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Best Michigan Hiking Trails

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Best Michigan Hiking Trails

Whether you and your family are beginners or you’ve been hiking for as long as you can remember, Michigan is worth a trip for its trails alone. From parks to natural areas, many destinations throughout Michigan offer the chance to experience nature up close.

Stop by the trails when you visit the state for its other attractions. Or visit for the hiking excitement alone! We’ve got suggestions for some of the best Michigan hiking trails no matter when you’re visiting, who you’re visiting with or what you want to see.

Year-Round Michigan Hiking Trails

Don’t save a hiking trip for the summer months! Visit Michigan any time of year to take in the range of scenery. Along with your hike, you and your family can enjoy other seasonal activities at the year-round parks and hiking trails in Michigan. For adventure any season, check out:

  1. Holland State Park: This year-round park in Holland, Michigan, has a lot to offer along with its hiking opportunities. Check out two beaches on the park’s two lakes or stay at the park’s modern campsites. Rent a boat and go fishing or try out metal detecting. Stay after your hike and other adventures to enjoy the park’s stunning sunset views.
  2. Fayette Historic State Park And Harbor: With 5 miles of trails to explore, this park in Garden, Michigan, is great for a visit at any time of year. Hit the trails on cross-country skis in the winter or check out the beach before your hike in the summer. No matter when you go, you’ll find something to do in this 700-acre park.
  3. Tahquamenon Falls State Park: Take an island walk to view magnificent waterfalls in this park. Located in Paradise, Michigan, the stunning views will live up to the town’s name. The park stretches over 50,000 acres and features one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi.
  4. Ortonville Recreation Area: The hiking trails in this Michigan park are accompanied by almost 5,500 acres of other activities to enjoy throughout the year. Go fishing, bicycling, snowmobiling or cross-country skiing when the weather is right for even more adventures along with a scenic hike.
  5. Charles Mears State Park: Walk the one-mile interpretive trail at this state park in Pentwater, Michigan. Go fishing along the piers during the fall or ice fishing in winter if you want to add more adventure to your trip.
  6. Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park: For those in search of a long hike, head to this linear hiking trail in Michigan. The total trail is 92 miles long with trailheads at Cadillac, Big Rapids and Rogue River Park in Belmont. A majority of the trail is natural ballast and hard-packed gravel, but it does include asphalt sections. Challenge yourself on this longer hike any time of year or take a walk through a small stretch to see a bit of natural scenery.
  7. Keith J. Charters Traverse City State Park: If you’d like to remain near urban scenery while visiting the hiking trails of Michigan, consider this Traverse City park. With almost 50 acres to explore, this park is about 3 miles from the downtown hub of Michigan’s popular resort town. After a hike in the summer, visit the 0.25 miles of beach on Grand Traverse Bay or head back to downtown for more excitement at any time of year.
  8. Sleepy Hollow State Park: Find hiking trails among this Laingsburg park’s 2,600 acres. The park offers 16 miles of hiking and biking trails, perfect for any adventure-seeking family. Let the excitement continue year-round with camping, horseback riding, dog sledding, metal detecting and snowshoeing.

You can hike any time of year at these parks, but why stop at the trails? Go swimming in the summer, biking in the fall, cross-country skiing in the winter or bird watching in the spring. Whenever you visit with your family, you’re sure to find plenty of adventures on these Michigan hiking trails.

Historical Sites With Hiking Trails in Michigan

Historical Sites With Hiking Trails in Michigan

Some of the best hiking trails in Michigan are also home to historical sites. Learn something new and view historic architecture and landscapes along with your hike. For the perfect combination of history and nature, visit:

  1. Van Raalte Farm Park: For the pastoral side of history, visit this park in Holland, Michigan. In this city park, you’ll find a 19th-century farmhouse and outbuildings. The structures are set on a hilltop overlooking pastures, woodlands, a valley and a branch of the Black River. Hike the marked nature trails or take in the panoramic sights at the historic locations in the park.
  2. Fitzgerald Park: Be sure to check out the natural historic site at this park in Grand Ledge. Head along the shore of the Grand River to witness ancient sedimentary rock outcroppings — the perfect combination of history and nature. Once you take in the wonderful scenery, traverse the park’s 3 miles of hiking and nature trails.
  3. Meridian-Baseline State Park: This park in Leslie, Michigan, serves a historic purpose to the state. Throughout the park, you’ll find monuments that designate the beginning of all township, range and section measurements for the whole state. Along with the park’s historical value, you’ll trek a 1.5-mile trail that creates a round-trip to see the monuments.
  4. Cambridge Junction Historic State Park and Walker Tavern Historic Site: Check out more of the state’s historic structures at this site in Brooklyn, Michigan. You’ll find a one and a half-story farmhouse from the 1800s that’s served as a historic site since 1965. The Walker Tavern serves to educate visitors about life during the 1840s and ’50s and is part of the surrounding 80-acre park. Hike the grounds or head to nearby parks for longer trails.
  5. Fort Wilkins Historic State Park: Learn about frontier life in the mid-1800s at this park in Copper Harbor. Explore Fort Wilkins, which was built in 1844, then take in the scenery of the Copper Harbor lighthouses, built in the 1860s. Hike the 4-mile trail after experiencing history, and join in on other activities like fishing, biking and boating.
  6. Hartwick Pines State Park, Visitors Center and Logging Museum: Hartwick Pines in Grayling, Michigan, is home to over 9,000 acres to explore. After your hike, explore the outdoors some more with paddling, biking, snowshoeing and more. See a bit of history on your visit with the almost 50-acre forest of old-growth pines. Among the trees, you’ll find the logging museum. The site educates visitors about the logging era throughout the 1800s and shows the importance of Michigan’s role during that time.
  7. Belle Isle Park: This park in Detroit has plenty to offer from history to nature and other attractions. Visit this island park to see sights like the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, the Belle Isle Aquarium, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, the Belle Isle Nature Zoo and the James Scott Memorial Fountain. Fill your day with more fun on a hike throughout the trails in this Michigan park.
  8. New Presque Isle Lighthouse Park and Museum: With a historic lighthouse and two keeper’s residences, this park in Presque Isle, Michigan, has amazing historical and natural sights to see. Hike the grounds or add a vertical challenge to your exploration by climbing 130 steps of the lighthouse tower. At the top, the lighthouse will reward you with spectacular views.

From lighthouses to informational museums, the historical sites among hiking trails in Michigan are a must-see. Even if you’re only visiting these parks to get close to nature, you’ll find amazing scenery thanks to the historical sites.

the historical sites among hiking trails in Michigan are a must-see

Kid-Friendly Trails in Michigan

If you’re traveling with young ones, you’ll want hikes perfect for all ages. Many of the parks throughout Michigan offer other exciting adventures for kids, making them a great one-stop for hiking and playing. Take the whole family to:

  1. Bald Mountain Recreation Area: Explore this area in Lake Orion, Michigan, for 15 miles of marked trails. Check out parts of the trails for a shorter hike then enjoy fishing and swimming with the whole family.
  2. Waterloo Recreation Area: Visit the largest park in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. With 20,000 acres to check out, it’s no surprise that the area in Chelsea, Michigan, contains an array of hiking trails. Explore the shorter half-mile and one-mile trails, and enjoy access to accessible hiking, perfect for any family’s needs.
  3. Rockport Recreation Area: This kid-friendly area in Rogers City, Michigan, offers plenty of recreation opportunities. Along with your hike, go fishing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing or horseback riding. You’ll find adventure for everyone in the family with so much to do in this area.
  4. Addison Oaks County Park: This family-friendly park in Leonard, Michigan, is home to over 20 miles of trails. While you could head out on a hike, you could also enjoy horseback riding or mountain biking. Be sure to check out other offerings in this natural oasis, including fishing, picnicking and boating, which are all favorites of children who visit the park.
  5. Newaygo State Park: Enjoy accessible hiking at this park in Newaygo, Michigan. Other family-friendly activities include fishing, swimming, boating and camping. Stay at one of the rustic and private campgrounds that offer forested buffers between other sites.
  6. Tawas Point State Park: The trail at this East Tawas Michigan park is perfect for any skill level. The Sandy Hook Trail takes you through a 1.5-mile loop along a sandy path and part of a boardwalk. Explore the bay and Lake Huron with the whole family then take a swimming break or check out the scenery around the Tawas Point Lighthouse.
  7. Duck Lake State Park: Find more accessible hiking at this Whitehall park. With over 700 acres to check out, you and your family can also enjoy metal detecting, fishing, swimming and picnicking.

Michigan has so much to offer for family trips, and its parks are no exception. Your little ones will love hiking and other recreational offerings in the natural areas throughout the state.

Kid-Friendly Trails in Michigan

Pet-Friendly Trails in Michigan

Thanks to the pet-friendly parks and trails in Michigan, you won’t have to leave out your furry friends! Put on their leashes and head to:

  1. McLain State Park: Relax on the pet-friendly shoreline of this park in Hancock, Michigan. The park also has a hiking and skiing trail that extends 4 miles throughout the varying terrain. Enjoy a sunset on Lake Superior with your furry friend at the end of an adventurous day.
  2. Grand Mere State Park: Leash up the pups and take them to the beach and swimming areas of this park. Hike the half-mile trail to take in even more splendid scenery of this Stevensville park or explore undeveloped woods and sand dunes.
  3. Warren Dunes State Park: Another pet-friendly shoreline awaits at this Sawyer, Michigan, park. The park offers a variety of short nature, loop and other trails perfect for a quick hike. You can even enjoy metal detecting and swimming at this scenic location.
  4. Pigeon Creek Park: Visit during the spring to enjoy dog walking and more. This park in West Olive offers hiking, horseback riding and other activities during warmer months. If you visit in the winter, leave your furry friend behind but enjoy cross-country skiing, sledding and other snow sports.
  5. Port Crescent State Park: Along with a pet-friendly shoreline, this Port Austin park offers a few hiking and nature trails. You can also enjoy stargazing at this one of seven Michigan dark sky preserves. If you prefer to visit before the sun sets, you’ll find canoeing, fishing and birding adventures waiting for you.
  6. Twin Lakes State Park: The state park at Toivola, Michigan, has plenty to offer you and your pet pal. Traverse the park’s 38-mile hiking trail or the 1.5-mile nature trail. Go fishing, swimming, boating and more or spend time hiking or dog walking.
  7. Brighton Recreation Area: Head to this pet-friendly park in Howell, Michigan, for plenty of activities. Along with equestrian and mountain biking trails, the park offers trails perfect for hiking.

Whether or not you bring your pets along, these and other pet-friendly trails in Michigan make for a perfect getaway. Don’t wait any longer! Get the kids, leash up the pups and prepare for exciting adventures throughout Michigan.

Fuel up at Giordano's in Michigan

Fuel up at Giordano’s in Michigan

After you’ve traversed the best hiking trails in Michigan, you’ll need to refuel with a filling meal. Giordano’s in Michigan is a perfect spot for families to fill up and spend more time together. Get a taste of stuffed deep-dish pizza, a Chicago favorite, right in Holland, Michigan.

When you plan your visit to the hiking trails in Michigan, be sure to keep Giordano’s in mind! Browse our menu to see the mouthwatering pizzas, starters, sandwiches and more that we offer, and visit our Holland location on your trip to Michigan!