Explore Michigan - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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awesome hike, it's a little tough going below the cliffs but very fun highly reccomend it

2 days ago

The drive up to the trailhead is improved greatly from prior washout. Left side of trail is steady upward and easier to navigate with little ones, watch for loose rocks at the top. The views are stunning and worth every bit of the hike!

Best hike in Michigan

3 days ago

great trail to take the kids on.

6 days ago

I just got off the trail and it was amazing! Gorgeous scenery and jumping off the falls was extremely epic! I will be back for this trail, for sure!

Simply unbelievable. The moment when you leave the forested area and see the pictured rocks for the first time is breathtaking.

The falls are beautiful

mountain biking
8 days ago

Very nice trail with great beach and cliff views on Lake Superior. Make sure you are prepared when you get on the ferry with a map, water bottle and BUGSPRAY. Mosquitos are no joke, even when moving at 10-15 mph.

best views, after the boardwalk overlook it continues on a narrow sand trail. the best trail i’ve ever done

mountain biking
9 days ago

Incredible! Starting with the extremely nice and helpful staff at the boat dock and outfitter to the amazing views to the thrilling ride overlooking cliffs. Definitely recommend going clockwise (starting on the west trail). If you like solitude start early and hit the North Beach before the pontooners roll in. Did this trail with the whole fam (age range 47-18-16-14-11). We are all novice riders and managed to finish in 3.75 hrs of ride time. Hanging at North Beach was my personal favorite.

9 days ago

Absolutely without a doubt the best trail in the UP a must do for hikers and nature lovers. Left (clockwise) is for sure the easier way to go but still a challenge if you decide not to back track and take the rest of the trail out. Very steep climb down at times and many fallen rocks with step drops. A great hike.

While I have been living in Chicago for the past year and am completely nature deprived, I believe this hike to be one of the most scenic I have done, and that is saying a lot! It had everything I wanted in a hike - dense forest, moss, ferns, mushrooms, cliffs, clear blue water, gorgeous views, sandy beaches, etc....I would highly recommend. We started at 1pm and finished at 7:20pm due to stopping and taking so many photos! It was foggy and spooky starting out then the sun broke through and all the landscape could be seen! I also liked how flipping quiet it was on the trail! While the parking lot was completely full, we were by ourselves the whole time. Yay! Hike this trail.

It’s pictured rocks...it rocks!

10 days ago

This is a great, short hike through the woods to a scenic overlook. We were able to take a stroller up most of the way. Once you reach the top, there are some more challenging, hilly trails in the sand (not technically part of the Empire Bluff trail) that we continued on for about a mile before turning back. You can’t reach the beach from this trail FYI.

Awesome trail! Has it all - woods, waterfalls, cliffs with gorgeous views of pictured rocks, beach. We were fans of the clockwise path. Only complaint is the crowds, everyone wants a piece of the action. We clocked in at 12.4 miles on this loop, not sure if all our sidebars for pics adds the extra mileage.

So many amazing views. It was about 10 miles and over 5 hours. It was worth every minute. It is Very hilly.

14 days ago

Not too challenging but not easy enough to be boring for people who are looking for something difficult. There were tons of kids and older people there when we went. Gorgeous falls. Really liked this spot and will definitely go again

14 days ago

Really beautiful spot with great views of the water. If you’re looking for a challenge, going counterclockwise will provide that as others have said, albeit it might be a little dangerous in some spots if you aren’t careful or if it’s wet and slippery. The regular trail is kid friendly but I wouldn’t recommend the counterclockwise route if you have some with you or if you’re mobility-impaired in any way. The regular trail is probably rated as easy... maybe moderate because it’s up hill. The counterclockwise route with the scrambling is for sure hard in my opinion.

This trail isn't hard to backpack and the views are breathtaking. The mosquitoes were not bad and we saw a deer.

trail running
15 days ago

Just did the 50k race on July 21st and I will say it was pretty hard but gorgeous views!

mountain biking
19 days ago

My husband and I biked the Rim Trail on July 31. It is a well used trail, although not busy on a weekday. Mostly double track with periodic elevation gains and drops as you drop down to several beaches and climb up to cliff top overlooks. Not technical, but requires a mountain or fat bike and riders need to be attentive in some sections for rocks, tree roots or sand. There is also a central road/trail option that is mostly gravel. The beach at the island’s north side features beautiful sandy lake bottom.

I clocked the round trip as 23 miles and it took us 4.5 hours including a lunch stop. Bring bug spray and water. Drinking water sources are located at the ferry dock and group camp sites and are marked on the maps provided by the Forest Service. No water on the north end unless you carry a filter to get water from the lake (at beach access).

Beautiful hike with stunning cliff top views. Huge bang for your buck as this trail is not difficult and offers a huge array of scenery. Winding forest trails, waterfalls, clifftop views and vistas of the lake and pictured rocks, time on the beach, and some gorgeous young growth forest.
I recommend LOTS of deet, and packing a lunch to eat on the cliffs.

Took the ferry and mountain biked the loop counterclockwise around the island. Challenging, but only one semi- steep slope. Beautiful views, beautiful woods. We didn't have any bug spray on. A few horse flies and mosquitos, but none compared to Wisconsin!!! We biked late July.

Beautiful trail with diverse scenery. Did the loop in about 5 hours with some stopping to take pictures. The road to the parking area is terrible however, be prepared to have your entire car shake for about 3 miles.

Beautiful trail that covers diverse terrain. Waterfalls, forests, cliffs. Beautiful sandy beaches. We took about 7 hours to hike this trail. That included several stops at the beach and breathtaking views of the pictured rocks. This trail has it all.

22 days ago

Question: Has anyone partaken in cliff jumping at pictured rocks and if so, where did you park and which trail did you take? I am looking to capture some photos and I only have a day so I am looking for the quickest route.

Beautiful views at every turn! The whole trail took us 4.5 hours with stopping to take a lot of pictures. Don’t miss this one!

Did the loop counterclockwise, we preferred this, were able to relax and enjoy the outstanding Chapel Falls first before ascending to the lengthy but stunning trek along the Pictured Rocks coastline, then weaved back through the woods along Mosquito. Totally worth it, challenging only due to the length of the moderate trail, 10.5 miles of often exposed roots to climb, nothing too bad though, we hiked it in a cold July mist and just found it that much more enjoyable.

Great trail and beautiful views don’t miss it

24 days ago

An easy an beautiful hike. The trees are peaceful and provide shade and once you get to the top the view of Lake Michigan is superb. I would recommend this hike for anyone going to Sleeping Bear.

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