Hoist Lakes Foot Travel Area is a 7.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Barton City, Michigan that features a lake. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
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.
Beautiful hiking area. Been here several times with my dog. Check for ticks after hiking, but other than that, no complaints.
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.
Had this trip in mind for a couple weeks, just waiting for the perfect timing for fall colors. Went up mid week and was not disappointed. Beautiful colors and had the trails and campsites all to myself. Junction 5 was poorly marked and ended up going back to junction 11 when I wanted to go to 4, but oh well. I'll know for next time.
Had a great time. Beautiful hike. Moderate to easy hike. Took 5 kids with me ages 4-14. All had a great time and experience. Had good luck fishing at Byron lake lots of bass. Ticks are there tho.. So check often.. Has turned into a yearly adventure, third year in a row taking my daughters. Really a great time. We will go back again
Hoist is the perfect for a day, overnight or weekend backpacking trip. One of my favorite places to clear my head with a quick over night. Hoist offers a many different lakes for floating or fishing. Trail are very groomed and marked with blue blazers. There are a ton of different campsite around all of the lakes so you will definitely get the peace and quite your looking for.
Beautiful hike. My boyfriend, 10 month puppy and I hiked a little over 10 miles the first day around the back to South Hoist lake where we decided to pitch our tent for the night. The lake is calm and relaxing, saw a couple of our neighbors test the water but we weren't as brave. Before you go to bed CHECK FOR TICKS. The trails are well marked and besides the few fallen trees are very clean and taken care of. There are quite a few rolling hills through the big loop but still a nice moderate trail. We will definitely be back here again :)
Great adventure. Took my two daughters, 8 and 12. Great first hike for them. Stayed at north hoist lake. This was about the tenth time at hoist lakes. Found minnows work the best so far for fishing. We didn't catch anything of any size but was fun fishing. Didn't see any ticks this time either. All around another great time in northern michigan. Quiet, beautiful landscape, and great wether. We can't wait to go back again. We're thinking more towards the fall to see the trees full of color.
Lots of ticks. Perfect difficulty for a simple weekend get away. But too many ticks.
Had a great time. Such a beautiful place. Went and stayed two nights and didn't want to leave. Fishing wasn't the best bit we saw lots of big ones jumping so try are there. Also did see some ticks all over the smaller hoist lake. Camp sites are great over looking both hoist lakes. Remember to bring your water or have a filter. Last time I went the water pump was still in use now it's not. This was the seventh time backpacking in and looking forward to many more adventures here.
Went to Hoist lakes area with a friend and truly enjoyed it. There was good scenery at times and the trail was maintained just enough to make it difficult but not too challenging. The campsites were well maintained and some even had good quality fire pits. There was a lack of close firewood however. Must have been busy enough recently to clean out the nearby supply. We went during labor day weekend and we still had most trails to ourselves. I would definitely recommend it for hikers of all skill levels.
I have hiked this twice the past couple of years, both times as a day hike so we were really pushing it. Nice trails, not used too much. I will hike this again.
A few friends and I just completed this hike over the weekend (may 10-13th). This was most of our first real hikes and we had a blast. The terrain is pretty hilly and somewhat challenging. Camped out at lake Byron and North hoist lake. Also spent one night out in the woods. Did a 9 mile hike to lake Byron in 80 degree weather, so finally reaching the lake was great. Definitely the highlight of the trip. Went swimming and caught and cooked some large mouth. Only problem were the ticks, I recommend keeping things closed, frequent tick checks, and lots of deets!