16 miles of hiking trails through hilly terrain, with views of the Huron River and Teeple Lake.
Paint Creek Trail. – A 8.9-mile linear trail that follows the former Penn Central Railroad corridor, with views of Paint Creek and the Rochester Hills.
Maybury State Park. – Features over 6 miles of hiking trails through wooded areas and open fields, with a mix of easy and moderate trails.
https://www.michigantrailmaps.com/ is a great resource for anyone looking to explore Michigan’s hiking trails. They offer a comprehensive collection of trail maps for various regions of Michigan, including the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. The website provides detailed trail descriptions, distances, and topographical maps, making it easy to plan your next hiking adventure. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting, MichiganTrailMaps.com is a fantastic resource to help you explore the beauty of Michigan’s trails.