Five-Star Trails Ann Arbor and Detroit  by Greg Tasker

Five-Star Trails: Ann Arbor and Detroit Guide Book

by Greg Tasker (Menasha Ridge Press)
Five-Star Trails Ann Arbor and Detroit  by Greg Tasker
Each hike features an individual trail map, elevation profile, and at-a-glance information, helping readers quickly find the perfect trip. Sized to fit in a pocket, the book's detailed trail descriptions will help readers find their way on and off the trail. Driving directions and GPS trailhead coordinates will help with navigating the myriad of unnamed roads. The trails covered range from those best suited to the novice, families, experienced hikers, or backpackers.

© 2011 Greg Tasker/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Five-Star Trails: Ann Arbor and Detroit" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 36.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 36.

At the Lloyd A. Stage Nature Center at the northern edge of Troy, gentle trails interlace through old- and new-growth forests and across a narrow stream, the headwaters of the north branch of the Rouge River. Small fields and meadows occasionally interrupt the wooded trails, and a boardwalk leads to a small observation tower in a marsh, rich with trees, shrubs, and other vegetation.
Troy, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 1.4
The North Unit Trails of Bald Mountain State Recreation Area traverse some of the hilliest and steepest terrain in southeast Michigan. This portion of the park is thick with hardwood forests and is home to about a dozen lakes, as well as tamarack and cedar swamps. This is one of the region’s most scenic networks of trails (see page 135 for another hiking option here). It is especially beautiful from late September to mid-October when the leaves are turning colors.
Lake Orion, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 7
The Red Loop is the gentler of the two major trail networks at the Bald Mountain State Recreation Area in northern Oakland County and passes mostly through hilly woodlands thick with maples and oaks and laced with wetlands. The trail passes through areas open to hunting, which is especially a concern during firearms season for deer. Wear an orange vest or avoid the trail during mid- to late November.
Lake Orion, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 4.5
The Kahchin, or Yellow, Trail is the shorter of the two main hiking trails at Brighton State Recreation Area. The trail is a short loop within the longer Penosha, or Blue, Trail (see hike number 13, page 93), covering a similar terrain of rolling woodlands. It’s essentially a mini version of the longer trail. In fact, the trail’s name, Kahchin, means “short” in the Chippewa language. This is an ideal hike in the fall when the leaves of many of the hardwoods—oaks, maples, and hickory—turn color.
Bath, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 2
The longest of the hiking trails at Brighton State Recreation Area in Livingston County, the Penosha Trail (Penosha is the Chippewa word for “long”) loops through the southeastern section of the 4,947-acre park. The trail passes mostly through hilly woodlands and wetlands (most of the park’s lakes are located in other sections), and the sense of wilderness is disrupted only once, deep into the hike, by a short trek along a dirt residential road.
Bath, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 5
The Dequindre Cut Greenway connects the Detroit RiverWalk at William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor, the only urban site in Michigan’s state park system, to the city’s historic Eastern Market. The Dequindre Cut makes for an ideal leisurely walk before or after a trip to the market or a visit to the riverfront. The market comes alive on Saturday mornings, when farmers from around the state set up stands to sell fresh produce, herbs, flowers, and meat.
Detroit, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 2.6
One of the newest developments in downtown, the Detroit RiverWalk opens up a vast stretch of the riverfront to the public. The wellmaintained path offers panoramic views of the scenic Detroit River and the Windsor skyline, and it passes directly by the General Motors global headquarters at the Renaissance Center.
Detroit, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 2
This 69-acre park straddles both sides of the scenic Huron River, connecting from one side to the other over a series of tiny islands and bridges. The park is a well-known locale for walking, running, bicycling, and skating, with ample playgrounds and picnic areas to boot. Despite its popularity, the park remains an enjoyable place for a nice stroll.
Ann Arbor, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 3.8
Heritage Park provides a glimpse of what much of suburban Detroit was like before sprawl and development took place in the mid- to late 20th century. The park has 4.5 miles of trails that traverse gentle hills, meadows, wetlands, and forests of hardwood trees. One of the region’s most famous waterways, the Rouge River, meanders through the park’s lowlands. The park is home to a visitor center, a pond, an amphitheater, horseshoe courts, sand volleyball courts, playgrounds, and a nature center.
Holly, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 1
At the Holly State Recreation Area, you’ll find dense woodlands, open fields, wetlands, quiet streams, and several lakes, most of them filled with anglers in the warm months. Long stretches of the Lakeshore Trail wrap around Wildwood Lake and Valley Lake, with ample views of these serene waters. Occasionally, the trail veers away from the water and deeper into the woods. Although the hiking is easy, the route has a few hills, and the short climb to the crest of one offers a panoramic view of Valley Lake.
Ortonville, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 2.4
The Wilderness Trail traverses some of the most rolling and wooded terrain in the Holly State Recreation Area and northern Oakland County. The trail remains primarily in the woods, thick with oaks, maples, and beeches, and passes ponds and wetlands as it circles around McGinnis Lake.
Ortonville, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 4.7
The Acorn Nature Trail weaves through woods, a tamarack swamp, and along the banks of a scenic stretch of the Huron River frequented by kayakers and canoeists. The landscape of woods, fields, and swamps is especially beautiful in the fall with maples, oaks, and hardwoods exploding in brilliant colors.
Holt, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 2
The longest of the nature trails at Indian Springs Metropark, the Woodland Trail runs deep into wet forests and through fields and meadows en route to secluded Timberland Lake. A long boardwalk leads to the lake, cutting through a marsh thick with cattails and reeds. This trail is particularly beautiful in the spring, when wildflowers are in bloom, and in the fall, when the towering oaks and maples are ablaze with brilliant autumn colors.
Clio, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 3.6
The longest of the hiking trails at Island Lake State Recreation Area, the Blue Loop traverses deeper into the park but covers much of the same terrain as the shorter Yellow Loop. The landscape is a blend of rugged woodlands, wetlands, and creeks. The Blue Loop also passes through day-use areas near Island Lake and Spring Mill Creek.
Chilson, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 9
Formerly known as the East Loop, the renamed Yellow Loop circles a winding stretch of the Huron River, passing through mature woods, meadows, fields, and wetlands. Occasionally, the trail follows and rises above the river line, offering lovely views of the waterway. The trail is well marked and easy to follow, with distance markers posted along the way. There can be long stretches of solitude, but don’t be surprised by the frequent interaction with mountain bikers.
Perry, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 6
The Deer Run Trail loops through woods and marshlands in the northeastern section of the 700-acre nature center property. A boardwalk cuts through an ancient bog and offers a shortcut for hikers who don’t want to do the entire length. The distance covered here includes adding the Fox Trail and an arm of the Chickadee Loop, which are two of the nature center’s more remote and less-traveled trails. Their addition provides for a deeper trek into thick woods.
New Hudson, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 1.8
The nature center’s longest trail, the Wildwing Trail, is easy to follow as it loops around Wildwing Lake. Ample opportunities exist to see aquatic life, such as muskrats and snapping turtles, as well as waterfowl, including geese and swans. Many visitors come to catch glimpses of migrant songbirds, as well as ospreys and herons. Don’t be surprised to find photographers around the osprey hacking tower on any given day.
New Hudson, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 2
Running east and west along an abandoned railroad line, this portion of the Lakelands Trail State Park passes through rolling farmland, woodlands, and wetlands. The gentle trail frequently crosses rural roads and small creeks and runs parallel to M-36. Thin woods line most of the trail, but there are patches of open fields and occasional houses. The communities of Pinckney and Gregory bookend this section of the trail.
Chilson, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 7.6
The combination of five trails plus several remarkable gardens make Matthaei Botanical Gardens a worthy destination. Combining the Fleming Creek and Dix Pond trails creates a loop through a diverse landscape on the eastern section of the garden property, through old pastures being reclaimed by nature, into maturing forests, and past a pair of ponds that were once part of a gravel mining operation. Afterward, a stroll through the several gardens and the conservatory make for an enjoyable afternoon in spring, summer, or fall.
Dixboro, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 1.6
Combined, the Fleming Creek, Marilyn Bland Prairie, and Sam Graham Trees trails traverse all of the garden property’s local habitats: floodplain, a small glacial hill, old woodlots, fallow fields, and a restored prairie. The Marilyn Bland Prairie Trail also crosses through the property of the Matteson barns and farmhouse along Dixboro Road.
Dixboro, MI - Walking - Trail Length: 1.3