The Top 10 Michigan Hiking Trails

Do you currently live in Michigan and want to discover the gorgeous hiking available in your own backyard? Or are you one of the more than 110 million visitors who trek to the state each year?

Either way, it won’t take you long to discover the beautiful trails all around you. From short hikes you can tackle on your lunch break to longer, more challenging ones, there’s truly something for everyone.

While the full list of trails is extensive, today we’re taking a look at the top 10 Michigan hiking trails. This covers the “Who’s Who” of local trails and highlights the spots you’ll definitely want to check out.

Interested in learning more? Let’s strap on our boots and set off!

1. Jordan River Pathway, Mancelona: Moderate 

If you’re looking for a weekend backpacking adventure, this 19-mile loop can’t be beat. Located on the Lower Peninsula, it winds through the lowlands and meanders by a trout stream.

While the waterside views are enough to make you pause, keep in mind you’re not the only one setting up camp. Water-loving insects, like mosquitos, can also be found, so keep that bug spray handy.

2. Pictured Rocks, Munising: Beginner/Intermediate 

The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore offers one of the most scenic views in the state, with picturesque waterfalls and rock formations around every corner. To take in even more beauty, try the Chapel Rock/Grand Portal Loop, a 9.7-mile stretch reveals just how beautiful the Upper Peninsula really is.

3. Escarpment Trail, Ontonagon: Moderate 

Though Michigan hiking trails are known for their water views, there are also some incredible mountain regions to explore.

Located within the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park on the Upper Peninsula, this 4.3-mile trail packs a visual punch. You’ll not only glimpse Lake Superior — you’ll also see Lake of the Clouds and the Carp River Valley.

4. Greenstone Ridge Trail, Isle Royale: Advanced 

Once you make your way to Isle Royale, be sure to check out the area’s incredible hiking trails. The isle features more than 160 miles of hiking, the Greenstone Ridge Trail being a top one. This is 42.2 mile, long distance, multi-day trek, so be sure to prepare before you go.

5. Marquette/Little Presque Isle, Marquette: Beginner 

If you don’t have too much time to spend on Michigan hiking trails, or aren’t sure where to begin, this trail is a great choice.

Located just outside of the town of Marquette, this 2-mile trail is pat of the bigger North Country Trail. Your reward for taking a chance on this short but spectacular hike? A beautiful beachside oasis, with Lake Superior on one side and towering forest on the other.

6. Tahquamenon Falls, Paradise: Moderate 

Follow the Tahquamenon River from the Upper to Lower Falls, this hike is 4.8 miles one way. You’ll follow the water as it traverses, going down to river level and up again, surrounded by dense vegetation and forest views as you travel.

7. Sturgeon Falls, Baraga: Moderate 

If canyon views are more your thing, this 1.5-mile trail takes you there. You’ll enter a deep canyon within Sturgeon Falls, and can continue on upstream if you’re not ready to stop yet. There’s also access here to the North Country Trail, so go ahead and make a day (or more!) of it.

8. Dunes Trail Loop, South Manitou Island: Advanced 

Accessible via boat from Leland, South Manitou Island is a hiker’s paradise, full of thick forests, camping, and water views from every direction. The Dunes Trail Loop is 9.1 miles long and has varied terrain across sand dunes, white cedars, and more. 

9. Perimeter Loop, Mackinac Island: Beginner 

Mackinac Island is a premier Michigan vacation spot, and for good reason. With no cars, it’s super friendly for hikers and provides fairly easy navigation, even for beginners. The 8-mile perimeter loop follows the island around, offering scenic water views at almost every turn.

10. Highbanks Trail, Oscoda: Moderate

This trail is 7 miles one way, and provides sweeping views of the AuSable River. For those wanting to work their calf muscles, there are several places, including a stop at Lumberman’s Monument, where you can walk hundreds of stairs down to the river.

Michigan Hiking Trails: Your Guide to Getting Started

When planning your Michigan hiking experience, the main challenge can be where to begin. 

That’s why we’re here.

We’re experts in hiking trails all around the nation and can point you in the right direction of where to go, what to see, and what to do.

From trails in the southeast to ones in the midwest, we cover it all. Feel free to contact us today or leave a comment below and let’s go hiking!

Leave a Reply