Explore the most popular lake 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.

1 day ago

Real easy trail and a great view. A must do if in the area.

on Beebe Lake

private property
1 day ago

this is a Boy Scout camp and there are signs saying no trespassing so doesn't look like a good place to hike unless you're a boy scout.

1 day ago

This is a nice, easy one mile loop in Rowden Park. Lightly traveled on a January Friday morning.

easy hiking trail. tunnel effect on part of the trail. pretty much follows an old set of train tracks that have been removed.

Two stars might be a little harsh, but...the park is tiny, tightly surrounded by housing, and the lakes are small with limited views. Given that UM's Saginaw Forest trailhead is literally a few hundred yards down Wagner, I don't see stopping here unless you have a strong desire to see the First and Second Sister Lakes (or "Lakes") after seeing the Third in Saginaw Forest. Scio Forest is also nearby and offers a better nature experience, as does Lillie Park.
I'd leave this one for the neighborhood joggers and school field trips. Higher resolution versions of my pictures, as well as pictures of the other parks mentioned, are at https://johnmetzler.smugmug.com/Parks.

I just did this trail counter clockwise, camped north of ford lake with 8.9 miles competed the first day. 2.8 miles back out to the trailhead today. At the trail head it lists a 10 and an 11mile loop. I followed the 10miler and it ended up being the 11.7. Not sure if I took the wrong path or what. Nice easy trail that was well marked. I was the only person enjoying the trail this winter weekend.

love the opportunity to be able to get the chance to look at the moment

6 days ago

Saginaw Forest is more aptly described as a small woods with a pond. The trails are well-kept with more elevation gain than might be expected in so small a park. I saw one squirrel, no other wildlife when I was there (mid-morning in January, 20-25 degrees), no deer tracks, etc. I'll probably head back after a snow to get a better idea about wildlife and in the spring to see how the woods fills out. There are lots of SPF, so if you like walking in an evergreen woods, Saginaw Forest has it. Larger resolution versions of my pictures are available on https://johnmetzler.smugmug.com/Parks.

6 days ago

good variety of landscape for a michigan trail. fun! can be hard to follow on the second half

This really is a nice spot that’s close to everything, yet secluded enough that you don’t hear other noises (traffic, homes near by, other hikers). Lots of trails that weave in an out of each other so watch out for other trail users!

Walking the dog here, my wife and I chose this first due to the distance. We’ve been here three times now, the first being on a 40-45 degree day where the grounds were soft and wet in places and also in the mid 20s where everything is frozen. This is a great quick hike/trail run that offers ample amounts of hills and a ton of great views to make the 2 miles go by extremely fast. It’s a great go to trail if you’re short on time but want a quick workout because of the few hills offered.

6 days ago

My wife and I walked our dog here on a brisk 28 degree day. Parking in the scenic overlook lot and taking a right to lead us through some wooded areas, around the gathering areas with pavilions, past the dam and beaches was boring. Once we got past the beach area the trail turned into a much better walk than it had started filled with wooded areas, tighter trails and plenty of sites. My GPS only tallied 3.7 miles but I would recommend this to anyone as it was an easier trail with minimal ascents and descents to be concerned about.

Great views at the end, trails were well marked, easy and peaceful hike

I set out from Ely Campground, counterclockwise, intending to do the complete 13.8 mile loop. Up until 48th, the trail was relatively easy to navigate using the yellow blazes. The segment between 48th and 116th is incredibly difficult to navigate without a gps at times. The trail is overgrown and doesn’t exist in some places and the yellow blazes aren’t consistent or are contradicting at times. I had to rely completely on the map on this app to guide me through a few areas and ultimately turned around and retraced my steps through the snow after my phone died. I hiked back and around Ely Lake, then hopped back on the loop headed in the other direction. I only made it to 118th, but the trail up to that point was clearly marked. Also, judging by the thick vegetarian in January, this trail is definitely one you want to wear long pants on year round. DO NOT attempt to hike the loop in its entirety for the first time without a gps. However difficult, it was very remote and beautiful. I will definitely be back to complete the loop, but with a gps or someone that’s done it. Good luck!

on clear days you can see everything from this tower! multiple states, provinces,

Enjoyed this trail very much.

Simple loop with some nice overlooks. Stopped today despite rain and was pleasantly surprised by hard packed path that barely left a trace of mud on my boots and bridges with slightly curved slats that greatly reduced slickness. Ample parking for a small trail, easy to find right off 10 Mile.

trail running
12 days ago

Great for a quick run

Very poorly marked trails. Easy terrain. Too many multi-purpose trails and not enough exclusively hiking trails.

This trail had great scenery and decent hills! It is pretty well mapped out. Dogs are allowed as well

13 days ago

Another review said there was trash everywhere. They weren’t lying. Thankfully we packed trash bags. I didn’t expect to be able to fill 3 30 gallon bags with debris in 1.3 miles(and that’s from starting at the parking area), but we did. We didn’t get everything, but I feel we made a noticeable difference. The scenery was gorgeous minus the crap, but hopefully we put a dent in it and others can enjoy their walks a little better. A gentleman said Christmas Day a guy came an cut a path through the tree that was blocking the beach.

So Nice! beautiful views.... and now I am very tired. went on a few trails that we not marked and more of a ridge trail. worth it! can get busy in there... saw a lot of people and dogs. but enjoyed every minute including a picnic lunch on the beach. for January... not bad!!

Bluebird day for a nice hike through the woods. Trail is clear and an easy terrain.

Enjoyable winter hike that was relatively easy. The trail is well marked. There was heavy bike traffic so would recommend hiking opposite direction as indicated on trail markers per day of the week. My GPS recorded 7.7 miles.

$5 entry fee (2019) didnt want to pay

Beautiful Lake Michigan views! Lots of stairs through pretty dunes. Don’t skip Acorn Trail that veers of to the south for a few tenths to step into the gorgeous pine forest.

Easy sand trail around a lake. Great viewing of an eagle nest and bonus sighting of an eagle watching over the nest from a higher perch. 2 more eagle sightings on the south side by the river.

trails are poorly marked. there really isnt much of a trail that goes around the lake. not quiet. city noises and loud hum of highway traffic. not really "out in nature." city trail

17 days ago

Trail was super hard to find and follow after hitting the campsite, but it's an absolutely beautiful trail with enough uphills to make you feel like you earned your fish and chips.

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