There are many beautiful hiking trails in Michigan running through diverse landscapes ranging from old-growth forests and valleys to mountains and canyons, and of course shoreline paths along four out of five of the Great Lakes and more than 11,000 inland lakes. If you're ready to explore the Water Wonderland, consider taking one of the five hikes we've covered as some of Michigan’s best with suggestions from Trails.com and Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Greenstone Ridge Trail
The Greenstone Ridge Trail is the most extensive journey in the beautifully rugged Isle Royale National Park, running for 40 miles from from Windigo to Lookout Louise. The “Greenstone,” as the locals call it, traverses the highest ridges of the main island to give hikers great views of Lake Superior, thick pine forests, and the surrounding wilderness.
North Country National Scenic Trail (MI Portion)
Michigan is home to 1,147 miles of the North Country National Scenic Trail, which is broken into 12 sections you can visit for a day hike if you don't have time for the whole trek. The MI portion of the North Country Trail treats hikers to a mix of landscapes throughout the Wolverine State, including the Hiawatha National Forest, Jordan Valley and Wilderness State Park, Straits of Mackinac, Tahquamenon Falls, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
The Waterloo-Pinckney Trail is a 36–mile point-to-point path that traverses a mix of terrains between two of the state's most popular recreation areas, including upland forests, high ridges, and a variety of lowland water habitats. Despite this hiking trail's close proximity to urban areas, the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail is a non-motorized path that serves as a peaceful respite from city life to offer explorers a rewarding outdoor experience and excellent birding opportunities.
You can hike up to 220 miles on the series of trails from Empire on Lake Michigan to Oscada on Lake Huron and that make up the Shore-to-Shore Trail. Moving west this hiking trail goes through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the Boardman River Valley to follow the Au Sable River to its end.
High Country Pathway
The High Country Pathway is a 76-mile natural trail system that runs through Pigeon River Country in Otsego and Montmorency Counties that can be completed in about one week or broken up to be enjoyed as a day hike. Hikers enjoy the scenery of several woodlands, including the Jackson Lake State Forest, Tomahawk Creek Flooding State Forest, and Shoepac Lake State Forest.