Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Michigan with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I hiked this trail this weekend. follow the yellow painted painted on the trees, the northern part is less a trail and more of follow the yellow markers. I shouldve downloaded the map, as it is easy to lose the trail. It is fun in a different type of way.

10 days ago

This loop is great for either: A) a moderate full day loop, or B) as I did it, a leisurely two day hike with an overnight stay at the cove. The camp has numerous sites that are fairly well spaced out, and is pretty well situated for sunsets. You can take a brief walk off trail to get to a nice cliff-side view of Superior and Canada, or even go for a bone-chilling swim. Would definitely come back!

14 days ago

Best hiking trail in lower Michigan.

This was my first backpacking trip, I left Chicago bright and early and arrived in the Porkies around 2 in the afternoon. I hiked down to Mirror Lake and camped my first night there. I enjoyed watching some loons traversing the lake as smoke from other campfires slowly crept across the water as the sun was setting. As night began to fall I heard the forest come alive with the sound of an owl that was in the area. I had a fire built up, and enjoyed a nice freeze dried meal. The site I was at that evening was equipped with a bear pole to hang my food on, and there was a pit toilet about 100 yards from the site back in the bush that I stumbled upon while harvesting firewood.
The next day I headed off down the trail to Lake Superior which was where I would set my camp up for that evening. The hiking was fantastic, I did get turned around once where I ended up on the NCT which also passes through the park, but I quickly realized my error and only had to backtrack about a half mile, if even that. That day I crossed a small creek and a river and climbed and descended many hills (calling them hills for lack of a better word) I came across other campers and hikers who were all rather friendly and even was able to strike up a conversation with a few of them. I reached the lake around 2:30 or 3:00 after about 5 hours of hiking and began to set my camp up.
Sleeping next to the lake was rather peaceful as I listened to the waves roll up on the shore, however for being Mid-June, the temperature dipped really low, and I actually woke up shivering in the middle of the night because I was so cold. But I layered up, and went back to bed.
The next day it began to rain, and I decided to just hike out that day instead of having to deal with the rain. I should have stayed because the last night there I was planning on staying on top of one of the ridges that overlooked carp river, and it was a beautiful sight to see. I would recommend this hike to anyone, and am planning to return back there this summer (2018).

When you get past the prairie the pines are a great site for overnight
Made one last night cheers

Great trail, well kept, and easy to hike, i am a big girl but love to be in the great outdoors and it’s nice to enjoy the trail without getting so winded

One of the best hikes in Lower Michigan and awesome views!

Hiked from Discovery Center to N. Territorial. Lots of elevation and demands endurance. Hiked it with a buddy in wet snow. Definitely pounded my legs.

Worth every mosquito bite, leach bite and mud pool crossing. 5 kids and I had a great 3 days backpacking across the island and ended with 3 days of kayaking and boating from the lodge. Definitely bring your water filter, mosquito netting, and some hiking poles for the mud. Captain Bill was a gem.

2 months ago

Awesome trail for beginners and intermediate backpackers. Great fun all along the trail.

I completed the loop in 3 days and 2 nights. each day had it's own difficulty.
I took the loop clockwise.
day one windigo to Siskwit Bay was extremely flooded and some parts of the trail were completely understand water. be sure to water proof and bring extra set of clothing. Siskwit Bay was a completely full campsite due to it being a popular spot for boaters to camp after fishing. A group shared their campsite with us and even some of the fish they caught.

Day 2 Siskwit Bay to Feldtman Lake was decent hike except the first two miles were in a marsh and the trail was overgrown. Mosquitoes are huge and don't care how much bug spray or layer of clothes you wear. They fought through and bit anyways. the tower was a great pit stop and photo op. the rest of that day was extremely pleasant.

Feldtman to Windigo was difficult not because the trail was hard but because there was several times the trails forked out it wasn't included in the map. we had to backtrack several times.

Absolutely love this trail, tho I don't go the exact same way (I go to Hamlin lake and then turn and go to Lake Michigan before coming back the way I came) . swimming in Hamlin lake is cool. lots of views. easy to find a place to camp. not too hard either, planning on going sometime this winter.

Took the kids on their first back packing trip here and it was an easy to moderate hike for them. ages 7, 9, 11.

My corgi and I did the loop the first weekend in December. We took out to nature for some alone time and that is what we got! The North Trail side had something creepy about it and was pretty tiring. We did 14 miles the first day and camped on the Manistee River Trail side and loved it. Very beautiful views and didn’t see a single person.

3 months ago

The manistee river side of the loop is beautiful and an easy backpacking trip. Lots of great spots along the river to pitch a tent and enjoy the river in the morning with coffee. Not a tough hike at all and even saw boy scouts with small packs. We found a spot on the rivers edge and pitched a tent. it was beautiful. the next day we found some guys in hammock on top of a ledge with picturesque views. Something for everyone. The North Country Trail portion is more challenging with a 1200' elevation within 1 mile but still not difficult. Not as beautiful ore as many opputunities to get water on this portion of the loop. we didnt need it however I do not consume as much water as most backpackers.

Great Michigan hike. More hills than I expected but very well marked. Even after sunset. Enjoyed the views on the MRT side better. And never saw a single person on the trail. That probably had something with doing the hike at the end of November on a Tuesday.

Trail is well marked and maintained. Had a slight but working cell signal which allowed google maps to track me. Although I couldn’t get the All trails app to work while out there. Lots of areas that post private property signs which made picking a campsite a bit more tricky. Hiked five miles in and setup camp just east of Poplar ave. Was hoping to camp near Crofoot Lake but too many private property signs were littering the area so I doubled back.
Did this hike the second week of November and honestly I think it would have been a bit better to go a bit earlier in the season. Most of the leaves had already fallen from the trees. Still a beautiful hike though and will definitely be back.

4 months ago

Beautiful hike.

This is a great loop. Walking along the lake give awesome opportunities for photos and rest spots where you can dip your feet in the water.

4 months ago

Love this loop. Stayed on this trial several times. The hike is quite hard going uphill sometimes, especially if it's early in your trip and your backpack is heaviest. But beautiful views and river crossings. Highly recommend if you don't mind getting a little muddy.

4 months ago

Backpacked the beautiful Grand Island in the early summer, just before memorial weekend. It was a tough hike, as it is an uphill hike the whole way. We started clockwise and stayed at a campsite which was equipped with a bear pole and a fire ring. It was tough to find fire wood as it was mostly wet from the rain that had happened the day before. Not as much water around as we thought, which was tough. Bugs were TERRIBLE! Wear a net and bring tons and tons of spray.

The second night was pretty memorable as we ended up hiking double of what we anticipated. Water supplies was about a mile and a half away. Found the beach and decided to leave our stuff to stay there. Ran into a park patrolman and had a terrible expericence. He was not helpful, we needed reservations, which the site did not explain and we didn't have service. He said "well I have service" and left us stranded. We ended up taking the chance to hike back another mile and a half, with a sprained ankle (which we told him and he didn't seem to care) and grabbed our packs to head to the beach, again. With not much service and battery left, we called to get a credit card to reserve a spot. In the end, it was a great trip but be prepared to have a site reserved, have bug spray, and high hiking boots oh and tons and tons of water! Otherwise this can be done in two days with 7-14 miles a day. Beautiful hike!

4 months ago

Check out my trip video of this loop here: https://youtu.be/cq7K-yc7m_g

Did an overnight on this loop camping on the east side of Grass Lake.

This trail has been a favorite of mine for most of my life. The colors in the fall are spectacular and the variation in the terrain gives amazing variety.

4 months ago

Great trail but a lot of foot traffic.

4 months ago

What a incredible trek
Campground was full
Awesome fall colors of Michigan

Started around 2:PM Saturday and started on the MRT to avoid the rain that was forecasted for Sunday., Camped near the 3B campsite. The weather was great (low 70s) so the trail was pretty busy so I was all out of "Hellos" by the end of the trip. For the most part, the whole trail was really clean, save for the people who feel the need to leave cans and bottles in the campfire -- don't be those people. Trail is really well marked, and even covered in fallen leaves it would be hard to get lost. Although the NCT lacks the views of the river the MRT offers, the 3 hours of rain hiking out gave me all the water I needed. :)

this trail is amazing, totally worth going off trail to check out the fish hatchery, adds two miles to the hike

4 months ago

Very nice, well maintained, and for the most part double wide trail with moderate traffic. bike traffic runs the opposite direction which is nice because they can get moving in some spots. we opted to shorten our hike to see the stone fireplace and was worth the stop.

4 months ago

Had a great time with a few unplanned detours. You could not of asked for better weather in October. Did the entire loop in 26 hours.

4 months ago

Fun day hike

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