Explore the most popular fishing 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.

We started from the lower falls campground, site 145. If you go to the bottom of that loop, there is a small loop trail that takes you down to lower falls. We took the the branch going east to start, and it's about .7 miles of really nice pine forrest trail. After exploring the lower falls, we took the .3 mile board walk around the north of the falls and to the start of the official "4 mile trail" to upper falls.

Depending on how often and where you've hiked before, you'll have different feelings on this trail. For me, it was average scenery, mostly through woods but occasionally along the river. The trail is very rooty and has a couple of hills at the start of the 4 mile trail and near the end. Nothing too difficult. I'm sure it's due to time of year (mid July), but several sections of this trail are very overgrown with weeds. The trail is always easy to see, but you'll be fighting overgrowth for about 15% of the trail.

At upper falls you will have to negotiate a bunch of stairs to see the falls. Make sure you go to the end of the boardwalk for best view.

After we were done, we turned around and hiked back. Once we got to lower falls, we got in the water, which was surprisingly warm, then headed back on the shorter "western" leg of the loop up to lower falls campsite. There are nice markers at the intersections with picture of the trail map so you'll know what I mean when you see it.

For this loop I had it measured via Garmin at 9.7 miles. If you walk all the way up upper falls park to the actual falls, I could see it being 10+.

trail running
2 days ago

I ran this trail today and is was pretty easy. it was not that hard to find where the trail picks back up, and was dry but I can see where it could be muddy after a good rain.

hiking
2 days ago

Very scenic. Beautiful river. Trail ranges from wide to narrow, mud to rocks to leaves, some trees are down over the trail through the whole thing, but that just makes it more fun.

trail running
2 days ago

We did a trail run loop, parked at the west side of the red bridge (bridge still out). Clocked 20 miles without any side trips, took us 5 hours. It was a very very calm river day - We staged 2 small rafts on the east side and floated across; also could have swam across. Be warned - i could easily see this river having tougher/swifter conditions after a rain. Lovely forest trail with amazing river views. Previous reviews are accurate - NCT side has no water for most of this section. I’d say both sides are same difficulty, NCT has longer ups/downs but MRT has more roots, shorter ups/downs, and harder to navigate due to social trails and campsite side trails (when running we were forced to stop and check several times to ensure on right path). Have fun running among the trees & ferns & mushrooms!

love these trails for day hiking ❤

hiking
4 days ago

Nicely shaded and a couple of pretty views.

Nice hike mostly wooded good trail!

6 days ago

This trail is super well marked. Be aware, it is very narrow most of the time with lots of blind curves and there are a lot of bikers. This is not specifically posted anywhere, but I would recommend hiking the opposite direction as the bikes so you have a better chance to see each other coming.

Basically an out and back from Upper River trailhead to Slagle Road campground, totaling ~30 miles. Too bad the loop wasn’t accessible due to the bridge construction. First time out here - definitely a good hike for the Midwest. Some tough hills, especially on the NCT side 2x and nice views on the MRT side. Even took some time to swim in the Manistee River. I’d recommend it.

Fun for the whole family.

hiking
10 days ago

This isn’t worth the trip. The view is at the parking area. We walked the path, and I assure you it’s literally just trees, bugs, and chipmunks. You go near the lake, but the water line is at the tree line. No real vantage point....Definitely a disappointment.

I adore this trail. I go back time and time again and find new ways to explore and make the most of my time there.

hiking
11 days ago

Absolutely loved this. So much wildlife. Awesome sunset, make it a point to see this on a partly cloudy summer night.

hiking
14 days ago

beautiful land but far too many bikes to make for an enjoyable walk with the dogs. have to be on high alert 100% of the time watching for them around tight corners.

on Asylum Lake Trail

19 days ago

I really liked this trail! Lots of wildlife and black raspberries bushes along the North side of the lake.

If you actually want to do the loop around the lake, stick with the smaller trail that hugs the shoreline. Parts of it are a little overgrown and the last bit before you hit the road was really muddy. You have to walk along the road for just a bit but then you can cut back in to the trails.

Very nice trail. My pup and I had a great time hiking it. we didnt get to do much because it started to rain. We will definitely be going back.

We did 11 miles round trip from our campground site 107 to the lower to upper falls! We enjoyed this easy hike. Ending at the upper falls was a beautiful and breathtaking!

hiking
21 days ago

It was a great hike even on a warm summer afternoon. Very few mosquitos right now. The trail is not very wide and there are lots of mountain bikers, so hikers be alert. There is the occasional low hanging branch, but other than that, the trail is well maintained.

Currently the loop is closed due to construction of a new bridge at N. Coates Highway but I didn't plan on doing the loop. Arrived around 4 on a rainy Friday, June 15th. Parked at Seaton Campground, there was plenty of available parking. I believe it was $6 a night to park. Just have to fill out the self check in slip located on the information billboards across from the parking lot and drop it in the drop post. The first couple miles were so green and lush after the storm that had just rolled in. Trees, ferns, leaves were dripping wet and had that strong nostalgic pine woody smell. I wore hiking shorts and a dry fit shirt due to the 1,000% humidity even though it was around 68-70 degrees and immediately they were soaked from brushing against the overgrown ferns. There were a handful of people on the trail and the campsites I had passed were mostly empty. I hiked a little over 4 miles and camped at a non designated campsite. There was a steep small trail that lead down to a clearing right on the bank of the river where there was a make shift fire pit and easy access to the water. Across the river was a large dune cliff with dozens of birds flying in and out of their nests. Lightning, thunder, and rain rolled in making sleep pretty peaceful. In the morning, bugs were pretty thick, mostly flies and mosquitoes, only left with a couple a bites. Bug spray seemed to be working fine but the trails were bug free. On the way out, Saturday afternoon now, I must have crossed about 30 people's paths. A few big groups and a few couple/trios. The trail was very clean and well marked except for a few places where I had to backtrack a few feet. Next trip will be in the fall when the leaves are changing and the weather is a little cooler. Should make for a great experience.

hiking
23 days ago

Loved it!

great, short hike in Kalamazoo

Trail was absolutely gorgeous! A little muddy in spots. I actually slipped and sprained my ankle a little more than half way up the falls. Just tightened my shoes and kept going and glad I did! Such gorgeous scenery! Although I think this is a moderately difficult trail.

Hike this loop 6/2-6/3 for our first overnight backpacking trip. Since the bridge is out on Coates Hwy, we brought 2 cars and parked 1 on each side of the bridge. We started on the west side and hiked the NCT side first. Definitely glad we did since the terrain is a little more up and down on that side of the loop. Got to do it with fresh legs. We only saw 2 or 3 groups of people all day on the NCT. There was only 1 or 2 spots to filter water on this side, so bring plenty of water. We crossed the suspension bridge and set up camp at 2A near the some small waterfalls/cascade. It was a such great spot! Highly recommend this campsite, but there are a lot of them with great views on the MRT side! We finished the last 8 miles or so on Sunday. If I could have done something differently, I would have split the hike into 3 days. It was our first long overnight hike and our feet were pretty sore day 2. Wish we had some more free time to stop and relax/hang out some more. But overall, it was a great hike!

I trail ran this, starting at post 15 to head clockwise around big seven lake loop. According to my apple watch it was 4.6 miles and accumulation of 449ft in elevation climbs. I did not consider this easy! Beware Alltrails should change that difficulty rating to moderate. The upside was the beautiful views of lakes and the ups and downs in the woods were a great challenge for trail runners. The downside was it sometimes gets boring when it opens into grassy fields and picnic areas. I can see how it might be tricky to follow at times, but if you study the trail post numbers on the map before you head out you'll be fine, michigan dnr state park map has a nice map online.

We did our first backpacking trip here the first weekend of June. Four of us and my dog. Great trail for dogs. I would suggest getting trail boots for your pooch to keep their pads from wearing down. Since the bridge is out currently I would suggest parking a vehicle on both sides of the bridge and starting on the NCT side. The terrain on the NCT portion is more challenging and tiring and easier to do on day 1. Definitely bring enough water for day 1 as you won’t find any water sources until you’re almost done with the NCT portion. It’s a beautiful trail with perfect camps along creeks to stumble upon. Definitely hooked now.

Be prepared for Defcon 5-level mosquitoes. Much of the Waterloo side is covered in horse excrement, and the horses also do a pretty good job of tearing up the trail, so parts of it will feel like walking through sand. The Pinckney side has much higher quality trails, both in terms of scenery and trail maintenance. Ran into one person on the trail while hiking during weekdays.

Itinerary: Portage Lake trailhead > Pines campground > Green Lake Campground > Silver Lake. Around 10-11 miles each day for a 3 day/2 night sprint.

Be aware that Green Lake campground is a drive in campsite and there may be plenty of people on the weekends, so try to arrive early as you cannot reserve in advance and must self-register (bring cash, $17).

Pines DOES have water about 1/4 mile north - there is a water spigot near the gate to the stable area.

Green Lake also has a water pump.

Just remember to permethrin your gear, wear deet, and wear long sleeve shirts/pants.

nice walk and good views

hiking
1 month ago

Quick and easy hike. A little buggy, but not terrible. Brought both of my dogs with no issues. Should have brought a bathing suit!

We hiked the NCT/MRT loop this past weekend, 6/1-6/3. This trail was an amazing experience for our first backpacking trip. The Red Bridge was closed so we parked one car on the MRT side and took a 25 minute detour around to park on the NCT side, which was our starting point. I would definitely recommend starting on the NCT side if it’s your first hike due to the terrain. Also we only seen 2 waters sources on the NCT side, one at the beginning and one at Eaton Creek which is at the North end of the trail. The first day we hiked from the red bridge to Eaton creek and camped at a awesome site right off the creek. The second day we hiked from Eaton creek to 4b campsite on the MRT side to allow for a shorter day on Sunday.

All in all it was an amazing trip. I would recommend this trail loop to anyone looking for a great 3 day backpacking trip.

Load More