Hoist Lakes Foot Travel Area

MODERATE 44 reviews
#2 of 16 trails in

Hoist Lakes Foot Travel Area is a 7.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Barton City, Michigan that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and backpacking. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 7.8 miles Elevation Gain: 501 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

hiking

beach

forest

lake

views

wildlife

blowdown

hiking
over grown
3 months ago

Some friends and I hiked a smaller (5 mile) loop here on October 20, starting from the west side trailhead. No ticks or bugs (this was after several below-freezing mornings), but the trail was quite overgrown, with a few fallen trees to climb over — definitely wear long pants/sleeves treated with permethrin before hiking this spot during tick season. Otherwise a really pretty trail and not muddy or technically challenging.

hiking
4 months ago

I found the Hoist Lakes Trail from the East Trailhead a bit more confusing than from the West Trailhead. The "intersections" didn't seem to match up with my printed map or the one on my phone. Also, mile markers placed along the trail would be helpful. So half a star off for those two things. That said, this is a really nice trail system. I spent about 4 hours here, saw a deer and two hawks, and had a nice lunch by one of the lakes where fish were jumping. No bugs or ticks. It was a great hike and I hope to come back.

hiking
bugs
7 months ago

It may be a very good trail HOWEVER JULY ITS FULL OF TICKS just a warning to anyone heading here. If I get back this way In The fall I’ll love to come back but right now ticks ticks ticks

hiking
bugs
muddy
8 months ago

TICKS! We got bombarded with ticks despite 3 different repellents. The trails were numbered fine and laid out well but there were hunters wayyyyyyy too close and omg the ticks. Please check as soon as you reach lot!

hiking
Sun Oct 28 2018

Great trails. Love the rolling hills.

backpacking
Wed Sep 05 2018

Short hike in ~1.5miles. Great to backpack with small kids. Fun fishing in the pothole lakes; plenty of legal-ish small mouths and panfish. Lots of rustic sites to setup. I really liked this path.

backpacking
Sat Jul 14 2018

Hiked, swam, trail ran a bit, camped. Tons of mosquitoes, flys, and another larger flying biting pest. Cool precession of moths as you move down the trail. Lots of tiny frogs.

backpacking
Tue May 08 2018

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.

Tue Sep 19 2017

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.

hiking
Fri Jul 07 2017

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.

backpacking
Mon Jul 03 2017

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.

backpacking
Tue Jun 13 2017

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.

backpacking
Sun Jun 11 2017

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.

backpacking
Sun May 21 2017

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

Sun Apr 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.

backpacking
Sun Jan 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.

hiking
Fri Jul 01 2016

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

backpacking
Mon Jun 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.

camping
Sat Oct 17 2015

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.

camping
Fri Jul 03 2015

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

camping
Fri Jul 04 2014

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.

hiking
Sun May 25 2014

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 :)

hiking
Sun Aug 11 2013

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.

hiking
Wed May 29 2013

Lots of ticks. Perfect difficulty for a simple weekend get away. But too many ticks.

hiking
Sun Oct 07 2012

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.

hiking
Wed Sep 12 2012

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.

hiking
Thu Jul 19 2012

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.

hiking
Tue May 15 2012

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!

hiking
1 month ago

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