Best Trails of Michigan

This list represents the most popular trails in Michigan (learn more about Top Trails). Use this list to plan your next Michigan outdoor trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

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#1. North Country Trail (NCT) - Michigan Section


An 875-mile linear route across the state, part of a national scenic trail from New York to North Dakota. The trail enters Michigan near Morenci in the southeastern corner of the state. From there it…
From the guidebook "Hiking Michigan"
Morenci, MI - Hiking - 875 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#2. Harbor Springs to Cross Village: Tunnel of Trees


One of Michigan’s most spectacular drives, Michigan Highway 119 leaves the exclusive resort town of Harbor Springs, whisks you through an area once largely inhabited by the Odawa, or Ottawa Indians, a…
From the guidebook "Scenic Driving Michigan"
Harbor Springs, MI - Scenic Drives - 20 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view allBestScenic Drives Trail - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#3. Hoist Lakes Foot Travel Area


The Hoist Lake area is managed specifically for enjoyment by hikers and other non-mechanized visitors. Mountain bikers are prohibited from using the area. The area’s nearly 11,000 acres are located in…
From the guidebook "Hiking Michigan"
Glennie, MI - Hiking - 21 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#4. Fort Custer Recreation Area


Offering a rainbow of loops, this well-organized and popular 16-mile multiple-use trail system offers something for everyone. The difficult Red Loop challenges riders with logs, whoop-de-dos, steeper…
From the guidebook "Mountain Biking Michigan"
Augusta, MI - Mountain Biking - 16.8 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#5. Chapel Loop


Take even the briefest of glances at this route’s attractions, and the reasons for its reputation are obvious. This hike begins in a quiet forest and continues to a notable waterfall. Next it arrives…
From the guidebook "Hiking Michigan's Upper Peninsula"
Munising, MI - Hiking - 9.7 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#6. Pictured Rocks


For 12 spectacular miles this route traces the rim of the Pictured Rocks escarpment, one of the truly iconic landscapes of the Upper Peninsula. Mile after mile of sandstone landscape art passes by, a…
From the guidebook "Hiking Michigan's Upper Peninsula"
Munising, MI - Hiking - 13.3 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#7. Waterloo-Pinckney Recreation Hiking Trail


The Waterloo-Pinckney Trail links two of southern Michigan’s most popular recreation spots: the Waterloo and Pinckney recreation areas, which are easily accessible to all major metropolitan areas of s…
From the guidebook "Hiking Michigan"
Jackson, MI - Hiking - 36 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#8. The Tunnel of Trees


It's the sweetheart of cyclists, and for good reason: a narrow, winding road shunned by most motorists, lined with tall hardwood whose branches rise and arch to form an expansive canopy shading smooth…
From the guidebook "Short Bike Rides in Michigan"
Cross Village, MI - Road Biking - 18.4 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view allBestRoad Biking Trail - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#9. Island Lake Recreation Area


With its proximity to the Detroit metro area, Island Lake Recreation Area is a convenient getaway from urban sprawl. The park offers two loop trails totaling 12 miles along the flanks of the scenic Hu…
From the guidebook "Hiking Michigan"
Brighton, MI - Hiking - 12 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#10. Potawatomi Trail


The Potawatomi Trail is the granddaddy of mountain biking trails in southeastern Michigan—and for a senior citizen, it stills packs a wallop. Sandy hills with exposed roots defeat all but the stronges…
From the guidebook "Mountain Biking Michigan"
Ann Arbor, MI - Mountain Biking - 17.5 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#11. Rogue River


A quiet western Michigan river easily accessible to Grand Rapids–area paddlers. The Rogue River is a peaceful, unassuming stream that is ideally suited for an easy morning or afternoon paddle. Its upp…
From the guidebook "Paddling Michigan"
Rockford, MI - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 21 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view allBestFlatwater Kayaking & Canoeing Trail - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#12. Mackinac Island Trails


Who would have guessed that one of Michigan’s most popular tourist attractions was also home to Michigan’s most difficult section of singletrack? The first 1.2 miles of the Tranquil Bluff Trail will l…
From the guidebook "Mountain Biking Michigan"
Saint Ignace, MI - Mountain Biking - 9.3 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#13. Huron River


A highly accessible river with a mellow temperament that makes it a favorite getaway for families throughout the Detroit metropolitan area. The Huron River is a constant and comforting presence in the…
From the guidebook "Paddling Michigan"
Milford, MI - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 55 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view allBestFlatwater Kayaking & Canoeing Trail - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#14. Brighton Recreation Area Loops


Two singletrack trails, designed specifically for mountain bikes, opened during the summer of 1998 at this popular recreation area. The 7-mile Murray Lake Loop zigzags through a virtually obstacle-fre…
From the guidebook "Mountain Biking Michigan"
Brighton, MI - Mountain Biking - 12.7 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#15. Muskegon River


A sleepy section of Michigan’s second-longest river that is ideal for family camping trips. The Muskegon River is the friendly giant of Michigan rivers. It is the state’s second-biggest river (next to…
From the guidebook "Paddling Michigan"
Houghton Lake, MI - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 85 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view allBestFlatwater Kayaking & Canoeing Trail - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#16. A Capital Ride on the Lansing River Trail


Incredible. Fantastic. Not enough can be said about what the people of Lansing, Michigan's state capital, have done in creating the river trail. They reclaimed a stretch of land along the east side of…
From the guidebook "Short Bike Rides in Michigan"
Lansing, MI - Road Biking - 9.9 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view allBestRoad Biking Trail - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#17. Paint Creek Trail


The Paint Creek Trail beginnings go back to the 1800s, when a railroad was constructed on the route by the Detroit and Bay City Railroad. Over the years, it was owned and operated by the Michigan Cent…
From the guidebook "Short Bike Rides in Michigan"
Rochester, MI - Road Biking - 20.2 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view allBestRoad Biking Trail - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#18. Proud Lake Recreation Area


The Huron River Valley in metropolitan Oakland County provides the focal point for this major recreation area just minutes from downtown Detroit. The park was established in the mid-1940s and has chan…
From the guidebook "Hiking Michigan"
Milford, MI - Hiking, Horseback Riding - 21 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#19. Bald Mountain Loops


Cruising past inland lakes and creeks, these two tree-lined loops offer riders a rollicking good time. Rocky descents, sand traps, and a few steep hills keep you alert, but for the most part these two…
From the guidebook "Mountain Biking Michigan"
Lake Orion, MI - Mountain Biking - 11.7 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#20. High Country Pathway


A 70-mile loop through some of the most diverse environments in Michigan. Veteran hikers have labeled the High Country Pathway "The Hike Assembled By Committee," since the terrain and habitat change a…
From the guidebook "Hiking Michigan"
Onaway, MI - Hiking - 70 miles Best Trail in MI - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides