Michigan is home to stunning views, rolling hills, cascading waterfalls, endless beachfront, and thousands of miles of trails linking them all together. As a company that was born and raised in Michigan, we’ve had ample time to explore the many hiking trails this gorgeous state has to offer. Wondering what beverages to sip after your hike? Check out our selection of locally sourced and produced hard ciders.
Best Hikes in Michigan
Located in the Upper Peninsula, this hike is short and rewarding. As you begin the hike, you’ll walk up a dirt trail that eventually transforms into stairs. There are quite a few places to stop that offer their fair share of stunning views, but no view compares to the one at the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. Once you reach the top of the mountain, you are greeted by picturesque scenery of Lake Superior, thick forest canopies, Marquette, and Hogback Mountain.
Please note that a majority of the trail up to the observation deck requires some caution due to the tree roots, stairs, and rocks that populate the trail. Pro tip: check the weather forecast before setting off for Sugarloaf to make sure fog won’t be obscuring your view.
For more information on this hike, click here.
If you’re looking for a more difficult hike than Sugarloaf Mountain, the path to Hogback Mountain may be perfect for you. The trail to Hogback is not clearly marked, as it intersects with other trails that make it easy to be misled. However, the view at the top makes the exertion worth it. Hogback Mountain overlooks miles of Lake Superior, and even gives you a peek of Pictured Rocks Lakeshore if you look closely enough.
There are different ways to get to Hogback, but the easiest to find is taking County Road 550 to the Westmore Pond parking area. For further directions on which trail markers to follow, click here.
We can’t pick just one trail on Pictured Rocks, because they are all stunning. There is a great mix of trail lengths and difficulties to choose from, so no matter your needs, there is a hike at Pictured Rocks for you. However, if we had to suggest a few hikes based on the view at the end, we would suggest Munising Falls, Au Sable Light Station, Miners Castle to Miners Beach, and Miners Falls Trail. For more information on these hikes, click here.
Sleeping Bear Dunes State Park
This state park offers many opportunities for photo-worthy views and hikes. The Empire Bluffs trail goes through a beech maple forest to reach the observation deck, which captures stunning views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding dunes. The Pyramid Point trail is also a moderately challenging but worthwhile hike that allows hikers to see the North and South Manitou islands surrounded by beautiful blue waters.
Pro tip: if you decide to go down the sand dunes to overlook the water, think critically about whether you will be able to climb back up. Rescue fees for individuals who cannot climb back up to the top are $3,000, and for people that are able to climb back up, it can take around 2 hours.
Saugatuck Dunes State Park
13 miles of trails lie within the Saugatuck Dunes State Park, taking visitors through forested areas with birch trees, past the famous (and haunted) Felt Mansion / Felt Estate, and over the dunes towards Lake Michigan. These trails are relatively short and take hikers to a postcard-worthy view of West Michigan’s dunes, beaches, and lake.
For additional information on Saugatuck Dunes State Park, click here.
Located in Pinckney, Michigan, this moderately challenging trail is a 17.6 mile loop that takes over 6 hours to complete. This breathtaking trail has it all: wildflowers, tall trees, wetlands, and a lake. This trail is gorgeous from April to November, and a favorite on the east side of Michigan. The Potawatomi trail is also a favorite of many mountain bikers, so be careful going around the corners on the trail. For more information, click here.
Lake of the Clouds
The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is home to many beautiful trails, including Lake of the Clouds. Lake of the Clouds is a dream destination for many to see in their lifetime. If you make the trek to the observation deck, make sure to catch your breath, because the hike back is uphill. These trails are best from April to October, but we recommend going in October due to the beautiful fall foliage. For more information on the trail to Lake of the Clouds, click here.
Manistee River Trail
Over 8 miles of forested trails lead hikers around the meandering Manistee River and over a large wooden suspension bridge. There’s even a waterfall at the northern end of the Manistee River Trail that is a good place to pause, hydrate, and eat a snack. Along the trail, visitors will find multiple observation sites to take in the surrounding scenery. For more information on the Manistee River Trail, click here.
North Country Trail
The North Country Trail spans over 4800 miles of the Midwest, weaving through eight states and three of the Great Lakes. Less than 20 people have backpacked this trail in its entirety; most people opt to hike sections of the North Country trail instead. Sections of this trail go through the Ottawa National Forest, Lake Superior State Forest and Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Manistee National Forest, and lead visitors to the eastern edge of Craig Lake State Park at the state border between Michigan and Wisconsin.
Of this long backpacking route, we suggest that hikers travel at least a portion of the 43-mile long Lakeshore Trail which goes through Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. This trail takes visitors past shipwrecks, lighthouses, and sandstone cliffs. For more information on the Lakeshore Trail, click here.
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