Explore the most popular forest trails in Huron National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Nice and quiet trail tucked away in northern Michigan. I found a wonderful spot to camp next to Byron lake about halfway through the loop and finished the loop on day 2.

Cool sites on Byron Lake, looking forward to going back later in the summer and checking out the other lakes.

17 days ago

went hiking with 13 yr old son. arrived 6:45 am and hiked around the outside loop to the north and then cut through the middle down a 2 track to North Hoist Lake. grabbed a site on a hill above the Lake. weather was a little hot, 74, for backpacking for my liking. didn't encounter anyone on the trail until Sunday on 4th way back in. plenty of dead wood for burning. wished I had a fishing pole as we saw plenty of fish jumping. watched a family of beavers work all day long which was pretty cool. trail was decently marked. saw several downed blue diamond signs probably just early in the season. heard lots of woodpeckers and geese. came across a dead coyote. Good trip will come back... with a fishing pole. bring correct change for the deposit slip... dummy me only had a $20.

Trails are great for spring hiking.

1 month ago

This trail is gorgeous - and not very well known. The little brother to the Manistee River Trail but very similar and way less people and more remote.

We did a portion of this trail (about 3.5 miles) and it was a nice easy hike. Even thought it was a holiday weekend, we were the only people on the trail (that we saw). Very serene and relaxing hike.

7 months ago

Gorgeous trails, lots of down trees to navigate over or under but very fun and a great view of nature up close.

Nice rolling hills throughout the trail.

I work in this area and the trail actually had multiple loops you can take. There are also campsites you can stay at with fire pits available.

Gorgeous forest. Ally will love it!

8 months ago

cross country skiing
9 months ago

Used to go cross country skiing out here with my dad and sisters when we were kids. We have a good story or two about some black diamond hills and getting lost on the trail after sunset... Would like to go out here again and get my boyfriend on the trails this time. ❤❤❤

10 months ago

We took the lower trail - the Potawatomi. We found the trail was poorly maintained; there were multiple trees - medium to small - that had fallen on the trail, there was a fair amount of plant growth on the path, which would not have been so bad had it not been ladden with poison ivy. So much of my viewing pleasure was taken by constantly having to watch for the poisonous plant that it greatly detracted from enjoying the vistas. Additionally this trail was heavily filled with mosquitoes so be prepared for that too.

specifically says no bikes.

We hiked 7.8 miles around Byron Lake and had a wonderful time. the trail was well marked and we never lost the trail. we were prepared for ticks but only saw one thankfully! the Byron Lake camping site was clean and the beach/water looked nice. The only people we saw on the hike were some fishermen at the lake.

10 months ago

did a two day 1 night hike here, started from the east trailhead, hiked the 9 mile path to Byron lake one the first day and the 6 mile path back to the trailhead on the second day.

there were parts of the trail that required a bit of bushwacking and about 15 trees down over the trail but nothing that was a real problem. the trail is very well marked and the map is well done.

the campsites at Byron lake were quite nice and very pretty. We only walked past the north hoist lake sites but they looked nice as well.

surprisingly fewer mosquitoes than I expected for a rainy weekend in July but we did get quite a few ticks. long pants are a must for this one.

$5/ day self service parking fee at the lot cash or check.

all in all a good trail, it's not listed correctly on this app. it is a 16 mile loop if you take the long way, but you can shortcut it if you want to.

11 months ago

Took a two day backpacking trip on this trail. It was a really nice trail and was very well maintained with a parking lot on both the east and west sides of the footpath. The campsites near the southeast lake are well placed with gorgeous views. Got a bit cold while we were there but the weather was to be expected for this time of year.

11 months ago

really nice to for hiking or backpacking. the trials are clearly marked and well taken care of. I like the fact you can take moderate or hard paths. this is a trail I would recommend to anyone who wants to challenge themselves. the only thing I wish they had was more water refill locations.

11 months ago

Good park. Not to difficult to backpack and good camp sites.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Great 3 day weekend, 15 mile loop, saw wildlife, caught fish and enjoyed a clean less traveled trail.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

5 out of 5 stars if not for the tick infestation. We were vigilant with tick checks and removing them from our legs, but I still had to pry one out of my foot. Pretty good fishing, caught several smaller bluegill in north hoist for dinner. Caught a nice size rainbow trout in south hoist as well. The campsites were excellent minus the previous camper's trash that I had to gather and burn. I especially enjoyed the seclusion. You have to hike 2 miles to get to the sites and lakes, with no vehicle access or bicycles allowed.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Great trail

Monday, April 10, 2017

very nice trail did all 8 Miles on 9/Apr/2017 all but two trees cleared from the path. Very nice trail to have as my first trail of the year. Easy enough to follow, next time going to go through a little slower and get a few pictures.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The trail itself is slightly hard to follow in certain spots due to downed trees, but that just adds to the beauty of the area. Very large hemlock and even seedlings that have been planted by volunteer groups can be found. Easy access to the trail and restrooms off of Chase Bridge Road too!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Pretty decent backpacking loop for a weekend. Stretch it into a Saturday afternoon/Sunday night in September. Good time of year to go, as it sounds like the ticks are a nightmare. Overall the location is pretty remote and quite the drive for me (Kalamazoo area) took around 3 1/2 to 4 hours. I enjoyed the remoteness of Hoist Lakes. I began at the eastern trailhead accessible from MI-65/72. Parking is $5.00 per day which is deposited in a self-service tube. I began the large trail loop south and made my way past north and south hoist lakes. These lakes were more or less ponds, but they were nice to look at. After making my way up a couple hills I made my way down to Bryan lake. During the duration of the hike I may have seen a handful of day hikers, however when getting to the Bryan lake their were plenty of hikers who appeared to have snagged the best spots. I found a nice site on the east side of the lake overlooking the largest lake in the hoist lakes area. After a pretty chilly night, I made my way north completing the trail in a couple hours. After completion I had a couple thoughts, the north side was more difficult, in which I would recommend on day 1. There wasn't too many sights on the north side however. The lakes were just okay, nothing spectacular. The trails are marked very well! The numbered poles with maps and nails showing your location made the hike enjoyable. Additionally marking the difficulty per post was helpful to gauge how hard each section would be.

I would try this trail in another year or so.

trail running
Saturday, September 17, 2016

I'm not sure how this is listed as 1.3 miles considering the signage clearly shows it is nearly 8 miles total distance (one way out and back) if accessed from M-72. There is a sign at the trailhead, although it can be accessed at other points. Some down trees In had to climb over, but that is more of a small detail rather than a gripe. Follows the Au Sable for a nice stretch and there are some decent looks at the river. I half hiked half ran these trails. I'd go back for sure.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Beutiful scenery, fairly flat, but didn't do all the trail

Friday, July 01, 2016

Beautiful hiking area. Been here several times with my dog. Check for ticks after hiking, but other than that, no complaints. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Amazing. Bring bug spray !!

Monday, June 20, 2016

The place beautiful.
The ticks are ridiculous, had to de-tick our dog and ourselves constantly. Even with 30% deep.
Get rid of ticks and I would give this place 5 stars all day long.

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