Explore To Do - 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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This park is well maintained and safe. The trail is very scenic.

paddle sports
22 days ago

Excellent trail that has few people as South Manitou is proffered by boat tourists. We did a mix of kayaking the perimeter of the island and hiking the trail in the afternoons and evening. Nice rustic tenting options too.

One of my favorites. I love an early morning hike then enjoy the inlet while camping on the island. Bring a walking stick to cut through trail webs as using your face to do it is not preferred.

great trail. watch out for the bikers

scenic driving
24 days ago

This is awesome. A quick and fun little drive up to Overlook #9 for some nice vistas.

hiking
24 days ago

I was pleasantly surprised by the first 3rd of this trail. The landscape is great! I like many of the hills and marshlands even better than the hills in Pinckney. Then, out of the blue, you end up in somebody’s backyard. You have to then hike down a street in a small subdivision until you find the hill with the trail. Back on the trail at this point is probably the best section in the park, then you get to a couple more houses. Once you pass the road, the trail gets pretty uninteresting. There’s lots of overgrowth with twists and turns. Just not my cup of tea.

Having said all of that, I will still be visiting the trail again and again. The sections in the first half of the hike are beautiful. Some of the best around southeast Michigan.

trail running
24 days ago

I have ran the trail a couple times and really enjoy it, the most difficult trail you will find in southeastern Michigan. Mountain bikes travel in the opposite direction, so you have to keep your eye out for them. I try to get out there early, but still come across a dozen bikers on the weekend.

the trail was beautiful and peaceful. For a Saturday it wasn't to busy and there wasn't a lot of people on the trail.

1 month ago

Great trail with some nice hills to add a little challenge. Really beautiful and peaceful - I think I passed maybe three other hikers on this loop on a Saturday morning. It did throw me a bit when I ended up on what felt like a pretty long stretch on a dirt road. I'm still not convinced I didn't miss a sign to get back on the trail more quickly but ultimately I did end up back on the trail (there were stairs leading up to the trail on the left hand side of the road). I will definitely do this hike again!

Have driven this scenic route several times. It’s always beautiful.

trail running
2 months ago

Great 5 mile loop in the state park. Used to run this one all the time and the hills are tough but great. No better feeling than flying down one of the hills either. Challenging, but totally worthwhile and lovely scenery.

This is a great trail. I brought my 9 year old son who’s a 21st century digital boy. Definitely didn’t do the complete 17 miles but with the shortcuts and a few other tricks we made it out and had a great time. Both crooked lake and blind lake campsites are nice. And I loved the water pumps. We still used a sawyer water filter because ya never know. Mosquitos weren’t too bad but that’s probably because haven’t had rain in a week or so. We did have to move aside for about 15 mountain bikers along the way but we could always see them coming. I highly recommend this beautiful trail.

Pretty easy walking. 2 views of the AuSable river are nice . IMO the sweetest part is the old growth Hemlock stand . That alone is well worth it . I love that area !

Great drive with short walks to extremely beautiful views

Easy and beautiful hiking! Nice rolling hills.

on Penosha Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful nature trail through the woods - a small part goes through a meadow and another along a dirt road. No mountain bikers on this trail, they have their own. On a Friday afternoon we passed ten other hikers. There are about six benches along the route and most of them are between markers 7 and 10. Good footwear is a must. We hiked this trail in just under 2 hours. We will be back :)

2 months ago

Thank you note to the park rangers who they went of their way to come in and help evacuate one of my friend hiker when she felt sick . I lead hike every weekend almost on this trail. It is one of the most amazing trail in the area .

mountain biking
2 months ago

This is a harder “moderate trail. Lots of climbs and sharp turns to keep you on your toes and out of your seat.

Very nice trail. It was almost entirely covered with trees. 4.5 miles didn't feel like it. Moderate elevations along the way. I would definitely come back.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trails and a ton of fun

the trails are a good excersize. but if you camp, there are weird howeling noises at night along the trails for hours. probably dogs? i barely slept, thinking of Bigfoot.

Right off the trailhead you can either go left or right. If you go to the right, it’s just a short walk to an incredible and secluded beach where you will be one of a few people occupying the beach. We ended up staying there and swimming for hours!
However, the left side of the trail at the Y has “okay” views and tons of dunes. It was alright, maybe 2/5 stars.
But that beach was soooooo amazing! So clear!

backpacking
2 months ago

This trip was as good as it gets. Trail was well maintained, getting water is very easy being that your on a island. Did this loop ten days ago and didnt pull out the bug spray once. Gorgeous views every night at camp, the best part is once you are off the boat and on the trail you dont run into anyone. I would highly recommend backpacking the NMI loop.

If you are looking to spend time in the sleeping bear dunes area with some degree of seclusion, this is the place for you! Four days was just enough time to hike the trail and enjoy all there is to offer from the island. The other reviews stand true and cover most of the bases. I highly recommend NMI!

walking
3 months ago

Gotta do it! The trees are fabulous. Tom and Joyce

Nice well maintained trail that is good for all skill levels

backpacking
3 months ago

Awesome trip! We stayed 2 nights. Our favorite part was hiking to the west Side of the island near crescent dock and camping there the first night. The sunset was unbelievably beautiful and being on the beach was awesome. You won’t be alone though. There were about 14 others around. The night sky was filled with stars.

Other things to note:
- Black flies were biting on the beach.
- trip cost about $100 for Park and ferry passes and parking.
- ferry took about 90min one way

3 months ago

A very solid moderate trail for starters. I was also surprised how hilly it was compared to how flat Michigan is. Benches and markers on trail.

there are no bad Trails, I was just not prepared. Definitely wear pants, the Thorns got me. Also, lots of Sandy area. I saw way more Wildlife than maybe I wanted. I will try not to scream at the snakes next time. My dog really loved it!

3 months ago

I love this park. The fox trail is my favorite. Very quiet, a lot of inclines.

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