Hoist Lakes Foot Travel Area

Glennie, Michigan 48737

Hoist Lakes Foot Travel Area

Hoist Lakes Foot Travel Area Professional Review and Guide

"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 the heart of Huron National Forest, offering foot travelers an opportunity to get away from the hectic pace of city life; the trails are just a short drive from urban sprawl.

The environment here in this corner of the northeast Lower Peninsula includes small lakes, wetlands, upland hardwood ridges, bluffs, and steep hills, plus extensive conifer forests. Resident wildlife includes Michigan’s "black ghost," the always-there but seldom-seen black bear. The 20 miles of trails are challenging, punctuated by hills topping out at more than 1,000 feet. This is as close as many hikers will ever get to genuine wilderness. The Hoist Lake Area is scenic, tranquil, and easily accessible. Trails are well marked and solid underfoot, but several hills increase the physical challenge. Special attractions: Wildlife, scenery, solitude."

Hoist Lakes Foot Travel Area Reviews

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7/23/2018
I really loved this trail it was so peaceful didn’t come across anyone out there on a Sunday July morning. Route I used was from the m65 parking took counterclockwise to posts 2, 14, 13 used the spur trail to make a loop around south hoist lake. Then backtrack to post 14 staying counter clockwise to loop back to post 1 at the parking, in total this was about 5 miles. I trail ran this with a huge smile the whole time like a kid playing in the forest. It has perfect mix of hills enough to challenge but not exhausting. The woods change to marsh back and forth is so interesting. Saw deer, saw bear tracks in the muddy marsh area but didn’t see the bear that made them. Many hawks and crows around. Lots of mosquitoes a few black flies.
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9/5/2009
This is a relaxing trip, well-suited to beginners or groups with varied fitness levels. Byron Lake has several nice campsites; we camped on the east side at a large grassy site that could easily have accomodated five tents. Even on labor day weekend, there were only three other campsites taken. Byron has a sandy bottom; good for swimming. The second night we camped on North Hoist and had the whole lake to ourselves. Very serene, and pleasant for swimming. Trails are so well-marked that maps are hardly necessary. Hiking a loop is a good option, but the parking lots at the two trail heads are only about a 20 minute drive apart, so you can hike point to point if you prefer. Note: the water pumps seem to have been removed, so plan to gather water at the lakes and sanitize it.
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8/9/2008
The trails at Hoist Lakes don't offer an especially high level of challenge or scenery, but do make for a very pleasant walk in the woods. Campsites at the various lakes are nice and well maintained, and feature log benches and cast-iron fire pits. The sites on Byron Lake were especially nice, and it featured a nice sandy beach for swimming.
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7/29/2008
The trail is pretty well maintained. My father and I went on July 4th weekend and the weather was great. The hiking is not overly difficult but does have a couple nice cross country ski hills. You can camp wherever and we chose right on Beaver lake. Many nice views of beautiful little lakes and trees. Overall the hike is quick and only moderately challenging.
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7/26/2008
The Hoist Lake trail system is an ideal place for both beginners and veterans. The trails range from wide to tight, and easy to fairly difficult. The HLFTA offers many good points for a day, or even multi-day trips. After a few miles in, you arrive at both North and South Hoist lakes. There are two man-made camp sites offered, yet there are nice clearings on both the high banks that surround the lakes for backcountry camping. There is supposedly one of the largest black bear populations around this area, although I have yet to see any on the trail. You will certainly see signs of them as you are hiking through, and it’s always a good idea to hang your pack just incase. We only did most of the East loop minus the large, barren portion to the north (we were losing daylight). We spend the first afternoon hiking in and setting up base camp on the bluffs of South Hoist Lake. The night was peaceful (minus some drunkards across the lake) and in the early morning we left our base camp and hiked down a dew-covered trail into a hardwood forest. It was very beautiful. We hiked down hills and up hills, seeing bear signs and more toads than you can imagine. After several miles and backtracking, we struck camp and hiked out. In my opinion, the Hoist Lake system is good for both beginners and experienced hikers, and if anything is just a very fun weekend getaway. It is also a great place to test your new gear before going on any larger trips.
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9/17/2005
Spent Sunday and Monday night on this trail during late Aug. '05. We took our time and explored mostly the central area, west to east. Trails for the most part were fairly wide with limited to slight elevation. Much of the region was well used and needed more maintenance. There were several downed trees obstructing tails and one of the two water pumps(eastern) was out of order. The scenery had some subtle changes with occasional nice landscape views, especially around the couple somewhat larger lakes. There are a few (two and sometimes three) decent camping areas around the lakes with limited sandy shorelines. Finding reachable "clear" filtering water can be a little difficult but with some exploration can be accomplished. The lakes are quite shallow and fishing for the most part is not ideal. Insects were not as bad as we anticipated considering we had some light rain for half our stay. We endured only a few mosquito bites. We happened to see only a couple other "overnighters" while we were in the area, which kept us from locating at one of the prime lake camp sites. The various wildflowers and colorful mushrooms were really nice as well as some rather large trees, especially the burch. Most of the time we had a peaceful quiet setting with views and sounds of loons, ducks, hawks and beavers. When we first started out from the west parking area, we met some guys running their dogs and tracking black bear. They told us, that they encountered a black bear, in this area the day before and we would be heading right into the same region. We did not see or hear any sign of black bear on our short trip. This was an interesting trip but I doubt I will be exploring this area again, at least any time soon.
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9/2/2005
I've traveled this area on 3 separate occasions - all of which have been great experiences. My backpacking area was just west of Hoist Lakes, at Byron Lake and surrounding areas. The trails were well maintained and easy to follow, and hiking was moderate. Gradual inclines were plentiful with a few more prominent rises that made you realize this wasn't everyday walking. The area around Byron Lake was peaceful and serene, I loved hearing the packs of coyotes howling during the night only a hundred yards or so away. Racoons and owls were plentiful, as were whitetail deer and beaver. There's a few beaver ponds along the way and I spent hours watching them repair their huts and dams. A great place to experience the outdoors and wildlife.
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8/5/2004
My wife and I (and our dog) hiked most of this area. While we enjoyed it, I have one quarrel with the description above: the terrain is not very "challenging." We intended for the trip to be a two-day, one-night backpacking venture, but the terrain was such a breeze that we finished our 11 or 12 mile loop in less than a day. That said, this is a very nice area for a day hike, or a very easy backpacking trip. We were amazed at how many different types of vegetation and landscapes we passed through -- it seemed as if the scenery changed drastically every twenty minutes or so. Also, we greatly enjoyed the solitude -- we only saw five or six other people the entire day. In sum, this area is excellent for day-hikers seeking solitude and/or wanting to experience many different natural settings. It would also be a good destination for a beginner's backpacking trip.
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5/28/2004
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1/24/2002
a great trail you could spend a day or a week at with lots of loops and many different small lakes which are crystal clear and stocked full of giant trout bass panfish and perch if u spend a week you can hop from 1 lake to another and set up and catch dinner or just relax. A GREAT trail all year long!!
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Hoist Lakes Foot Travel Area Photos

Trail Information

Glennie
Nearby City
21
Distance
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Hikers who won snowshoes won't have a 'bad' season to hike the trails of the Hoist Lakes area, but the optimum season is early fall.
Season
Huron National Forest, Harrisville Ranger District, 517-724-5431
Local Contacts
Huron National Forest Hoist Lakes Foot Travel Area map; USGS Curran and Bucks Pond quads.
Local Maps