Sand Lakes Quiet Area Trail

MODERATE 19 reviews

Sand Lakes Quiet Area Trail is a 8.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Traverse City, Michigan 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.

8.7 miles
475 feet

dog friendly


cross country skiing


mountain biking


Sand Lakes Quiet Area is a 7.2 mile multiple route trail located near Traverse City, Michigan and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for cross country skiing & hiking and is accessible from May until November.

mountain biking
5 months ago

Great fun , many paths you can take

5 months ago

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.

8 months ago

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

Thursday, August 11, 2016

the sand lakes are worth the hike.

Wednesday, 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.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Well marked and a nice mix of terrain. Easy to select a distance that fits your plans for the day. We enjoyed seeing the clay-bottomed lake. Nice hike!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Very well marked trails. Well taken care of. Very quiet.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

One of the lake shores is almost all clay! It's amazing!

Friday, July 04, 2014

Pretty awesome little quiet area. We had the whole place to ourselves. So if you different lakes all very nice, clear with sandy beaches! Anyone looking for a nice overnight hike with a beautiful lake this is your spot!

Friday, November 23, 2012

got really drunk. fun stuf

Friday, July 13, 2012

This is a really nice hike for just about anybody. There are trails of varying degrees and they're fairly well-marked. The only problem I had was finding the trailhead to begin with. Please don't rely on Google maps for this, because it will really lead you into some desolate areas and areas where there are no roads whatsoever.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

This is a great place to go for a cross country run. Lots of moderate hills, mostly shaded. The only drawback is that the out houses are longer available for use so bring your TP and watch out for leaves of 3.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Awesome dayhike or one nighter! Beautiful forest so close to TC. South side of Lake 1 is swimmable and the lakes color is aqua blue amazing. Park at Gurnsey Lake for car camping or trailhead use and loop clockwise for more privacy. Only bummer is its a well known spot so kind of busy. But rustic hike-in-only camping makes it a blast for beginners or just a relaxing one nighter.

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Monday, June 01, 2015