Best Hiking Trails In Michigan

The best hiking trails in Michigan offer unique experiences for every season. Hiking in Michigan is an unforgettable experience. Michigan trails lead visitors past waterfalls, rolling hills, dense forests, mountains, and lakes.

Best Hiking Trails In Michigan

The state’s path wends its way through forests. Michigan trails are not easy and the terrains vary widely. Hikers have plenty to explore in the Great Lakes State.

North Country National Scenic Trail 

North Country Trail starts from Middlebury in central Vermont to Lake Sakakawea State Park. The route stretches through seven states and winds through a diversity of North Country landscapes.

The course is the longest hiking path in the Americas National Trails system and stretches through 7 states. It travels more than 4600 miles.

The trail provides a good chance for sightseeing, wildlife, and bird watching. The path also transverses forests and farmlands and is built and maintained by volunteers of the Trail Association in partnership with land management agencies.

With many trailheads along the way, it is one of the favorite routes for many hikers. It’s not necessary to walk the whole trail but you can start or end at the terminus of a previous path.

There are great lakes, large cityscapes, and vast prairies.

Pyramid Point Trail

Pyramid Point Trail leads to a high view of Lake Michigan. Best views of the waters of the Manitou Passage. For a quick journey, head back the way you come.

You have an option to just hike up to the overlook and go back. For your safety, do not descend the bluff. Enjoy the quiet beauty of Lake Michigan as you pass through wildflowers, rolling dunes, and forests.

The steep path will require nice hiking boots or shoes. The track is short but you can spend more time and stroll through the dunes.

You will not have trouble since the path is straightforward with clear signs. You will like the way the trail is well maintained.

Big Carp River Trail

Big Carp River Trail is a 9.6-mile moderately trafficked trail. Begin the day on a rocky bluff overlooking the rugged landscape. Make your way up the Carp River. There is waterfall after waterfall that will please your eyes.

Cross bridges and ford creeks in this wooded backcountry wonderland. There are multiple creeks and rivers before a slow climb towards Lafayette Peak.

The trail rises steadily once it starts leaving the shorelines of Lake Superior. Big Carp River Trail is a challenging hike.

Make sure you have enough water and snacks. Boots or hiking shoes are better for this hike. Hikers at times camp along the route to enjoy the surrounding.   

Great Warren Dune Trail 

Warren Dune Trail is a 5.1 mile heavily trafficked trail. To get to the trailhead you will leave the entrance and turn left. You will be at Red Arrow Highway. It is also one of the best hiking trails in Michigan and you will find hikers with different levels of experience.

After 1.5 miles turn left on Floral Lane. You will find a group campsite which also has a big parking lot.

The whole area looks nice and has a mix of open dunes and a beautiful hardwood forest. There is more than one trail but we followed the one heading to the beach.

From Floral Lane down to the end of the paved road, we followed the trail up along the top of a dune ridge. There was no trail marker but the turn-offs were easy to find.

The trail follows along the top of a nice ridge before dropping to marker 7. The trail drops down between the dunes then climbs up and out into open dunes.

The trail becomes soft and sandy. Finally, we were at the beautiful white sand beach with smooth stones scattered on top.

The trail back is shorter but steady. Climb up a soft and sandy path. You will be able to see wildflowers in the dune grass.  

Penosha Trail Michigan

Penosha Trail is about 5 miles in distance. It is a popular and heavily trafficked loop that is one of the best hiking trails in Michigan. The trailhead can be seen easily because it is well marked. The correct trail is marked with blue markers and blue spray paint on trees and arrows.

There are rocks and roots all along this trail. There are many hills and inclines making the trail difficult. Some of the hikers who are unfamiliar with the trail tend to underestimate it.

Turtles and deer are some commonly seen animals, if you are lucky, you might see some. The trail ends at a dirt road.        

Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail

Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail is separated into two. The hiking route and the bicycle trail. This trail is shoved, raked, trim, and groomed by volunteers.

The trail starts at ironwood and rides through the linear park to Bessemer.    

Greenstone Ridge Trail

Greenstone Ridge Trail is a 40-mile-long hiking trail. The trail doubles as a means of land transportation. There are no roads on this island.

The trail follows the top of Greenstone Ridge. The Green Ridge Trail name comes after the semiprecious stone that is the state gem. The trail connects the southwest end to the northeast end.

Greenstone Ridge Trail features forested wilderness, rocky exposed ridges, inland lakes, and swamps.

The backcountry trail also includes roots. There is a wooden plank bridge which you will find on the path. Bring enough water because there is no potable water along the trail.

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is a non-motorized trail perfect for wheelchair users. The pathway is 27 miles end to end and a 3-mile route.

The path starts from Empire through Glen Haven and Glen Arbor to Bohemian Road.

There is a national park on the shores of Lake Michigan in the northwest corner. The trail is built partially on a narrow-gauge railroad.

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is paved except for a section of hard-packed crushed stone.  From the historic farm, you will head south towards Glen Lake. At Glen Arbor, the trail continues on low-traffic roads.

It then continues west through a wooden area. The trail winds through D.H. Day Campground and the historic town of Glen Haven before reaching the Dune Climb.

Dune Climb provides a breathtaking view of Glen Lake below. The climb can be strenuous all the way to Lake Michigan.

The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail enters a deep forested part of the park after the Dune Climb. There is a significant hill that is challenging and connects to a trailhead on your right. You will get to a signed on-road section that continues for just under a mile.

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Final Thoughts

If you visit Michigan, make sure to add some hikes to your list of things to do. Although Michigan does not have as many hiking trails compared to other places, there is still a lot to see.

I know this post on the best hiking trails in Michigan gave you some ideas on some of the hiking trails you can check out.

All the best on your next hike and also follow me on Visiting Travelers Pinterest for more hiking trail ideas.

Best Hiking Trails In Michigan state

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