Hiking Trails in Michigan: Everything You Should Know!

Hiking Trails in Michigan

Michigan’s lovely weather and exquisite beauty make it easy for people to dream of hiking adventures in its surroundings.

If you’re a hiking enthusiast and you’ve seen the beauty of Michigan, you’re likely to wonder if they have hiking trails you can explore.

Well, as you read further, you’ll get all the answers you need concerning hiking trails in Michigan that’ll guarantee an amazing experience.

Michigan is one of the best hiking destinations in the United States, boasting over 13,000 miles of state-designated trails. Beautifully marked hiking trails scattered all over Michigan make it suitable for beginners and professionals alike. There are also mountain hiking trails to spice up your adventure and make it unforgettable.

This article explains if there are hiking trails in Michigan that are suitable for beginners and if there are mountain hiking trails in Michigan.

By the end, you’ll know if it’s advisable to go hiking in Michigan and the best hiking trails in the area. 

Can You Go Hiking in Michigan? Are There Good Hiking Trails?

Hiking Trails in Michigan

Michigan is one of the best places to go on hiking adventures because of the fantastic scenes.

Michigan is home to several government-paved hiking trails where your safety and comfort are assured for the duration of your hike.

If you’re ever in Michigan and you feel like exploring nature, visiting one or more hiking trails

 is the best way to do it.

Also, the table below can act as a map showing the locations and lengths of hiking trails in Michigan to help you make an informed choice; 

Michigan Hiking TrailsLength of Hiking TrailsRespective Counties
Big Rapids Riverwalk Trail3.8 milesMecosta
East-West Connector Trail2.1 milesWayne
Falling Waters Trail10.5 milesJackson
Bay-Zil Rail Trail7 milesBay and Saginaw
Fred Meijer Clinton-Ionia Shiawassee Trail41.4 milesClinton, Ionia and Shiawassee
Bruno’s Run Trail9.25 milesAlger
Dequindre Cut Greenway Trail1.8 milesWayne
Rouge River Gateway Greenway Trail19.5 milesWayne
Fred Meijer Heartland Trail41.8 milesGratiot and Montcalm
Holland Metro Trail150 milesOttawa 
Black Creek Nature Trail1.6 milesGenesse
Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail5.3 milesBerrien
Kal Haven Trail State Pack34 miles Kalamazoo and Van Buren
Muskegon Lakeshore Trail11.2 milesMuskegon
Applewood Trail1.8 milesGenesse

What is the Best Hiking Trail in Michigan?

There are so many amazing hiking trails in Michigan, so it’s impossible to decide which is the best, but there’s a trail that comes close enough.

The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail is very popular amongst hikers because of the unique scenery and the adventurous routes.

The hiking trails are paved with asphalt to ensure that the hikers have the best experiences, and they draw in millions of visitors yearly.

You can also enjoy bike riding or cross-country skiing on the Kalamazoo River Valley trails if you ever want to take a break from hiking.

Top 10 Hiking Trails in Michigan 

There are several hiking trails in Michigan to choose from, but I’ve managed to single out ten of the best you’ll ever visit.

For further understanding, below are the details on the top ten hiking trails in Michigan; 

#1. Kalamazoo River Valley Trail

The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail has a breathtaking river scenery that makes it a lovely hiking trail to explore. 

This trail is over 30 miles long, and you’ll enjoy the wooded areas the most if you have the appropriate equipment.

Interestingly, this hiking trail also doubles as a biking trail, so you can bring your bike along and enjoy a ride whenever you’re tired of walking.

You can also bring your dogs along when visiting the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, but they must be on a leash the entire time.

There are free parking spaces around the hiking trail, so you don’t have to worry about your vehicle’s safety.

#2. Chapel Falls Trail 

The Chapel Falls Trail is popular for its beautiful waterfalls that allow you to bask in nature throughout your hike.

It is a short hiking trail with three miles, so it’s an amazing location for beginners to enjoy a hike without tiring easily.

This trail is also lined with lovely trees and has glowing reviews about its relaxing and adventurous paths.

Unfortunately, pets aren’t allowed on this trail, so you’ll have to leave them at home or close by until you’re done.

#3. Manistee National Forest Trail 

The Manistee National Forest Trail is one of the most adventurous hiking trails you’ll ever come across because of its sheer beauty and impressive expanse.

This lovely forest trail is over 19 miles long, and if you’re planning to hike through the entire length, it’ll take you eight hours or more.

The best times to visit the Manistee National Forest Trail are from March through October, and you’re guaranteed noteworthy experiences.

Additionally, you’re allowed to bring your dogs along while you hike, and there are even areas where the dogs don’t need to be on leashes.

Because of its length, you should also take lots of water, food, and necessary equipment while hiking through the Manistee National Forest.

#4. Hawk Island Loop Trail 

The Hawk Island Loop Trail has a lovely river view and shaded trees, making it an attractive and enjoyable hiking trail to visit.

It is located in Hawk Island County Park, meaning there are other satisfying activities you can indulge in while hiking.

You can pause during your hike to enjoy attractions such as the playground, concession stands, swimming beach, or dog park.

The Hawk Island Loop Trail also has paved paths for people with wheelchairs or strollers to show their inclusivity.

#5. Miners Falls Trails 

The Miners Falls Trails has one of the most beautiful waterfalls and rocks you’ll ever see.

During your one-mile hike, you’ll be entranced by the amazing views of the Miners Basin and Miners River, which make for a great experience.

The best times to visit Miners Falls Trails are from May through October when the weather is favorable to hikers.

#6. Greenstone Ridge Trail 

The Greenstone Ridge Trail is home to the most beautiful lineup of trees, but it’s a tedious hiking trail if you’re unprepared.

This trail is over 18 miles long with an elevation gain of 2,326 feet, making it a challenging trail to hike.

However, if you enjoy difficult hiking trails and are adequately prepared, you’ll have an amazing time at Greenstone Ridge Trail.

#7. Bond Falls Loop Trail 

The Bond Falls Loop Trail has a scenic view that’ll take your breath away as you walk through its hiking paths.

This hiking trail is a mile long and popular for its striking views and inclusivity regarding children and pets.

There’s also a wheelchair and stroller path that allows you to bring older people and children along if you’re going hiking as a family.

#8. Manitou Loop Trail 

The Manitou Loop Trail is as beautiful as a snow globe, with its scanty trees and snow-white sands that make it unique.

This trail is over five miles long, and it’s located at Au Sable State Forest alongside other equally amazing hiking trails.

Visiting the Manitou Loop Trail from December through March is also best to witness the snowy sands.

Interestingly, you can also go skiing and snowshoeing in its environs whenever you grow bored with hiking.

#9. Government Peak Loop Trail

The Government Peak Loop Trail is located in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, boasting captivating grasslands and river bodies.

This hiking trail is 14.7 miles long, and it takes six and a half hours or more to hike through it, depending on your pace.

You can also go camping or backpacking in the park where the hiking trail is located; that way, you can cover the hiking trail in bits.

#10. Eben Ice Caves Trail 

The Eben Ice Caves Trail comprises the loveliest ice waterfalls, rivers, icicles, and caves, making it the perfect hiking trail for winter.

This hiking trail is 2.2 miles long and is located in the Rock River Canyon Wilderness, which has so much beauty to explore.

However, you must be properly geared up before hiking at Eben Ice Caves Trail in the winter.

What is the Best Hiking Trail for Beginners in Michigan?

The Munising Falls Trail is the best hiking trail for beginners exploring hiking paths in Michigan.

This is because it is less than a mile long, and you don’t need a heavy amount of supplies or resilience to conquer it.

The Munising Falls Trail is also located in a popular area, so you’ll have company even if you’re alone, and you’ll be comfortable the entire time.

Additionally, it is a dog-friendly trail, so you can enjoy a hike with your pet as long as it’s on a leash.

Are There Mountain Hiking Trails in Michigan?

There are beautiful mountain hiking trails in Michigan that you can visit if you’d prefer a more thrilling experience.

However, if you need guidance on which mountain trails have the best sceneries and hiking trails in Michigan, below are a few options to aid you; 

#1. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park Escarpment Trail

The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is home to Michigan’s most popular and scenic mountain trail, the Escarpment Trail.

The Escarpment trail is 9 miles long, and you’re sure to enjoy breathtaking views of the area’s clouds, lakes, and valleys while you hike.

#2. Minong Ridge Trail

The Minong Ridge Trail is one of the hardest hiking trails in Michigan because of the rocky ridge you’ll have to conquer in the process.

It’s a 29-mile-long hiking trail with endearing scenery and wildlife (occasionally spotted) that makes it worth the trouble.

The Minong Ridge Trail is located in the heart of Isle Royale National Park so that you can enjoy park amenities on your hike.

If you plan to walk through the entire length of the Minong Ridge Trail at a stretch, you’ll need to book accommodation beforehand.

You might also need to pack at least six days’ worth of food, clothes, and water in case of delays.

You can also take sleeping bags or tents for camping if you’d prefer a full-blown nature experience.

#3. Wolf Mountain Trail

The Wolf Mountain Trail is one of the shortest hiking trails to explore if you’re new to hiking and love to visit the mountains.

This hiking trail is only a mile long and has one of the most amazing views you’ll ever see from a mountain trail in Michigan.

Aside from the lovely mountain scenery, you’ll also see wildlife, thick forests, lakes, and beautiful aged maple and oak trees.

#4. Indian Point Trail

The Indian Point Trail is located in the Indian Forest, and the woods are the most stunning ones you’ll ever come across.

It has a 1,579-foot mountain and a fascinating 150-year-old oak tree that’ll make your hiking experience more memorable.

Josh Matthews

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