Sand Lakes Quiet Area Trail

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Traverse City, Michigan

Sand Lakes Quiet Area Trail is a 7.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Traverse City, Michigan that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 7.4 miles Elevation Gain: 396 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

camping

cross country skiing

hiking

mountain biking

bird watching

beach

lake

views

flooded
muddy
1 day ago

Nice trail to hike on a beautiful evening. The forest canopy is filling in. There is a significant trail segment that is flooded two thirds of the way from waypoint #4 to waypoint #20 and then again some flooding when passing the lake between waypoints #16 and #13. Otherwise a nice trail to hike.

hiking
washed out
8 days ago

Very well maintained and well marked trail. Bring bug repellent, I was eaten alive my mosquitos the first couple miles. Trail was completely washed out in one spot so I wouldn’t recommend wearing non waterproof shoes. Besides that it was a very nice and pretty hike.

blowdown
bugs
flooded
muddy
10 days ago

Joined trail from checkpoint #1 at Broomhead parking lot. Trail was lovely to hike as deciduous trees are starting to fill in the forest canopy. Some trees down across SW and S trails. Two segments also had some flooding. Wear tick repellent: picked up two on eastern trails.

hiking
28 days ago

We started at 15, and did it backwards. It seemed most up hill( we love that) & a portion was flooded but we were able to jump the creek about 20 feet from flooded pathway. We passed about 7 people. Nicely marked easy to follow.

hiking
29 days ago

Great trail. Nicely marked and easy to follow. One part was slightly flooded but we were able to find a way around. I’d recommend having a vehicle with a high clearance to navigate the road to the trailhead. It’s a dirt road with plenty of bumps and uneven surfaces. Also, don’t go to the trailhead as marked by AllTrail. It’s just a road intersection. Instead, park at the campground & pick up the trail there. Overall, good variety in terrain and lightly trafficked.

hiking
closed
scramble
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Really nicely maintained trail. Not to hard but just right for when you want to knock off 8 miles. Very woodsy and a few ponds/lakes.

hiking
blowdown
1 month ago

I would highly recommend this trail. Very wide a good variety of terrain and quiet with beautiful scenery.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice dry, wide, leaf and needle covered trails

hiking
icy
snow
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Snowshoed half the trail, which ended up being 5.5 miles. By cutting through the middle we discovered that it can be quite hilly, with several changes in elevation. Very beautiful & peaceful.

snowshoeing
snow
3 months ago

There were some parts that we had to trail-blaze. But great walk!

hiking
6 months ago

Love this trail system. Some challenging hills mixed with stunning small lakes. Plenty of trail options to make return trips always interesting. This is a pure trail system absent of snowmobile and dirt bike trails. Not heavily trafficked. One of the best trails in the area.

hiking
7 months ago

I would recommend this trail! It was well marked and offered options for varied length. We hiked the larger outer loop and finished the 8 miles in about 2.5 hours. The lakes are crystal clear and the meadow was beautiful. The GPS marks the trail head near homes at the intersection, follow the road toward the camping area to find parking and trail head.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful, dog-friendly trail!

hiking
bugs
10 months ago

hiking
Sat Aug 11 2018

Great, simple trail to do with our yellow lab! We did the small loop and came across a great view with a crystal clear lake where you can literally see fish swimming! Frogs and a small snake also greeted us along the way.

backpacking
Fri Jul 20 2018

This was a gorgeous trail! It's well marked and except for a few mild hills it was pretty level. In most places the trail was wide and smooth enough for me to be able to enjoy the scenery instead of watching my footing. I camped at Lake 1. The lake has a clay bottom so not really suitable for swimming but it was pretty! There are 2 vault toilets. There's a pump but no handle so I filtered water from the lake. I did the full loop starting from Guernsey Lake but be aware that the campsites cam be reached from the Sand Lakes parking area with just a short walk. This meant that I had some partiers sharing the area even though it was Tuesday. I would definitely rate the trail more towards the easy end.

mountain biking
Mon Aug 07 2017

Great fun , many paths you can take

hiking
Sun Jul 23 2017

First, it is helpful to know that access to this trail is on unpaved roads, and depending on which way you go, they may or may not be accessible in your vehicle. We followed Apple maps and had no trouble on the way in, but on the way out it took us a different way and we had some clearance issues in a Honda CRV. We started at the Guernsey Lake campground. We found plenty of parking just beyond the trailhead, near the day use area and boat launch. We walked about an 8.5 mile loop, which took about 2.5 hours not including lunch and swimming stops. Between posts 3 and 5, on lake 1, there is a nice swimming beach and a well for refilling the water bottles. The trail doesn't really go along the lake shores, but there are a few little spurs that go down to a couple of the lakes. Most of the hike was lightly treed and provided good shade. Use the outhouse at the day use area, because that's the only one. The trail conditions were perfect, and everything is extremely well marked. There are maps and corresponding numbered posts at each intersection. There were two or three trees across the trail, but they were easy enough to go over or under. There were a couple sections where the bugs were very heavy, so take your bug spray. I was surprised to see this trail marked "Moderate". Maybe it's because I am from a mountainous region of the country, but I found it very easy. I'm a 50 year old woman who is very out of shape, and I had no problem with it. Honestly, other than the length of the trail, there was nothing a toddler or my 81 year old dad couldn't have done. There were no rocky or slippery areas, footing was solid everywhere, and there wasn't anything even close to steep enough to warrant a switchback. You could hike it in flip flops.

hiking
Tue May 16 2017

Nicely maintained and extremely quiet. we did not see another person for the whole loop. plenty of birding

Thu Aug 11 2016

the sand lakes are worth the hike.

hiking
Wed May 11 2016

Was confused by the starting point on this, but decided to start from Guernsey Lake Campground which has parking available if you're not camping there. This is a section of the North Country Trail so this could easily be extended into a multi day trip.

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