Favorite shoreline & inland hikes of NW Lower Michigan


Springtime view of Ransom Lake from the trail

The list below includes those trails that are primarily geared towards hikers rather than cyclists. The only exception is the Boardman Lake Loop Trail.  Shoreline hikes refer to those that are along Lake Michigan or Grand Traverse Bay. Meanwhile, inland hikes pertains to those that are situated away from the shoreline of Lake Michigan or Grand Traverse Bay. Nearly all of the inland hikes include lovely segments along water features such as inland lakes, rivers, streams, and ponds. The list will be updated and revised as more areas are hiked/traveled. Enjoy!

Atop Old Baldy in the Arcadia Dunes Preserve/Natural Area

Top 10 Shoreline Hikes

  1. Old Indian Trail (Black Arrow Loop/Overlook during pre- and post-mosquito seasons) – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – added 6/4/20
  2. Empire Bluff Trail – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  3. Elberta Dunes South Preserve – Frankfort-Elberta, MI
  4. Arcadia Dunes Preserve – Frankfort-Elberta, MI
  5. Green Point Dunes Preserve – Frankfort-Elberta, MI
  6. South Manitou Island – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  7. Maple Bay Natural Area – Elk Rapids, MI
  8. Dune Climb/Trail – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  9. Elk Rapids Day/Art Park – Elk Rapids, MI
  10. Whaleback Natural Area – Leland, MI
  11. Clay Cliffs Natural Area – Leland, MI

Top 10 Inland Hikes

  1. Ransom Lake Natural Area – Lake Ann, MI
  2. Lake Ann State Forest Campground Trails – Lake Ann, MI
  3. The Timbers Recreation Area – Long Lake Township, MI – added 6/4/20
  4. Sand Lake Quiet Area – Williamsburg, MI
  5. Grand Traverse Natural Education Reserve – Traverse City, MI
  6. Boardman Lake Loop Trail – Traverse City, MI
  7. Grand Traverse Commons Natural Area – Traverse City, MI
  8. Alligator Hill Trail – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  9. Brown Bridge Quiet Area – Traverse City, MI
  10. Hartwick Pines State Park Old Growth Forest Trail – Grayling, MI
  11. Miller Creek Nature Preserve – Traverse City, MI

 

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