Explore the most popular lake trails in Manistee 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 hike with kids and dogs. $5 fee per car since it is a national forest.

We are looking forward to going back when flowers are blooming. Nice map with good information.

The Loda Lake trail is not as long as mapped on app. This makes a loop with NCT and Birch Grove trail.

We hiked clockwise on Loda Lake trail then took connector to NCT. We then walked north on NCT for a mile. Returned and completed loop to Loda Lake for a total of 6 miles.

Seen a male rose-breasted Grosebeak, blue racer snake, and dog “found” 3 ticks.

This is a hidden gem with bathroom and new expanded parking lot with picnic tables and shelter.

quiet primative hike in only. Love it.

took my son for a Day hike. We saw three Pileated woodpeckers, a kingfisher, a group of ducks, a handful of chickadees and nuthatches. We also saw a pair of red tailed hawks and heard some red-breasted woodpeckers. very nice Trail for down and back, like the previous comment we lost the trail in the mud at the turn around so we made our own.

Had a wonderful walk in the woods with the family today on this trail. It’s fairly well marked but several time we reviewed the map to make sure we were taking the right branch. The road getting to the trail was a bit soupy from the spring thaw, but the trail was fine. It’s a perfect spring or fall trail.

Went on a snowy hike there in early March. Beautiful scenery and the lake is well worthy the trek.

hiking
5 months ago

Trail is named something different at trailhead. Lost the trail in the mud somewhere around the turnaround. Otherwise great hike secluded from human activity.

hiking
7 months ago

September 22-24 this was a great hike with the scouts spent the weekend

hiking
7 months ago

This is a beautiful short hike with a bunch of trails nearby. Has first cone first serve camp sites surrounding the lake as well.

Easy trails, well marked, some plants identified.

First time on trail, difficult to follow so we piecemealed our way. Pup loved it

Great local trail. Can be hard to follow at times, especially when you are new to it. Look for the yellow diamonds. Some have arrows and some do not. Trail intersects some roads and horse trails in spots. Not as hard packed as some MTB trails, but provides a unique challenge. GREAT place to build up riding endurance and strength.

Check out our video of this route at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm0b0V_1rFg

Amazing! Beautiful riding country! Can't wait to go back!

really awesome, we saw a fawn and a bunch of small animals. there were some pretty flowers and really pretty scenery. 10/10 will hike again. (just make sure you bring big spray!)

walking
11 months ago

Great dog walk!

Loda Lake is a great trail for nature walks, the guided wildflower trails, and a historic heritage trail. The map on this app shows more land than is really there at the wildflower sanctuary.

hiking
Sunday, May 07, 2017

Cool trail with lots of routes to add up the miles. Did 7 miles today and was well marked and not to busy.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Great short hike. Trail is well marked until the turn around.

This is SUCH a gorgeous hike. I wish it was a loop but it was so enjoyable I didn't mind seeing everything twice. I especially loved the depression forest section!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Great, easy trail. Very enjoyable. Thanks to all who preserve and share it with others.

We had the forest to ourselves it seemed. Very beautiful and tranquil. Started at Horse Day Use Trail Head then turned onto the "A" mountain bike trail. The bike trails are excellent for hiking. Saw deer, wild turkeys, chipmunks and frogs during our 5-mile loop that took about 2 hours. Stopped several times to notice natures little wonders.

hiking
Monday, May 02, 2016

Great hike! The trail is well marked and the river is beautiful.

hiking
Sunday, April 17, 2016

It was well marked until the 2 mile mark and then it was hard to see the trail.

hiking
Saturday, January 30, 2016

This trail links up with the Birch Grove Trail loop, which also links up with the NCT for a total of about 11 miles. Went in late October, great day trip.

Had a great time and took my girls that I was counseling. Very beautiful lake and very clean. Had a blast! Such a gorgeous place

This trail is fairly decent. Well maintained, very easy to follow, and somewhat scenic (4 stars because it's a bit repetitive). I wouldn't really consider it a loop, but you can make part of it into a loop if you do what I did. I started at the Michigan 20 Trailhead (1299 W 1 Mile Road, or at GPS Coords 43.568188,-85.827278) and went over to Diamond Lake Campgrounds, which was about 1.5 mi off the trail (7 mi hiking). I spent Friday night there, and then on Saturday morning took the Birch Grove Trail up to Loda Lake, where it rejoins the North Country Trail. I went up to Nichols Lake, had lunch, and then hiked back to Bear Creek to set up camp near the trail (very nice spot for dispersed camping). Saturday was about 20 miles. Then on Sunday I hiked back about 12 miles to the Michigan 20 trailhead. In total, the route I took was about 38-40 miles, completed in 44 hours (including sleeping).

In general, water availability was pretty good, and the weather was perfect (60 deg at night, 80 deg daytime). Most of the trail is dense forest, so shade is abundant. There were some mosquitos, but applying DEET every 4 hours kept them at bay, no problem at all. I literally saw one other backpacker group the entire weekend, so the trail doesn't see much use despite being very nice.

The best maps I found were the US Forest Service's 2013 map and the ArcGIS map.

good, technical trail. fairly well maintained. good hard ride. bi-directional trail with relatively little traffic.

Well kept trail in northern lower penisula michigan. Blue markers lead the way. Lots of good camping spots but not alot of fresh water unfortunately (unless its early season). Dogs are allowed and no permit is required for using the trail. This trail is perfect for beginners or anyone who just wants to get away from it all and get lost in some beautiful michigan woods. Trail is kept by the north county trail association.

hiking
Wednesday, August 10, 2011

This makes for a great quick hike with the kids, with just enough geography to keep it interesting. There are some beautiful little glens on the far west end of the loop.

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